FGCU Women In Search Of Eighth CCSA Title In Nine Years

by SwimSwam 0

February 14th, 2017 College, NCAA Division I Mid-Major

In search of its eighth CCSA title in a span of nine years, the #34 FGCU swimming and diving team (12-3, 3-0 CCSA) travels to Athens, Ga., for the 2017 CCSA Swimming and Diving Championships held at the University of Georgia’s Gabrielson Natatorium from Feb. 15-18.

The field of eight men’s programs and 10 women’s teams will begin the week with diving trialsWednesday at 4 p.m., followed by diving and relay finals beginning at 6 p.m. Subsequent days of competition begin with preliminary races at 10 a.m. and final events beginning at 6 p.m. A complete order of events can be found below or by clicking here.

“The team is ready to rock this week,” said FGCU head coach Dave Rollins. “We’ve put in a great season of work, and their attitudes and excitement have never been better. It’s hard to believe we’re already at this point in the season. It’s gone by so fast. The team is ready to support one another, compete and have a whole lot of fun. I couldn’t be more excited for them and to see everyone let loose.”

For the first time in conference history, a free live stream of each session will be available on theBig South Network. Additionally, a live results link will be available by visiting FGCUAthletics.com prior to the first events tomorrow afternoon. Tickets can also be purchased with single-day passes going for $15 and four-day passes being sold at $35. Youth tickets (ages 12 and under) are $5 for single day passes and $20 for the four-day event.

The Green and Blue made it two straight conference championships and seven overall following another record-breaking performance at the 2016 CCSA Swimming and Diving Championships. After tallying a then-record 1,575 points at the 2015 meet, FGCU surpassed its total with 1,670 points en route to winning last year’s title. The Eagles clocked 21 NCAA ‘B’ cut times to go along with setting eight program records and five CCSA all-time marks. Additionally, FGCU won 16 of a possible 20 events. Prior to the 2014 championships when the Eagles finished runner-up behind Liberty, FGCU won five-consecutive CCSA titles from 2009-13 – less than two years after the program’s inception in the fall of 2007. Furthermore, after going 3-0 against conference opponents this season, the Green and Blue are now 35-1 all-time against CCSA foes.

With a 12-3 record in dual meets this season, FGCU matched the program record for wins in a single season for the second straight year. The Eagles have recorded 12 wins on a pair of other occasions as they went 12-1 a season ago and 12-3 during the 2009-10 campaign.

As a team, FGCU turned in a NCAA ‘B’ cut time on 19 occasions, while senior diver Ashley Wright (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Indian River State/Lincoln Park Academy) eclipsed the NCAA Zone Diving Standard six times. The Eagles also set three program records and turned in the CCSA’s top time in a total of 23 swimming and diving events. Fanny Teijonsalo (Espoo, Finland/Makelanrinteen Lukio) started the season with a school record time of 56.78 seconds in the 100 IM. A little over a month later, Christina Kaas Elmgreen (Charlottenlund, Lukio/Ordrup Gymnasium) eclipsed her school record in the 200 fly by touching the pads in 1:57.17, while the 200 free relay 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 Teijonsalo broke a nearly two-year-old school record in the event with a time of 1:29.73.

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-35 in the NCAA this season. Kaas Elmgreen’s aforementioned school record in the 200 fly currently ranks as the 32nd fastest in the country, while the Eagles’ record time in the 200 free relay ranks 16th. Additionally, FGCU’s 400 free relay time of 3:18.63 ranks 24th in the country.

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.

In 10 weeks of competition during the regular season, the Green and Blue have taken home eight CCSA Swimmer of the Week honors while sweeping the weekly awards on seven of those occasions. Kaas Elmgreen has earned the Swimmer of the Week honor a team-high three times, while Wright has received Diver of the Week recognition after each time competing this season.

Below is a list of the Eagles’ CCSA weekly honorees this season.

Swimmer of the Week:
Christina Kaas Elmgreen (Oct. 4) – All Florida Invite
Katie Latham (Oct. 11) – FGCU Classic
Elizabeth Zeiger (Oct. 26) – USC/UCLA
Sandra Wilk (Nov. 8) – FSU/Florida Southern/West Florida
Christina Kaas Elmgreen (Nov. 22) – Georgia Tech Invite
Sommer Harris (Dec. 21) – UNC Asheville
Doris Eichhorn (Jan. 24) – Miami
Christina Kaas Elmgreen (Jan. 31) – FAU/FIU

Diver of the Week:
Ashley Wright (Oct. 4) – All Florida Invite
Ashley Wright (Oct. 26) – USC/UCLA
Ashley Wright (Nov. 8) – FSU/Florida Southern/West Florida
Ashley Wright (Nov. 22) – Georgia Tech Invite
Ashley Wright (Dec. 21) – Clemson
Ashley Wright (Jan. 24) – Miami
Ashley Wright (Jan. 31) – FAU/FIU

Wednesday, Feb. 15 – Trials: 4 p.m.; Finals: 6 p.m.

200 Medley Relay Latham, Leter, Teijonsalo, Redding – 1:39.41
3M Diving Ashley Wright – 286.73 (NCAA)
800 Free Relay Redding, Burdge, Shaw, Caraballo – 7:29.36

Thursday, Feb. 16 – Prelims: 10 a.m.; Finals: 6 p.m.

500 Free Linda Shaw – 4:50.45
200 IM Barbara Caraballo – 2:00.07 (NCAA ‘B’)
50 Free Katie Latham – 22.57 (NCAA ‘B’)
200 Free Relay Latham, Redding, Burdge, Teijonsalo – 1:29.73 (NCAA provisional)

Friday, Feb. 17 – Prelims: 10 a.m.; Finals: 6 p.m.

400 IM Elizabeth Zeiger – 4:18.28 (NCAA ‘B’)
100 Fly Christina Kaas Elmgreen – 53.83 (NCAA ‘B’)
200 Free Linda Shaw – 1:49.66
100 Breast Evita Leter – 1:03.22
100 Back Katie Latham – 54.45 (NCAA ‘B’)
1M Diving Ashley Wright – 282.95 (NCAA)
400 Medley Relay Teijonsalo, Leter, Kaas Elmgreen, Latham – 3:40.45

Saturday, Feb. 18 – Prelims: 10 a.m.; Finals: 6 p.m.

1650 Free Melissa Marinheiro – 17:24.92
200 Back Barbara Caraballo – 1:58.04 (NCAA ‘B’)
100 Free Katie Latham – 49.10 (NCAA ‘B’)
200 Breast Vanessa Rivas – 2:18.26
200 Fly Christina Kaas Elmgreen – 1:57.17 (NCAA ‘B’)
400 Free Relay Latham, Burdge, Redding, Teijonsalo – 3:18.63

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.

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News courtesy of FGCU Athletics.

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