@FGCU_WSwim Ends Season Ranked No. 44 Nationally With Two Invited To NCAA Championship
Thursday, March 06, 2014 | by Sara Roberts
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FORT MYERS, Fla. – Ending the 2013-14 regular season sitting at No. 44 in the CollegeSwimming.com Top 50, the FGCU swimming & diving team will be represented at the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship for the third-straight year as a record-setting two Eagles were named to the list of qualified swimmers, announced by the NCAA on Wednesday. Selected to compete for the third year in a row is Emma Svensson, joined by team-newcomer Kira Toussaint.

Sitting at the top of the national ranks is Georgia (1025.33), while Texas A&M (1007.19), California (1004.96), Florida (997.93) and Stanford (995.41) round out the top five. The Eagles position of No. 44 comes as a result of the 952.96 points they accumulated and are the highest-ranking member of the Costal Collegiate Swimming Association, as Liberty sits at 48 (950.96).

Ending the year with a 5-3 dual-meet record, remaining undefeated in the CCSA, two of the Eagles’ losses were to ranked opponents in No. 16 Florida state and No. 20 UCLA. The Green and Blue finished their season placing second at the CCSA Championship meet with 718.5 points, a mere 14 behind first-place Liberty with 732.5. Finishing outside of first for the first time in five seasons, FGCU’s placement at second was a result of two disqualified relays costing them 68 points.

“It’s great to finish the year with such a strong national ranking,” head coach Neal Studd said. “It’s fun to see us listed at the top of our conference, which shows that two relay mistakes in the meet cost us a conference championship.”

For two of the team’s members the season isn’t done yet as Svensson (Upsala, Sweden/Celsiusskolan) and Toussaint (Amstelveen, Netherlands/Keizer Karel College) will look to continue their record-setting ways at the NCAA Championship meet, slated for Mar. 20-22 in Minneapolis, Minn.

“This is our first year with more than one qualifier and it’s another big step forward for our program,” Studd said. “I’m very eager to see if we can start scoring points at the meet.”

Appearing in the national competition during each year of her career, Svensson will return this season to race the 50-yard freestyle. Placing 31st after clocking a 22.37 in the 2013 championship, Svensson’s time was an FGCU-program record and remained the fastest in school history until last Saturday when she posted a 22.34 at the Bulldog Last Chance Invite. As a freshman in 2012, Svensson touched 38th in the event with a 22.66.

Shining immensely during her rookie season, Toussaint qualified for two backstroke events at the 100-and-200-yard lengths. Earning FGCU’s first-ever NCAA A cut, Toussaint recorded a CCSA and program record, 51.68, in the 100-backstroke at the CCSA meet, and a 1:54.52 in the 200-yard race, good for another FGCU and CCSA record.

“Going into the meet Kira is seeded ninth in the 100-backstroke,” Studd said. “Which is really awesome for a mid-major program.”

The two Eagles will travel to Minnesota later this month to face the nation’s best. For complete coverage of FGCU women’s swimming at NCAAs, follow us on Twitter @FGCU_WSWIM and visit www.FGCUAthletics.com.

Endless Pools/CollegeSwimming.com Top-50
1. Georgia – 1025.33
2.Texas A&M – 1007.19
3. California – 1004.96
4. Florida – 997.93
5. Stanford - 995.41
6. UVA – 993.04
7. Southern California – 990.15
8. Indiana – 987.78
9. Texas – 986.00
10. Minnesota – 984.52
11. Tennessee – 983.70
12. UNC – 983.19
13. Arizona – 982.89
14. Penn State – 981.70
15. Auburn – 978.89
16. FSU – 975.56
17. Notre Dame – 975.41
18. Louisville – 974.96
19. NC State – 973.11
20. UCLA – 972.30
21. SDSU – 971.33
22. Ohio State – 970.59
23. Arkansas – 970.22
24. LSU – 969.85
25. Wisconsin – 969.63
26. Michigan – 967.63
27. Alabama – 967.33
28. Missouri – 965.70
29. VT – 965.26
30. Utah – 964.67
31. SMU – 964.67
32. Harvard – 962.81
33. Boise State – 962.15
34. Princeton – 961.11
35. Purdue – 960.07
36. Duke – 958.52
37. Townson – 957.93
38. Yale – 957.48
39. Kentucky – 957.19
40. Arizona State – 955.70
41. Rice – 954.52
42. Denver – 954.37
43. Wyoming – 954.15
44. FGCU – 952.96
45. Nevada – 952.00
46. Iowa – 951.63
47. UC Santa Barbara  - 950.96
48. Liberty – 950.67
49. Rutgers – 949.93
50. Pittsburgh – 949.78