FGCU Sweeps Events Against In-State Rival FAU


  • Results
  • Friday, January 27th
  • Hosted by FGCU
  • 25 yards
  • Dual meet format


  • FGCU- 177
  • FAU- 63

Florida Gulf Coast swept all 11 events on Friday to take down in-state rival Florida Atlantic. FGCU distance ace Melissa Marinheiro delivered one of those wins when she took on FAU’s Danielle Zacharias, as the 2 swimmers made the 1650 free one of the closest races of the meet. Marinheiro was a few seconds back through the first 1000 yards, but started to inch up towards the end of the race. She still trailed with 50 yards to go, but blasted a 28.87 final 50 split to finish in 17:46.39 to Zacharias’ 17:46.65.

Senior Evita Leter picked up a 2nd place finish in the 50 free in her last home dual meet. She was a part of a 1-2-3 finish in that event for the Eagles, clocking a 24.70 to finish behind Barbara Caraballo (24.13) and ahead of Sommer Harris (25.07). Fellow senior Marcella Marinheiro also secured a top 3 finish. She took 3rd in the 100 back, posting a 1:01.40 behind teammates Katie Latham (59.13) and Lindsay Manganiello (1:01.33).


FORT MYERS, Fla.  –  The #34 FGCU swimming and diving team (11-3, 3-0 CCSA) completed its home schedule and sent the senior class out in style as the Green and Blue defeated FAU (1-8, 0-1 C-USA), 177-63, Friday afternoon at the FGCU Aquatics Center.

FGCU, who led from start to finish in the dual meet, finished first in all 11 swimming events and occupied the top three spots in six of those races. Additionally, senior diver Ashley Wright (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Indian River State/Lincoln Park Academy) finished first in the one-meter dive and second in the three-meter dive, while fellow senior Mikaila Buening (Franklin, Ind./Franklin Community HS) placed third in both events.

The win marked the Eagles’ 11th of the regular season and the 33rd in the decorated career of the FGCU seniors. With one more win in the regular-season finale at FIU tomorrow, FGCU would match the program record for wins in a single season for the second straight year. The Eagles previously recorded 12 wins during the 2015-16 season (12-1) and 2009-10 campaign (12-3).

“Finishing our home schedule with a win was an excellent way to send off our seniors,” said FGCU head coach Dave Rollins. “With this incredible group of young women moving into the next phase of their lives, having these moments and memories will be something they can look back on forever.”

FGCU got off to a strong start as the Eagles claimed the top four spots in the 200 medley relay. The quartet of Doris Eichhorn (Berlin, Germany/HTW Berlin), Elizabeth White (Fort Myers, Fla./Riverdale HS), Yee Ching Wong (Hong Kong, China/Diocesan Girls’ School) and Evita Leter (Paramaribo, Suriname/Doral Academy) out-touched a trio of other Green and Blue relays by nearly two seconds with a time of 1:46.09.

Competing in the 1650 free for just the third time this season, Melissa Marinheiro (Davie, Fla./West Broward HS) turned in the second-best time of the season and won the marathon of an event by touching the pads in 17:46.39. Despite swimming 66 lengths of the pool, Marinheiro and FAU’s Danielle Zacharias were separated by only 0.26 seconds in the end.

Already out to an early lead, FGCU distanced itself from the Owls by sweeping the next three events. Gracie Redding (Orlando, Fla./FSU/The First Academy), Hannah Wittman (Jupiter, Fla./Pittsburgh/Central Bucks East HS) and Cassidy Fry (Oakwood, Ohio/Oakwood HS), who turned in a personal season best, finished first through third, respectively, in the 200 free. Next, seniors Barbara Caraballo (Ponce, Puerto Rico/Indian River State/Newsome HS) and Leter were joined by teammate Sommer Harris (Richmond, Va./St. Catherine’s School) in the top three of the 50 free, before Fanny Teijonsalo (Espoo, Finland/Makelanrinteen Lukio), Christina Kaas Elmgreen (Charlottenlund, Denmark/Ordrup Gymnasium) and Eichhorn touched first, second and third in the 200 IM. Teijonsalo won the event by more than two seconds, and FGCU’s top four swimmers finished more than two seconds ahead of the fastest FAU swimmer.

Coming out of the first break of the afternoon, Fry turned in her second win in the 100 fly of the season with a near-season-best time of 56.82. She just out-touched teammate Kiley Eble (Cleveland, Ohio/Gilmour Academy), who finished more than five seconds ahead of the next nearest competitor.

Moments later, Madeleine Clarke (Treasure Island,Fla./Northside HS) won her first event of the season as she out-touched teammate Linda Shaw (Leeds, UK/Roundhay HS) in the 100 free with a time of 53.06 seconds.

The Eagles then swept two of the next three events, including the 100 back and 100 breast. Katie Latham (Deal, Kent, UK/Sir Roger Manwood’s School) touched the pads in 59.13 seconds in the 100 back and was joined by Lindsay Manganiello (Miami, Fla./Coral Reed Senior HS) and senior Marcella Marinheiro (Davie, Fla./West Broward HS) in the top three. Two events later, White also won her first event of the season and clocked a time of 1:06.31 in the 100 breast. Teammates Vanessa Rivas (White Rock, Canada/Earl Marriott Secondary School) and Karin Schienvar (Holmdel, N.J./Holmdel HS) touched within 0.50 seconds of each other in second and third.

After Georgiana Gardner (York, Maine/York HS) also finished more than four seconds ahead of the field in the 500 free, FGCU wrapped up its home slate with the top two finishes in the 200 free relay. The Eagles’ quartet of Hannah Burdge (Stuart, Fla./Martin County HS), Wittman, Caraballo and Ching Wong touched the pads in 1:36.53 and finished just ahead of FGCU’s ‘A’ relay.

FGCU caps off the regular season with an in-state showdown at FIU (9-2, 1-0 CCSA) Saturday at noon. Following today’s meet, the Eagles will travel across Alligator Alley and look to improve its 9-1 all-time mark against the Panthers, who are currently ranked #44 in CollegeSwimming.com’s national poll.

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.

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.

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.


Victoria Moretti set a new freshman record and earned a NCAA Regional cut in the 3-meter dive whileDanielle Zacharias and Bridget Belcik were just two of the Owls’ top performers as Florida Atlantic University women’s swimming and diving showcased their vast skill set against Florida Gulf Coast University on Friday afternoon.

Making A Splash


  • In just her second meet as an Owl, freshman Victoria Moretti claimed victory in the 3-meter dive with a new FAU freshman record and NCAA Regional cut score of 302.77. She also came in second in the 1-meter with a final score of 255.52.
  • Danielle Zachrias’ time of 17:46.65 earned her a second-place finish in the 1650-yard freestyle. She came in just 26 one hundredths of a second behind the first-place finisher.
  • Junior Kyleigh Firman swam her way to fourth in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:56.73 while Lydia Musleh also took fourth in the 50-yard freestyle (25.23).
  • Senior team captain Hannah Roper made a statement in the 100-yard freestyle with a lifetime best time of 54.51, which put her fourth in the event.
  • Fellow senior Bridget Belcik also made her mark with her best in-season time in the 500-yard freestyle (5:13.84) to earn second place.
  • In the 100-yard breaststroke, Savannah Sawyers saw a fourth-place finish in 1:09.74
  • The women were outscored by FGCU 177-63.

Up Next

The Owls will host their annual Senior Day on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 11 a.m. as FAU will compete against Indian River State College at the FAU Aquatic Center.

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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