Florida Gulf Coast Extends Lead During Dominating, Day-Two Performance
By George Nunnelley
Cover photo Courtesy Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association
ATHENS, Ga. – Entering the day with a 10-point advantage over conference rival Liberty, the Florida Gulf Coast University swimming and diving team extended its lead against the Flames and the rest of the CCSA field to 142 points following the second day of the CCSA Championships held at the University of Georgia’s Gabrielsen Natatorium.
Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) has totaled 610 points and won six of seven events, including six of six swimming events and four of four events on Thursday, through two days of swimming. Liberty remains in second with 468 points while Georgia Southern (349), Gardner-Webb (277) and Incarnate Word (266) round out the top five.
“It was another great night for the ladies,” said FGCU head coach Neal Studd. “We’re undefeated in swimming events through two days of competition, and I’m extremely proud of my girls. They continue to represent our program to the fullest.”
FGCU got off to a fast start Thursday after distance swimmers Lani Cabrera (Bridgetown, Barbados/St. Ursula’s Secondary School) and Linda Shaw (Leeds, United Kingdom/Roundhay HS) finished first and second in the 500-yard freestyle with times of 4:47.53 and 4:48.17, respectively. Cabrera’s time, which set the CCSA Championship meet standard, was only 0.10 seconds shy of her school-record time set earlier this season at the Georgia Tech Invite and again surpassed the NCAA ‘B’ cut standard. Shaw’s time also bested the previous CCSA meet record as the FGCU duo finished nearly four seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
The Green and Blue bested their 500-yard freestyle performance in the 200-yard IM by not only sweeping the podium in the event, but also registering a trio of NCAA ‘B’ cut times. Fanny Teijonsalo (Espoo, Finland/Makelanrinteen Lukio) shattered the FGCU school record and both the CCSA all-time and meet records by nearly two seconds as she touched the pads in 1:58.29 en route to taking home the conference title in the event. Teammates Barbara Caraballo (Ponce, Puerto Rico/Indian River/Newsome HS) and Christina Kaas Elmgreen (Charlottenlund, Denmark/Ordrup Gymnasium) also registered a pair of personal records Thursday as they finished second and third in times of 1:59.64 and 2:01.02, respectively.
Katie Latham (Deal, Kent, United Kingdom/Sir Roger Manwood’s School) kept the momentum going by winning the Eagles’ third event of the day after clocking another NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 22.64 seconds and claiming first place in the 50-yard freestyle.
To cap off the evening, the FGCU quartet of Teijonsalo, Caraballo, Sara Hamilton (Stonehaven, Scotland/Mackie Academy) and Latham won the second relay event in as many days of competition as they touched the pads in 1:30.62 to finish ahead of Liberty. The Eagles’ time was only 0.01 seconds off of their season-best pace at the Georgia Tech Invite.
THURSDAY ALL-CONFERENCE PERFORMERS
1. Lani Cabrera – 4:47.53 (CCSA meet record; NCAA ‘B’ cut)
2. Linda Shaw – 4:48.17
1. Fanny Teijonsalo – 1:58.29 (CCSA all-time record; NCAA ‘B’ cut)
2. Barbara Caraballo – 1:59.64 (NCAA ‘B’ cut)
3. Christina Kaas Elmgreen – 2:01.02 (NCAA ‘B’ cut)
1. Katie Latham – 22.64 (NCAA ‘B’ cut)
200 Free Relay
1. Teijonsalo, Caraballo, Hamilton, Latham – 1:30.62
WOMEN’S TEAM STANDINGS
1. FGCU – 610
2. Liberty – 468
3. Georgia Southern – 249
4. Gardner-Webb – 277
5. Incarnate Word – 266
6. Campbell – 257
7. UNF – 188
8. UNC Asheville – 173
9. North Carolina A&T – 106
10. VMI – 100
11. Howard – 80
Day three of the CCSA Championships will take place on Friday, beginning with preliminary races at 10 a.m. and followed by final events at 6 p.m. A list of tomorrow’s events and Florida Gulf Coast University’s season-best times includes:
400 IM (Barbara Caraballo – 4:22.42)
100 Fly (Yee Ching Wong – 54.65)
200 Free (Elise Haan – 1:47.25)
100 Breast (Katie Armitage – 1:01.27)
100 Back (Elise Haan – 52.32)
1M Diving (Ashley Wright – 280.20)
400 Medley Relay (Haan, Armitage, Wong, Latham – 3:37.39)
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