FGCU Returns Home With Showdown Against Miami

With two weeks and three meets remaining in the regular season, the #34 FGCU swimming and diving team hosts long-time rival Miami in an in-state showdown at the FGCU Aquatics Center Saturday at noon.

The two teams have met in a dual meet on 10 occasions over the last nine seasons with FGCU emerging victorious each of the last five meets and six of the last seven. Most recently, the Eagles downed the Hurricanes, 166-111, after finishing first in 10 of 15 events at last season’s tri meet against Miami and FAU. Miami owned the rivalry early on – winning each of the first three matchups – but the Green and Blue have turned the tables since the start of the 2009-10 season.

ALL-TIME RESULTS VS. MIAMI

2015-16 W, 166-111
2014-15 W, 195-104
2013-14 W, 175-123
2012-13 W, 130-113
2011-12 W, 151-148
2010-11 L, 126-174
2009-10 W, 195-99
2008-09 L, 103-140
2007-08 L, 84-156
L, 70-169

WHAT’S AT STAKE
With a win on Saturday, FGCU would notch its 10th win for the fifth time in program history and the second straight season. It would also mark just the third time in program history the Eagles have recorded double-digit wins in back-to-back seasons. The Green and Blue won 10 or more duals in three straight seasons from the 2009-10 campaign through the 2011-12 season.

LAST TIME OUT
Despite a two-and-a-half-hour weather delay and abbreviated warmup session prior to the meet, FGCU was able to overcome less-than-ideal conditions and defeat CCSA-rival Liberty, 137-125, earlier this month at the rain-soaked FGCU Aquatics Center.

The conference rivals duked it out through the first 13 events with one tie and five lead changes, but the Green and Blue used a strong performance from its record-setting 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) to put the finishing touches on a hard-fought dual meet. The quartet finished in a time of 1:33.49 and out-touched the Flames by 0.60 seconds for the win.

Individually, Burdge was the lone Eagle to win pair of events as she finished first in both the 100 and 200 free with times of 51.78 seconds and 1:53.18, respectively. FGCU also turned in a huge performance in the 100 fly as five Eagles finished in the top-six and reclaimed the lead from Liberty. Highlighting the event, Christina Kaas Elmgreen (Charlottenlund, Denmark/Ordrup Gymnasium) and Madison Jean (Parrish, Fla./Lakewood Ranch HS)finished first and second, respectively.

AMONG THE NATION’S (AND WORLD’S) BEST
With the 2016-17 season nearing its 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 also turned in an impressive showing at the 2016 FINA World Championships (25m) in December, 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.

Additionally, after representing her country in the Rio Olympics last summer, Evita Leter (Paramaribo, Suriname/Doral Academy) was named the Suriname Swimming Sportswoman of the Year prior to the New Year. She 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.

CONFERENCE HONOR QUEENS
In eight weeks of competition this season, the Green and Blue have taken home six CCSA Swimmer of the Week honors while sweeping the weekly awards on five 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 in November. Additionally, Latham, Elizabeth Zeiger (Cumberland, R.I./Homeschool), senior captain Sandra Wilk (Lexington, Ky./Paul Laurence Dunbar HS) and Sommer Harris (Richmond, Va./St. Catherine’s School) 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
100 back Katie Latham – 54.45 (NCAA ‘B’)
100 breast Evita Leter – 1:03.82
200 fly Christina Kaas Elmgreen – 1:57.17 (NCAA ‘B’)
50 free Katie Latham – 22.57 (NCAA ‘B’)
3m dive Ashley Wright – 284.15 (NCAA)
100 free Katie Latham – 49.10 (NCAA ‘B’)
200 back Barbara Caraballo – 1:58.04 (NCAA ‘B’)
200 breast Vanessa Rivas – 2:18.26
500 free Linda Shaw – 4:50.45
100 fly Christina Kaas Elmgreen – 53.83 (NCAA ‘B’)
1m dive Ashley Wright – 282.95 (NCAA)
400 IM Elizabeth Zeiger – 4:18.28 (NCAA ‘B’)
400 free relay Latham, Burdge, Redding, Teijonsalo – 3:18.63

FOLLOW ALONG
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, 2016. 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.

News courtesy of FGCU Athletics.

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