ATHENS, Ga. – The FGCU swimming and diving team continued to rewrite both the program and conference record books as they extended their lead during the third day of competition at the CCSA Championships held at the University of Georgia’s Gabrielsen Natatorium.
After totaling 1,188 points through three days, the Eagles hold a 244-point advantage over second-place Liberty and will enter Saturday’s competition with hopes of winning their seventh championship crown in a span of eight years. The top five remained the same with Georgia Southern (579), Gardner-Webb (519) and Incarnate Word (469).
“It was just another great night of swimming and diving by our girls,” said FGCU head coach Neal Studd. “They were lights out tonight, and I’m very proud of them.”
A pair of FGCU freshman in Fanny Teijonsalo (Espoo, Finland/Makelanrinteen Lukio)and Elise Haan (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast HS) continued to turn in record-breaking performances as each set a school record during the third day of competition. Teijonsalo, who set the all-time conference record in the 200-yard IM on Friday, backed up her performance by not only winning the 100-yard butterfly, but also setting the program record in the process after touching the pads in 52.47 seconds. Haan one-upped her teammate as she set the CCSA all-time record in the preliminaries of the 200-yard freestyle and proceeded to break her own record in the nightcap as she won the final event in a time of 1:46.20. Yee Ching Wong (Hong Kong, China/Diocesan Girls’ School) finished third in the 100 fly after clocking a time of 54.48 seconds, while Linda Shaw (Leeds, United Kingdom/Roundhay HS) earned bronze in the 200 free with a time of 1:48.66.
Later, Haan won her second event of the day as she touched the pads in 52.08 seconds in the 100-yard backstroke. The Green and Blue placed three among the top four in the event as Katie Latham (Deal, Kent, United Kingdom/Sir Roger Manwood’s School) and Sandra Wilk (Lexington, Ky./Paul Laurence Dunbar HS)finished second and fourth in times of 53.94 and 54.43, respectively. Each time surpassed the NCAA ‘B’ cut standard in the event.
Additionally, junior Evita Leter (Paramaribo, Suriname/Doral Academy) got in on the action as she claimed her first conference gold medal by winning the 100-yard breaststroke in a season-best time of 1:01.10, which was also good for a NCAA ‘B’ cut. Conference favorite in the event Katie Armitage (Bushey, United Kingdom/Queens School Bushey) was disqualified in the preliminary races of Friday’s action.
In today’s diving portion, Mikaila Buening (Franklin, Ind./Franklin Community HS)earned her second silver medal of the conference championships as she registered a program-record score of 296.70 off the one-meter boards. Her mark eclipsed Maegan Butler’s total that had stood since 2013.
To cap off the third day of competition, the FGCU 400-yard medley relay of Haan, Armitage, Teijonsalo and Latham not only became the third Eagle relay to win their event in as many days, but were also the second FGCU quartet to qualify for the NCAA’s after clocking a program and CCSA all-time record of 3:33.92, surpassing their winning time at last year’s conference meet.
In the opening meet of the day, Christina Kaas Elmgreen (Charlottenlund, Denmark/Ordrup Gymnasium) and Barbara Caraballo (Ponce, Puerto Rico/Indian River/Newsome HS) placed second and third in the 400 IM in respective season-best times of 4:16.73 and 4:20.73. Through three days of competition, it’s the only swimming event FGCU hasn’t won.
1. Evita Leter – 1:01.10 (NCAA ‘B’ cut)
2. Mikaila Buening – 296.70 (FGCU record)
400 Medley Relay
1. Haan, Armitage, Teijonsalo, Latham – 3:33.92 (CCSA all-time record, NCAA ‘B’ cut)
WOMEN’S TEAM STANDINGS
1. FGCU – 1188
2. Liberty – 944
3. Georgia Southern – 685
4. Gardner-Webb – 579
5. Incarnate Word – 519
6. Campbell – 469
7. UNC Asheville – 323
8. UNF – 310
9. North Carolina A&T – 145
10. VMI – 132
11. Howard – 127
The fourth and final day of competition at the CCSA Championships will take place on Saturday, beginning with preliminary races at 10 a.m. and followed by final events at 6 p.m. A list of tomorrow’s events and FGCU’s season-best times includes:
Platform Diving (Ashley Wright – 143.10)
1650 Free (Lani Cabrera – 16:35.50)
200 Back (Elise Haan – 1:56.43)
100 Free (Elise Haan – 49.82)
200 Breast (Katie Armitage – 2:14.90)
200 Fly (Christina Kaas Elmgreen – 1:59.60)
400 Free Relay (Hamilton, Caraballo, Latham, Haan – 3:20.10)