ATLANTA – After three days of fierce competition at the Georgia Tech Invite, the FGCU swimming and diving team returns from Atlanta with a second-place title after proved its ability to compete with and outrace high-major programs from around the southeast.
After the conclusion of Sunday’s events, the University of Tennessee took home the top prize finishing with 1136.5 points, followed by FGCU in second with 1040.5. Georgia Tech claimed third (938.5), Vanderbilt in fourth (716.5), James Madison in fifth (652), Miami in sixth (398.5) and FAU in seventh (310).
“The girls finish in day three was awesome,” head coach Neal Studd said. “It’s what we train to do, to be able to be strong throughout the championship meet format. I am very proud of how we raced on almost no rest. I’m very excited about what this means for conference meets and conference championships.”
The final day started with the 1650-yard freestyle where three Eagles placed among the top-10 in the lengthy race. Lani Cabrera (Barbados/St. Ursala's Secondary School) led the flock finishing in fourth (16:41.87). Caroline Hamilton (Davidsonville, Md./Archbishop Spalding HS) claimed ninth (17:15.37), while Jessie Porter (Chorleywood, Hertforshire, United Kingdom/Royal Masonic) took home 10th (17:21.46).
Next was the 200-yard backstroke where Kira Toussaint (Amstelveen, Netherlands/Keizer Karel College) picked up another first-place finish while posting her third program record of the weekend (1:56.50). Following Toussaint where Karen Vilorio (Tegucigalpa, Honduras/Elvel School) in sixth (2:01.96) and Sandra Wilk (Lexington, Ky./Paul Lawrence Dunbar HS) in eighth (2:03.35).
The Eagles dominated the 100-yard freestyle picking up 78 points from the efforts of four swimmers. Sara Hamilton (Stonehaven, Scotland/Mackie Academy) was the second to touch (50.24), directly followed by Emma Svensson (Uppsala, Sweden/Celsiusskolan) in third (50.34). Cabrera and Christina Tanninen (Burlington, Ontario/Nelson) joined their teammates as they finished in close proximity, claiming eighth (51.90) and ninth (51.98), respectively.
The day continued with the 200-yard breaststroke where Evita Leter (Paramaribo, Suriname/St Brendan HS) swam a 2:19.85 to finish sixth.
In the 200-yard butterfly Nina Schiffer (Dortmund, Germany/SG Dortmund) swam to a fourth-place finish while posting a 2:01.40.
The meet concluded with the 400-yard freestyle relay where FGCU racked up a second-place finish. The team of Sarah Hamilton, Tanninen, Toussaint, and Svensson posted a 3:22.34.
Once they return to Fort Myers, the FGCU women’s swimming and diving team will take a break from competition before returning to conference action on January 4 as they host Liberty at 11:00 a.m.