Courtesy: FGCU Athletics
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU swimming and diving team added two sophomore transfers to the upcoming 2023-24 roster: Libby Russum (Kingsport, Tenn./Dobyns Bennett HS/Tennessee) and Ella Smith (Melbourne, Australia/Firbank HS/Indian River State College).
Russum spent her freshman season with the Volunteers by competing in 10 events. Russum specializes in both freestyle and butterfly events. She posted a top time of 22.95 seconds in the 50 free, 50.51 in the 100 free, and 53.77 in the 100 fly.
Russum notched 14 points for the Volunteers at the CSCAA National Invitational Championship, placing seventh in the 50-yard butterfly finals (24.59).
As a senior in high school, Russum was a state runner-up in the 100 fly and also placed fourth in the 100 free. As a junior, she finished fourth at the state championships in the 50 free and fifth in the 100 free.
“Libby comes to our program as an instant impact swimmer,” said FGCU head swimming and diving coach Dave Rollins. “She had a great first year at Tennessee, and we are excited to welcome her to campus this fall. She can be an immediate contributor on multiple relays, while also being a multiple event championship finalist in our conference. We are excited to welcome Libby to the Eagles Family.”
Smith helped propel Indian River State College to 2023 NJCAA National Championship status as a freshman, the 45th overall team title in program history.
Smith specializes in breaststroke and IM events. She won gold in the 50-yard breast at the NJCAA National Championship. Her gold-medal time of 29.23 marked a personal best. Smith also produced a podium finish in the 200 and 400 IM, taking silver and bronze respectively.
At the Sun Coast Conference Championships, she produced another bronze medal performance, this time in the 100-yard breast.
Smith ranked as the fourth-best swimmer across the expanse of the NJCAA during the 2022-23 campaign.
“We are excited to welcome Ella to our program,” Rollins said. “Her strength is in her potential. She will add valuable depth to our breaststroke and IM groups, while continuing to develop into a top-10 program performer. She has the ability to make an instant impact with our program, and we are excited to see her continue to develop into an elite-level performer.”