FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU women’s swimming junior Danielle Beaubrun (Vieux Fort, St. Lucia/The Bolles School) saved her best for last this past weekend at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China, racing to a 19th place finish in the 50-meter breast stroke while representing her native St. Lucia.
After posting a time of 33.09 in the qualifier to earn a spot in the second of five heats, Beaubrun improved by more than eight-tenths of a second in the 50-meter race with a time of 32.27 to win her heat of eight competitors. Beaubrun’s time was just three-tenths of a second away from finishing in the top 16 and a earning a spot in the semifinals. Her time was better than six swimmers that swam in later heats as she finished 19th out of 38 swimmers.
"What an exciting day! Dani just flew down the pool and blew away her heat,” head coach Neal Studd, who served as the St. Lucia national team coach. “Then it was a nail biter until the last heat, where she just missed out on a place in the semifinals. She dropped a huge amount of time for a 50-meter race. Both Dani and I have learned so much from being here I can’t wait to start using the experience to help out all the FGCU swimmers when I see them next month!”
Earlier in the week, Beaubrun set two national records for St. Lucia with a time of 33.07 in the 50-meter breaststroke on the way to a 100m breast time of 1.11.34, which helped the junior finish 32nd in the world. The previous records in those events were 33.09 and 1.11.93, respectively.
Representing Honduras, incoming freshman Karen Vilorio (Tegucigalpa, Honduras/Elvel School) capped her stay in Shanghai by finishing 37th in the 200-meter backstroke (2.24.43). Vilorio also finished 48th in the 100m backstroke with a time of 1.07.15.
The 2011 FINA World Championships represent the biggest international competition of the year, and the best indicator of success at the upcoming Olympic Games in London.