The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles infiltrated a traditional intra-mountain battle between Boise State and Utah on Friday night, and came away with a sweep. That moves FGCU to 4-0 on the season so far in dual meets, even after losing their two best swimmers from last season to either graduation (Emma Svensson) or transfer (Kira Toussaint).
Meanwhile, Boise State tipped the hosts Utah for the second-straight year. In the fall of 2013, the Utes dominated the Broncos by 76 points, but in the two seasons since, Boise State has won nailbiters.
- FGCU 165 – Utah 135
- FGCU 159 – Boise State 140
- Boise State 158 – Utah 141
The meet was swum at altitude, which is more familiar for Boise State and Utah than it is for the coastal-bound Eagles.
While the Eagles ultimately go the win, the meet started out on rocky footing after the DQ’ed a first-place-touching 200 medley relay.
That left the Boise State Broncos to win in 1:42.82, and Utah placing 3rd in 29.37. The Broncos were close enough that the early departure by the Eagles could’ve made the difference.
After that, Neal Studd’s squad got on a roll by winning 5 of the 6 individual events before the first diving break. That included a dominant performance by senior Lani Cabrera in the 1000 free in 10:16.92. That’s about a second shy of her season-best, but is right on target for where she was on this same weekend last year.
Utah freshman Jordan Anderson, younger sister of Olympians Haley and Alyssa, was 2nd in that race in 10:24.76.
Then the FGCU young guns took over the load:
- Freshman Elise Haan won the 100 back in 54.70 (that’s the biggest hole they were left with after the Toussaint and Svensson departures)
- Sophomore Katie Armitage won the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.85;
- Freshman Christina Elmgreen won the 200 fly in 2:04.53.
- Freshman Katie Latham won the 50 free in 23.87, beating out Boise State sprint star Brittany Aoyama (23.95).
Coming out of the break, it was again youth on display for the Eagles, as Latham won the 100 free in 52.00 and Haan won the 200 back in 2:02.39 as the team’s only two double winners.
After opening up a big lead early, FGCU’s run let up a little at the end of the meet, allowing Utah and Boise State to make the final scores more competitive. The Broncos had the only other double winner on the day, which was sophomore middle-distance freestyler Emma Chard.
Early on, she won the 200 free in 1:50.32, just ahead of teammate Felicity Cann (1:50.46).
The two again finished 1-2 in the 500 free, with Chard finishing in 5:00.40 and Cann in 5:01.23.
Utah grabbed only three wins on the day: two were in diving, where junior Amanda Casillas swept the springboard events; and the other came in the 200 breaststroke, where freshman Genevieve Robertson won handily in 2:16.63.
While FGCU won the individual sprint events, Boise has by far the deepest sprint group of the three teams, and they topped the closing 400 free relay in 3:26.15. FGCU took 2nd in 3:29.69, and Utah was 3rd in 3:32.62.