Coral Gables, Fla. – Finishing first in 10 of 16 events, the FGCU swimming and diving team claimed its sixth-straight and seventh all-time win over the University of Miami with a 175-123 victory Saturday afternoon in Coral Gables.
“We had a good day with a big win away from home,” head coach Neal Studd said. “Miami was tough, but in the end our depth saw us through. Any time we beat a team from one of the big BCS conferences is a great day. Lani Cabrera and Kira Toussaint both had great days, and Evita Leter provided some pivotal wins.”
The 10 first-place finishes the Green and Blue registered were the product of six different Eagles. Leading the group for the second week in a row was freshman Evita Leter (Paramaribo, Suriname/Doral Academy), who touched first as a member of the 200-yard medley relay team and finished first individually in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events. Joining Leter with three winning races was Lani Cabrera (Barbados/St. Ursala's Secondary School) as a member of the 200-yard freestyle relay and leader in the 500- and 1000-yard freestyle.
Kira Toussaint (Amstelveen, Netherlands/Keizer Karel College) joined Leter to win the 200-yard medley relay and went on to win the 200-yard backstroke, while Emma Svensson (Uppsala, Sweden/Celsiusskolan) joined Cabrera on the winning 200-yard freestyle relay team after posting the 50-yard freestyle winning time. Other first-place finishes came from Sandra Wilk (Lexington, Ky./Paul Lawrence Dunbar HS) in 100-yard backstroke and Nina Schiffer (Dortmund, Germany/SG Dortmund) in 200 IM.
In the diving well, two members scored points for the Eagles as Taylor Malewicki (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny HS) finished fifth in the 1-meter (219.23) and fourth in the 3-meter (221.93) while Cayla Collins (Largo, Fla./Osceola) did the opposite, placing fourth on the 1-meter (222.00) and fifth on the 3-meter (218.10). Of Miami’s 123 points, 32 came off the diving board as the Hurricanes swept the top-three positions in both events.
Saturday’s win marks the sixth-straight time FGCU has topped the Hurricanes. In their past eight meetings, three being dual meets (head-to-head) and five others being invitationals with multiple programs represented, FGCU has totaled a combined 736 more points than Miami to claim seven wins over the Hurricanes the past three seasons. The two have faced off head-to-head in a dual meet seven times, with FGCU leading the series 4-3.
Following the first event of the day, FGCU was off to a strong lead after taking first and third place in the 200-yard medley relay. Leading the Eagles into first were Toussaint, Leter, Heather Coutts (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny HS) and Sara Hamilton (Stonehaven, Scotland/Mackie Academy) with a time of 1:46.19. Closely trailing was the relay team of Wilk, Tryshia Centeno (Agus Buenas, Puerto Rico), Devon Robins (London, United Kingdom/The Grey Coat Hospital) and Christina Tanninen (Burlington, Ontario/Nelson), posting a 1:48.37.
In the 1000-yard freestyle, Cabrera touched first with a time of 10:14.59. More than 15 seconds behind her were other FGCU finishers, Lindsey Meeder (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista), in third at 10:20.62, followed by Caroline Hamilton (Davidsonville, Md./Archbishop Spalding HS), in fourth at 10:33.45.
The Eagles swept the top-three spots in three of the meet’s 16 events. The first was the 100-yard backstroke as Wilk led with a 58.12, Karen Vilorio (Tegucigalpa, Honduras/Elvel School) in second with a 58.36 and Svensson in third at 58.36.
The dominant performance continued in the 200-yard backstroke where Toussaint clocked a 2:01.34 to win, followed by Wilk in second with a 2:06.19 and Vilorio in third at 2:09.03.
In the 200-yard individual medley, FGCU controlled the top spots as Schiffer finished first after a 2:10.07, Jessie Porter (Chorleywood, Hertforshire, United Kingdom/Royal Masonic) touched in second with a 2:10.83, Meeder in third at 2:12.64 and Caroline Hamilton in fourth at 2:13.72.
Leter’s control of the breaststroke races started in the 100-yard race where she earned her first individual title posting a 1:05.55. She was followed by Centeno in fourth at 1:07.04 and Meghan McGuirk (Plaistow, N.H./Peddie School) in fifth at 1:08.94. Leter’s top result was duplicated as she led the 200-yard race with a 2:24.48, followed by Samantha Rahael (Trinidad &Tobago/The Bolles School) in fourth at 2:26.99 and McGuirk in fifth at 2:28.21.
Other winning finishes for the Green and Blue came from the freestyles races where Svensson led the pool in the 50-yard event with a time of 24.54 and Cabrera led the 500-yard with a 5:00.15.
Up next the Eagles will travel to the capital city as they face FSU in a dual meet Friday, Oct. 18, at 2 p.m.