ATHENS, Ga. – After sweeping the yearly awards, the FGCU swimming and diving team earned its third straight Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) Championship with 879.5 points on Saturday night at the University of Georgia's Gabrielsen Natatorium.
Davidson finished second for the third straight year with 585 points, while Gardner-Webb took third with a score of 488.50. Georgia Southern placed fourth with 456 points and in fifth with 286 points was UNF. Liberty placed sixth (184), while College of Charleston followed in seventh (232) and Campbell in eighth (176). Rounding out the field is Radford (147), Howard (119), VMI (57) and North Carolina A&T (52).
Fourth-year head coach Neal Studd earned his third straight Women’s Coach of the Year honors and first-year diving coach Andy Goe took home Women’s Diving Coach of the Year honors.
"I am so excited and blessed that we have won three post season titles in a row," said Studd. "I am so happy for the team and the girls that started this whole thing with me four years ago. We swam lights out this weekend and it was a blast. My girls worked so hard and they saw that hard work pays off."
Jessie Porter (Chorleywood, Hertforshire, U.K./Royal Masonic) was honored as Co-Women’s Most Outstanding Freshman Performer of the Meet, while senior Karmin McNamara (Tampa, Fla./Gaither) garnered Women’s Most Outstanding Diver of the Meet for the third year.
McNamara grabbed gold in the 1-meter and silver in the 3-meter diving competition, recording a conference record in the 1-meter (261.00). McNamara also earned the accolade for her accomplishments in dual meets throughout the season. Throughout the year, McNamara earned three Women’s diver of the Week honors, while earning a spot to zones in dual meets this season and scored in the highest in the top-16 season times in the 1-meter event (285.45).
Davidson’s Lindsey Martin took home her second consecutive Women’s Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet and Women’s Swimmer of the Year honors with top finishes in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle.
In all, FGCU picked up 13 gold medals, 11 silvers and five bronze, while winning three out of the five possible relay events.
“It was a great weekend and a great year. This was a special group of girls and we achieved so much,” said Studd. “Our first year ever, we had a t-shirt that read ‘The Tradition Begins Today’; we promised our seniors the tradition will continue.”
The Eagles took first and second in the opening event, the 1650-yard free. Junior Leah Daniel (Winnipeg, Manitoba) grabbed first place with a time of 16:55.91, while freshman Lindsey Meeder (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista) earned silver, touching in at 17:05.13. Senior Taylor Cooke (Homosassa, Fla./Lecanto), swimming the last meet of her career, took fourth in the event with a season-best time of 17:05.13. Sophomore Kristen Potter (Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge) (17:13.45) and freshman McKenzie Cassidy (Lehigh Acres, Fla./Bishop Verot) (17:23.60) also picked up points for FGCU.
In the 200 back, senior Viktoria Hyddmark (Lund, Sweden/Polhemskolah) picked up a first-place finish with a NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 1:58.90. Freshman Cheryl Corvo (Shalimar, Fla./Choctawatchee) picked up eighth-place points with a season-fastest time of 2:08.89.
Picking up a bronze in the 100 free, freshman Christina Tanninen (Burlington, Ontario/Nelson) posted a her best time of the year at 51.65. The tandem of sophomore Dani Beaubrun (Vieux Fort, St. Lucia/The Bolles School) and junior Myriam Plante (Sainte-Foy, Quebec/Université Laval) picked up silver and bronze medals, respectively, in the 200 breaststroke. Beaubrun went 2:16.79, while Plante clocked in at 2:18.53.
Porter picked up gold in the 200 fly with a time of 2:02.84, shaving almost five seconds off her season-best. Just behind Porter, junior Alessandra Cianci (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) took silver, touching the wall at 2:02.90. Classmate Danielle Butler (Orangeburg, N.Y./St. Bonaventure) picked up sixth-place points with a time of 2:06.29.
In an upset in the 3-meter diving, McNamara placed second for the first time since she was a freshman with 253.30 points. Classmate Gaby Shaw (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista) finished fourth with 241.80 points, while freshman Alex Valder (Tampa, Fla./Sickles) finished in seventh with 231.05 points.
FGCU closed out the meet with a silver finish in the 400 free. The quartet of junior Vicky Cadge (Long Melford, Suffolk, U.K./Kelly College) Porter, Tanninen and Daniel clocked in at 3:23.98 for a NCAA ‘B’ cut.
Despite posting seven NCAA provisional cut times, FGCU cannot compete in NCAA competition due to the NCAA reclassifying period. FGCU will be fully eligible in the 2011-2012 season.