FGCU 2015
Photo/FGCU

Florida Gulf Coast Swimming and Diving Achieves Highest Ranking in Program History

by George Nunnelley

CollegeSwimming.com Rankings

SOMERS, Wis. – Following its third-place finish at the highly-competitive Georgia Tech Invite, the FGCU swimming and diving program achieved its highest ranking in program history as CollegeSwimming.com tabbed the Eagles No. 19 in its latest national poll released Tuesday afternoon.

“We’re excited the team keeps moving forward and is now a legitimate top-20 team,” said FGCU head coach Neal Studd. “We had some awesome swims last weekend, which has propelled us past some big-time programs. The whole team swam well from top to bottom and I’m excited for the girls.”

The Green and Blue are ranked inside the top-25 for the sixth week this season and rank ahead of UNC, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Auburn, Notre Dame and Georgia, who round out the national poll. A season ago, the Georgia women’s program finished second in the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships, while UNC, Michigan, Notre Dame and Auburn all finished inside the top-22. To put into perspective how tight the rankings are, FGCU is less than three points from cracking the top-15.

Additionally, the Eagles are ranked the No. 2 Mid-Major program in the country, trailing No. 15 Yale, who finished third at the Nike Cup in Chapel Hill, N.C., last weekend. No. 27 Boise State, No. 30 San Diego State and No. 36 Wyoming round out the Mid-Major top-five.

Through seven weeks of competition this season, the Green and Blue have built an impressive resume with four dual-meet wins over nationally-ranked opponents in No. 24 Notre Dame (158-104), No. 27 Boise State (159-140), No. 35 Utah (165-135) and then-No. 31 FSU (220.5-132.5). Additionally, FGCU has finished inside the top-four at three invitational meets. They placed fourth at the season-opening All Florida Invite behind No. 5 Florida, FSU and Towson. Two weeks later, the Eagles finished runner-up at the FGCU Classic behind No. 11 Ohio State and ahead of No. 34 South Carolina. Most recently, FGCU finished third at the Georgia Tech Invite behind No. 10 Arkansas and No. 13 Alabama.

During the three-day meet in Atlanta, the Green and Blue set five school records as Lani Cabrera (Bridgetown, Barbados/St. Ursala’s Secondary School) etched her name in the record books for the 500-yard, 1000-yard and 1650-yard freestyles. Additionally, Barbara Caraballo (Ponce, Puerto Rico/Indian River/Newsome HS) set the FGCU record in the 200-yard IM, while the 800-yard freestyle quartet of Cabrera, Linda Shaw (Leeds, United Kingdom/Roundhay HS), Melissa Marinheiro (Davie, Fla./West Broward HS) and Elise Haan (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast HS) also topped the program-best mark.

WOMEN’S TEAM RANKINGS
1. Stanford – 867.31
2. Texas A&M – 865.17
3. Tennessee – 845.03
4. Louisville – 838.55
5. Florida – 835.03
6. Missouri – 829.59
7. Kentucky – 815.10
8. N.C. State – 809.93
9. Purdue – 809.62
10. Arkansas – 805.97
11. Ohio State – 802.83
12. Duke – 801.69
13. Alabama – 800.52
14. LSU – 796.59
15. Yale – 788.86
16. Virginia – 788.48
17. Texas – 787.66
18. UCLA – 786.35
19. FGCU – 786.35
20. UNC – 786.14
21. Michigan – 783.52
22. Virginia Tech – 781.07
23. Auburn – 780.59
24. Notre Dame – 775.59
25. Georgia – 775.52

UP NEXT
Following the Georgia Tech Invite, the Green and Blue will enjoy time off from competition and participate in winter training before resuming with the spring season as they host Rice onSunday, Jan. 3 at the FGCU Aquatics Center.

 

***

Florida Swim Network