|FGCU senior swimmer Evita Leter has added to her already impressive list of accolades accomplished during the calendar year as she has been named Suriname’s Swimming Sportswoman of the Year, the Association of Sports Journalists in Suriname (VSJS) announced earlier this week.
The announcement comes just over four months after Leter (Paramaribo, Suriname/Doral Academy) represented her native country in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Furthermore, Leter was not only tabbed the top female swimmer in her home country, but was also one of three finalists for the Surinamese Female Athlete of the Year award – along with volleyball player and eventual award winner Sandrina Hunsel and track athlete Sunayna Wahi.
“It’s a great honor to be named Suriname’s Female Swimmer of the Year, and just to be considered for Female Athlete of the Year is definitely an added bonus,” Leter said. “I’d like to give a shoutout to my family, coaches and this amazing team for the continuous support, because none of this would be possible without them. This is the perfect ending to an amazing year, and I will definitely make sure to celebrate with my family when I get home for Christmas.”
This past summer, Leter qualified for the Olympics as a Universality Place – meaning she was individually selected by the Surname Olympic Committee to represent her country – and competed in the 100 breast. She joined former teammate and Barbados native Lani Cabrera in Rio and became the fifth member of the FGCU swimming and diving program and sixth FGCU student-athlete to ever qualify for the Olympic Games.
During the Olympic qualification period from March 1, 2015 to July 3, 2016, Leter turned in the top times among Surinamese female swimmers in both the 50 breast (32.44) and 100 breast (1:12.99) after most recently taking gold in the shorter sprint and silver in the longer sprint at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships. Additionally, she clocked her country’s second-best times in the 50 free (27.91) at the All-Florida Senior Circuit and the 100 free (1:01.07) at the Southern Zone Sectional Championship.
“We are very excited and happy for Evita,” said FGCU head coach Dave Rollins. “She is an extremely hard worker and great teammate, but even more importantly, she is an incredible young woman. For her to not only be named the Female Swimmer of the Year, but also come so close to being named the National Female Athlete of the Year shows how much respect her countrymen have for her. We are very proud of Evita and everything she has accomplished both in and out of the pool.”
In the midst of another successful season with the Green and Blue, Leter has provided a great deal of senior leadership and helped lead FGCU to an 8-3 overall record and 2-0 mark against CCSA opponents heading into the holiday break. Last year, the Suriname native was an instrumental member of FGCU’s seventh CCSA Championship team in a span of eight years as she was crowned the conference champion in the 100 breast after turning in a personal record and NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 1:01.10, which ranks fourth in program history.
HEAD COACH DAVE ROLLINS
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News courtesy of FGCU Athletics.