NAPLES, Fla. – Finishing first in 11 of 16 events, the FGCU swimming and diving team claimed its tenth all-time win over Florida International University with a 189.5-109.5 victory Saturday afternoon in Naples.
“Great win for our team today, and I’m really happy for seniors on senior day,” head coach Neal Studd said. “FIU is a very strong team. They had some good events, but in the end we had a lot of first-place finishes and a lot of depth. I’m really excited to see what this team can do next weekend at FAU and then in the CCSA meet. I’d like to extend a thank you to T2 Aquatics for running a great meet at the Community School.”
Before facing the Panthers, Studd and the rest of the team honored its five seniors and their exceptional careers. Over four years, McKenzie Cassidy (Lehigh Acres, Fla./Bishop Verot), Tryshia Centeno Rosa (Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico/Auburn University), Lindsey Meeder (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista), Jessie Porter (Chorleywood, Hertforshire, United Kingdom/Royal Masonic) and Christina Tanninen (Burlington, Ontario/Nelson) helped the Eagles compile a 35-9 overall record while remaining a perfect 14-0 in the CCSA and winning three CCSA Championships. Before starting their final season, they etched a total 22 marks in FGCU’s all-time record book after just three years.
Leading the Green and Blue with three individual first-place finishes were Kira Toussaint (Amstelveen, Netherlands/Keizer Karel College) and Emma Svensson (Uppsala, Sweden/Celsiusskolan) followed by Evita Leter (Paramaribo, Suriname/Doral Academy) with two.
The Eagles set the winning tone early as they opened the meet touching first in the 200-yard medley relay. Combining for a time of 1:44.50 were Sandra Wilk (Lexington, Ky./Paul Laurence Dunbar HS), Leter, Toussaint and Tanninen.
Taking first in the 200-yard freestyle was Toussaint, finishing with a 1:52.89, before continuing on to win the 200-yard backstroke with a 2:03.10. Rounding out her trio of wins was her first-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly (57.01).
Leter Continued to lead the team in breaststroke taking home the 100-yard title with a 1:03.94 and the 200-yard title with a 2:22.75.
Nina Schiffer (Dortmund, Germany/SG Dortmund) racked up another winning finish is the 200-yard butterfly touching in just 2:04.40. In the 400-yard IM Schiffer posted more points for the Eagles with a second–place finish and a time of 4:28.14.
The team’s short-course specialist, Svennson, stayed true to character as she took first the 50-yard freestyle (23.44) and the 100-yard freestyle (51.15) after taking first in the 100 backstroke (56.65).
The Eagles ended the meet with another first-place finish as Sara Hamilton (Stonehaven, Scotland/Mackie Academy), Leter, Lani Cabrera (Barbados/St. Ursala's Secondary School) and Svensson combined to finish the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:29.86.
Up next the Eagles will travel to Boca Raton to face FAU in a dual meet on Feb. 1 at Noon.