The following is a press release courtesy of Florida Gulf Coast University:
FORT MYERS, Fla. – After wrapping up final exams last week, the #34 FGCU swimming & diving team returns to competition for the first time in a month as it plays host to CCSA-opponent UNC Asheville Sunday at 10 a.m. at the FGCU Aquatics Center.
The Eagles not only face a conference opponent for the second time this season, but also put an impressive winning streak on the line as FGCU has posted a 33-1 all-time record against CCSA opponents, with its lone loss coming by a one-point margin (150.5-149.5) at Georgia Southern on Jan. 19, 2008 – the program’s inaugural season.
“It’s been a busy month even though we haven’t been competing,” said FGCU head coach Dave Rollins. “With finals week finally over and with us getting into our first part of winter training that will lead us into next semester, there’s been some good training going on. I think the girls are ready to get back out there and compete again this weekend.”
LAST TIME OUT
FGCU is back in action Sunday one day shy of a month removed from its sixth-place finish at the Georgia Tech Invite, where the Green and Blue tallied 514 points and finished behind SEC-opponents Auburn (1142), Florida (992.5), Alabama (909.5), South Carolina (710) and Arkansas (630). During the three-day event, the Eagles not only set a pair of program records, but also turned in 16 NCAA ‘B’ cuts.
Highlighting the three-day event, the Eagles’ 200 free relay team of Katie Latham (Deal, Kent, UK/Sir Roger Manwood’s School), Gracie Redding (Orlando, Fla./FSU/The First Academy), Hannah Burdge (Stuart, Fla./Martin County HS) and Fanny Teijonsalo (Espoo, Finland/Makelanrinteen Lukio) broke the nearly two-year-old school record and placed second in the event by touching the pads in 1:29.73, which also registers as a NCAA provisional time. Two days later, Christina Kaas Elmgreen (Charlottenlund, Denmark/Ordrup Gymnasium) capped off the weekend by breaking her own school record in the 200 fly as she clocked a time of 1:57.17 and finished runner-up in the event.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
Despite being conference opponents for the last four seasons, Sunday marks the first dual meet between the Eagles and Bulldogs. However, there are common ties between the two programs as UNC Asheville head coach Elizabeth Lyons was an assistant on former FGCU head coach Neal Studd’s staff for five seasons.
UNC Asheville enters the FGCU Aquatics Center this weekend with a 3-7 overall record and 1-4 mark against conference opponents. The Bulldogs dropped its first five meets of the season but have won three of its last five matchups with wins coming against CCSA-foe UNF (146-116), FAU (160-101.5) and Brenau (135-61). FGCU and UNC Asheville have one common opponent to this point in the season as the Eagles competed against UNF earlier this year and claimed a 159-95 win against the Ospreys.
AMONG THE NATION’S (AND WORLD’S) BEST
As the fall season comes to an end, FGCU has once again placed itself among some of the nation’s best with a trio of individual and relay times that rank among the top-30 in the NCAA this season. Individually, Kaas Elmgreen’s school-record time of 1:57.17 in the 200 fly currently ranks as the 30th fastest in the country. Additionally, the Eagles program-record time of 1:29.73 in the 200 free relay registers as the 16th best while the 400 free relay time of 3:18.83 ranks 23rd.
Teijonsalo is also coming off an impressive showing at the 2016 FINA World Championships (25m) last week, where she represented Finland and placed 15th in the world in the 100 IM with a time of 1:00.02. Her time was less than a second outside of finishing in the top-eight and qualifying for the finals. The sophomore standout placed 29th in the 50 fly, 34th in the 100 fly and 39th in the 100 back while also competing on a trio of Finnish relay teams that finished in the top-12 in the world.
CONFERENCE HONOR QUEENS
In six weeks of competition this season, the Green and Blue have taken home five CCSA Swimmer of the Week honors while sweeping the weekly awards on four of those occasions with senior diver Ashley Wright (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Indian River State/Lincoln Park Academy) earning the CCSA Diver of the Week award after each time competing.
Kaas Elmgreen has taken home the CCSA Swimmer of the Week honor on two occasions after most recently receiving the distinction following her record breaking performance at the Georgia Tech Invite. Additionally, Latham, Elizabeth Zeiger (Cumberland, R.I./Homeschool) and senior captain Sandra Wilk (Lexington, Ky./Paul Laurence Dunbar HS) have also earned the honor this season.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
|Events||FGCU Season-Best Times|
|200 medley relay||Latham, Leter, Teijonsalo, Redding – 1:39.41|
|1000 free||Elizabeth Zeiger – 10:09.92|
|200 free||Linda Shaw – 1:49.66|
|50 free||Katie Latham – 22.57 (NCAA ‘B’)|
|200 IM||Barbara Caraballo – 2:00.07 (NCAA ‘B’)|
|100 fly||Christina Kaas Elmgreen – 53.83 (NCAA ‘B’)|
|100 free||Katie Latham – 49.10 (NCAA ‘B’)|
|100 back||Katie Latham – 54.45 (NCAA ‘B’)|
|500 free||Linda Shaw – 4:50.45|
|100 breast||Evita Leter – 1:03.82|
|200 free relay||Latham, Redding, Burdge, Teijonsalo – 1:29.73 (NCAA provisional)|
For up-to-date coverage of FGCU women’s swimming and diving, follow us on Twitter @FGCU_WSWIM and visit www.FGCUAthletics.com where full recaps and results will be available.
HEAD COACH DAVE ROLLINS
First-year head coach Dave Rollins became the program’s second head coach in program history on Sept. 1. Most recently the associate head men’s swimming coach at The Ohio State University, Rollins brings 10 years of coaching experience at the club, high school and collegiate levels. A standout collegiate athlete in his own right, Rollins was a nine-time NCAA All-American and national champion as a member of the University of Arizona swimming & diving team from 2002-06.
SUPPORT THE CAUSE
FGCU Athletics sponsors events throughout the year to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.