FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU Swimming and Diving team used 15 first-place finishes to defeat Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) Conference member North Florida, 195-100 to cap off senior day at the FGCU Aquatics Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Green and Blue improve to 9-2 on the year and the Osprey drop to 7-3. With the win, FGCU improves to 24-1 in conference action since 2007 and finish the season with a perfect 4-0 record in conference play. This marks the fourth time in program history that the Eagles have gone undefeated in CCSA action during the regular season.
“I’m so happy the seniors went out with a win today over a very good UNF team,” said three-time CCSA Coach of the Year Neal Studd. “Senior day for us is a very special occasion where we honor our seniors more than any other team I’ve ever seen. We have ten wonderful seniors that I will miss dearly.”
The Eagles started the dual meet on a torrid pace, finishing in both first and second place in the 200-yard medley relay. The team of freshmen Jennifer Morgan (Edmonton, Alberta/Harry Ainlay), Meghan McGuirk (Plaistown, N.H./Peddie School), Julie Leth-Espensen (Vanloese, Copenhagen, Denmark/Falkonergaardens Gymnasium) and Sara Hamilton (Stonehaven, Scotland/Mackie Academy) finished with a time of 1:48.42. The second team of seniors Jamie Akenberger (Bowling Green, Ohio/Bowling Green HS/BGSU), Danielle Beaubrun (Vieux Fort, St. Lucia/The Bolles School), Shannon Blizzard (Jacksonville, Fla./Stanton College Prep), and Megan Wolfe (Sebring, Fla./Sebring HS/Daytona State College) finished in second with a time of 1:49.64.
In the 200-yard freestyle, senior Eva Lehtonen (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams HS/Florida) and junior Jessie Porter (Chorleywood, Hertforshire, United Kingdom/Royal Masonic) finished first and second, respectively, with times of 1:53.74 and 1:55.44. Porter also picked up her own victory in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:08.09
Morgan and sophomore Karen Vilorio (Tegucigalpa, Honduras/Elvel School) followed Lehtonen and Porter with first and second place finishes, respectively, in the 100-backstroke with times of 59.63 and 1:00.00. Morgan picked up her second individual first-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:05.67.
The Green and Blue continued the torrid pace with first and second-place finishes in the 100-yard breaststroke. Beaubrun placed first with a time of 1:06.37 followed by McGuirk with a time of 1:06.74.
Sophomore Emma Svensson (Upsala, Sweden/Celsiusskolan) and Blizzard took first and second, respectively, in the 50-yard freestyle with times of 23.44 and 25.00. Svensson came right back in the next event to win the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 51.11. Lehtonen also swam in the event and placed second with a time of 52.54. Svensson won her third event in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 56.68.
Leth-Espensen picked up her first individual victory in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:21.98 while junior Lindsey Meeder (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista) took first in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:06.77. Leth-Espensen apicked up her second victory in the 400-yard IM with a time of 4:32.08
In the final event of the day, the 200-yard freestyle relay, the team of seniors Lehtonen, Blizzard, Wolfe and Beaubrun finished in first with a time of 1:37.27. The other team of Morgan, McGuirk, Hamilton and Leth-Espensen finished second with a time of 1:39.00.
In diving, senior Maegan Butler (Orangeburg, N.Y./Tappan Zee/FAU) collected first-place finishes on the one-meter and three-meter board with scores of 253.20 and 299.17, respectively.
The swimming and diving team will now have two weeks off and return to action Feb. 21 when they travel to compete in the three-day CCSA Championships in Athens, Ga.