The Florida Gulf Coast women were poised to end day three of the CCSA finals on top of the leader board until they suffered a devastating DQ in the 400 medley relay, similar to the DQ they suffered in the 800 free relay on Wednesday night that led to a concerning eighth place finish. Both of FGCU’s relays were disqualified for an early take-off, something the FGCU women were no-doubt hoping to work on heading into tonight’s final. Despite the sour finish in the 400 medley relay, Florida Gulf Coast had enough big-time swims to trail Liberty by just 18 points.
On the men’s side of things, Incarnate Word took the top spot over UMBC. The Retreivers trail the Cardinals by a margin of 22 points. The men and women combined took down a staggering eight conference records, and Saturday promises to be a fight until the very last event.
Florida Gulf Coast junior Karen Vilario kicked things off Friday with a huge victory in the 400 IM at 4:19.19. Vailario, who took fourth in the event last year, along with teammates Jessie Porter (4th 4:25.20), Nina Schiffer (6th 4:26.43) and Samantha Rahael (7th 4:29.58) jump-started FGCU’s day three campaign.
The men’s 400 IM would see Incarnate Word freshman David Moore absolutely demolish the field and just miss the CCSA record of 3:47.16, touching in 3:47.93. Davidson’s Grant Smith took second at 3:56.97, taking the runner-up position for the second straight year. Senior Aaron Norton of Incarnate Word rounded out third place in 3:56.97.
Liberty’s Jess Reinhardt just missed breaking her own CCSA record in the 100 fly that she set earlier in the day, finishing in 52.17 and successfully defending her title. Her teammate Bethany Wakely took second in 53.91 and G-W sophomore Giorgie Graves took third with a 54.32. Still, based on history, Reinhardt should be in to NCAA’s (which would also ensure that Liberty gets to send their relays for the first time in program history).
Daniel Torres of UIW dropped a masive 46.65 in the men’s 100 fly, which was good enough to set a new CCSA record. The UIW men picked up some much needed points by claiming the top four positions. Andrii Nikishenko was second in 48.37, Jorge Escarcega snagged third in 49.28 and freshman Kaulen Applin finished up the top four in 49.62.
FGCU freshman Kira Toussaint continued making a name for herself by laying down a new CCSA record in the women’s 200 free, coming in 1:47.02. Toussaint’s mark was well ahead of Davidson freshman Elise Lankiewicz (1:48.57) and Liberty freshman Heather McCorkel (1:49.07). Florida Gulf Coast gained some momentum by taking first, fourth, sixth and seventh in the event.
Continuing the session’s theme of record breaking performances, Incarnate Word senior Evandro Silva laid down a clutch 1:35.77 in the men’s 200 free, breaking the CCSA record in the process. Davidson junior Dylan Ludwick took the runner-up position in 1:36.51 and UMBC freshman Gregor Spoerlein stepped up for the Retrievers with a big-time swim of 1:38.08, good enough for third place.
In the women’s 100 breast, LU’s Emilie Kaufman -you guessed it- broke the CCSA record with a 1:00.01, flirting with the sub-minute barrier. That’s another strong-bet for an NCAA invite for Liberty. Georgia Southern senior Kristen Bates took second in 1:01.52 and FGCU’s Tryshia Centeno nabbed a third place finish in 1:02.12.
The UIW breaststroke tandem of Thiago Parravicini and Rostik Fedyna would go 1-2 in the men’s 100 breast. Parravicini took the top podium position with a new CCSA record of 53.00, just missing the NCAA “A” cut of 52.54. Fednya’s 54.18 would give him second place and just out-touched UMBC sophomore Leo Endres’s time of 54.84.
Freshman phenom Kira Toussaint picked up her second individual victory of the night in the women’s 100 back, touching in 52.15. Toussaint was over two seconds ahead of teammate Sandra Wilk, also a freshman, who touched second in 54.68. Liberty’s Kendall Hough was just .08 behind Wilk, with a time of 54.76.
Heading into the 400 medley relays, FGCU had a 22 point over Liberty. For the men, UMBC trailed UIW by a margin of 16 points.
Liberty University’s quartet of Kendall Hough, Emilie Kaufman, Jess Reinhardt and Meghan Babcock smoked the field and touched in a new conference record time of 3:36.73. The Georgia Southern Eagles had a strong showing with a second place finish at 3:45.29. Davidson took third in 3:45.31. As mentioned above, the FGCU women false-started and lost out on crucial points, catapulting LU back into the lead.
The men’s 400 medley would see Incarnate Word take down the CCSA record in a time of 3:12.27. The team of Andrii Nikishenko, Daniel Torres, Thiago Parravicini and Evandro Silva would take down UMBC (2nd 3:14.41) and Gardner-Webb (3:20.34) This was a monster win for UIW, as it solidified their lead over UMBC heading into the final session’s tomorrow.
If today has shown us anything, it’s that this years CCSA championships could be one of the best ever. The FGCU women will look to take home their sixth-straight title and the UIW men will do their best to hold off UMBC. It’s going to be a wild one, folks.
Finals Scores: Day Three (Men)
1. Incarnate Word: 618
2. UMBC: 596
3. Davidson: 445.5
4. Gardner-Webb University: 334
5. New Jersey Institute of Tech: 151.5
6. Virginia Military Institute: 124
7. Howard: 76
Final Scores: Day Three (Women)
1. Liberty: 471
2. FGCU: 453
3. GSU: 305
4. Davidson: 257
5. UIW: 216
6. G-W: 204
7. Campbell: 170
8. UNF: 123
10. Howard: 72
11. UNC-Asheville: 67
12. VMI: 48
13. NC A&T State: 32
The final day of CCSA’s start tomorrow at 10:00 am, finals at 6:00. Live results are available here.