FORT MYERS, Fla. –The FGCU swimming & diving team used four first-place and four second-place finishes en route to defeating North Dakota and CCSA opponent Liberty on Saturday afternoon in the first quad meet of 2012 at the FGCU Aquatics Center.
“I am very proud of the way our girls competed today,” said reigning CCSA Coach of the Year Neal Studd. “We came up just short against Georgia Tech but the team continued to fight until the very end. We have a quick turnaround for our next home meet on Monday but the ladies will be ready.”
FGCU quickly built momentum with a first-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:45.37. The team of freshman Emma Svensson (Uppsala, Sweden/Celsiusskolan), senior Victoria Cadge (Long Melford, Suffolk, United Kingdom/Kelly College), junior Shannon Blizzard (Jacksonville, Fla./Stanton College Prep), and sophomore Christina Tanninen (Burlington, Ontario/Nelson) took home the win over Georgia Tech, Liberty and North Dakota.
In the 1000-yard freestyle, the Eagles took second and third in the event with junior Eva Lehtonen (Rochester, Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams/Florida) touching in at 10:27.19 followed by sophomore Jessie Porter (Chorleywood, Hertforshire, United Kingdom/Royal Masonic) in third at 10:27.79.
Senior Leah Daniel (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Osceola) placed third in the 200-yard free with a time of 1:53.80.
In the 50 free, Svensson took home the victory with a time of 23.17, while teammate Tanninen touched in sixth at 24.02.
Cadge earned a first-place finish in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:05.23 and Lehtonen came in third at 2:09.26.
In the 1-meter diving competition, freshman Cayla Collins (Largo, Fla./Osceola HS) came in fifth with 219.45 points. Junior Meagan Butler (Orangeburg, N.Y./Tappan Zee HS/FAU) made her debut for the Eagles and finished sixth with a score of 213.80.
Seniors Alessandra Cianci (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) and Danielle Butler (Orangeburg, N.Y./Tappan Zee HS/St. Bonaventure) finished second and third in the 100 fly. Cianci finished with a time of 57.33, while Butler touched in at 57.50.
In the 100-yard freestyle, Tanninen finished third with a time of 53.10 to earn points for FGCU.
Svensson earned her second individual victory of the day after placing first in the 100 back with a time of 56.79, while classmate Karen Vilorio (Tegucigalpa, Honduras/Elvel School) placed fifth at 1:00.21.
Daniel picked up her second third-place finish in the 500 free with a time of 5:04.90, while sophomore Lindsey Meeder (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista HS) came in fifth at 5:09.85.
In the final diving event of the day, Collins finished fourth in the 3-meter dive with a score of 233.55.
Cadge picked up a second-place in the 100 breast with a time of 1:06.15, followed by junior Regina Rodriguez (Mexico City, Mexico/The Bolles School) touching in third at 1:07.29.
FGCU would finish fourth in the final event of the day as Blizzard, freshman Cassie Niles (Helotes, Texas/Sandra Day O’Connor HS), senior Teri Lytle (Melbourne, Fla./Melbourne Catholic HS) and Daniel combined for a time of 1:38.56. in the 200-yard free relay.
The Eagles are back in action on Monday Jan. 9 against CCSA foe Radford at 3 p.m. at the FGCU Aquatics Center.
For more information about the FGCU women’s swimming and diving team visit www.FGCUAthletics.com and follow @FGCUSwimandDive on Twitter for more updates.