FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU swimming and diving team travels to Athens, Ga., this week for the 2012 Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) Championship, where it will defend its three-straight conference titles. The championship, which will be held at the University of Georgia’s Gabrielsen Natatorium, begins on Thursday (Feb. 16) and concludes on Saturday (Feb. 18).
The Eagles finished the regular season with an 11-2 dual meet record (4-0 CCSA) and are ranked eighth in the latest CollegeSwimming.com/CSCAA Mid-Major Division I poll. Davidson is the only other CCSA school receiving votes in the poll.
FGCU completed their fourth consecutive undefeated CCSA season, finishing with a 4-0 record this year after recording a perfect 5-0 CCSA record last season. The Green and Blue ran away with the three-peat last year, scoring 879.5 points with Davidson coming in second at 585 points.
“We have changed some things this year and the girls are excited about it,” said reigning CCSA Coach of the Year Neal Studd. “We are always trying to finish well in the relays and we are looking to send some people to NCAAs in the process. I am fortunate enough to have a team that every member could score points.”
FGCU owns 15 top times in the CCSA and the Eagles lead in all five relay events heading into the championship. Senior Leah Daniel (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Grant Park) boasts the top times in the 500 free (4:55.72) and 1000 free (10:16.29), while classmate Victoria Cadge (Long Melford, Suffolk, United Kingdom/Kelly College) tops the 50 Fly (26.31), 200 IM (2:03.67) and 400 IM (4:25.01) lists. At the 2011 championship, Daniel took first in the 1650 free, the 500 free and the 200 free, while Cadge earned two first-place finishes in the 200 IM and 400 IM.
Senior Danielle Butler (Orangeburg, N.Y./Tappan Zee HS/St. Bonaventure) is first in the 200 fly (2:02.50), while classmate Alessandra Cianci (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) is third at 2:05.52.
Butler, Cadge, Cianci, Daniel and Teri Lytle (Melbourne, Fla./Melbourne Central Catholic) will swim their final strokes at a CCSA championship, as these seniors have never lost a conference meet in their four years at FGCU.
The Green and Blue are eligible for postseason for the first time this season and will be looking for NCAA cut times during the CCSA championship this weekend.
“We have five incredible seniors that are not only great athletes but great people,” said Studd. “We really hope to send them out on a high note and if they win this weekend they would have never lost a conference meet in the championship or in season, so we nicknamed them the ‘Perfect Seniors’.”
Fans can watch the championship on a live video stream on the Big South Network. All three days of the championship will be video-streamed LIVE and can be purchased for $7.95, while a single day can be viewed for $4.95. You can purchase the video streaming packages at BigSouthSports.com and choose “upcoming live events” from the multimedia menu.
In addition to the video stream, the CCSA will provide free live results through the HyTek manager system. The link for the live results will be available on TheCCSA.com. There will also be live Twitter updates on http://twitter.com/TheCCSA, updating you on all the action of the CCSA Championships.
For more information about the FGCU women’s swimming and diving team visit www.FGCUAthletics.com and follow @FGCUSwimandDive on Twitter for more updates.