Liberty Narrowly Leads Through Day 1 of CCSA Champs, Split Relays with FGCU

Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) – Women

Team Standings (Through Day 1)

  1.  Liberty University – 563
  2. Florida Gulf Coast University – 547.5
  3. University of Incarnate Word – 431
  4. North Carolina Asheville – 281
  5. Campbell University – 257
  6. Georgia Southern University – 237
  7. Gardner-Webb University – 233.5
  8. Bellarmine University – 122

Kicking off the 2021 CCSA Championships, 2-time defending champions Liberty University got out to an early lead on the first day of competition. The Lady Flames are being hotly contested by FGCU through the first of the three days of racing. This CCSAs also marks the first for Bellarmine, who moved up from DII this past off-season.

It was FGCU who took the first event, winning the the 200 medley relay decisively. Claire McAtee led the FGCU squad off in 25.39, with Petra Halmai (27.63), Julia Rodgriguez (24.32), and Tori Czarnecka (22.09) following, resulting in a final time of 1:39.43. Next in was Incarnate Word at 1:41.41, marking a big win for FGCU to open up the meet. Liberty, who were the defending champions in the event, finished 4th with a 1:42.49.

FGCU also picked up 2 of the 4 individual events on the day, taking the 200 IM and 50 free. Senior Petra Halmai was dominant in the 200 IM, finishing in 1:59.02, nearly 3 seconds ahead of runner-up Amy Hornyak (2:01.72), a Georgia Southern freshman. Halmai put together a well-rounded race, splitting 25.24 on fly, 29.89 on back, 33.76 on breast, and 30.13 on free. Halmai didn’t race the 200 IM last year, and the defending champion, Mikayla Herich (Liberty), has since graduated. Despite winning the event, FGCU was actually out-scored by Liberty in the 200 IM by 17 points.

FGCU also picked up a win in the 50 free, where Tori Czarnecka got her hand on the wall first with a final time of 22.64. Czarnecka defended her title in the event, having won the race last year with a 22.40. UNC-Asheville had a strong showing in the event, taking 2nd and 3rd with sophomore Delaney Carlton and freshman Abby Parks, swimming 22.93 and 23.07 respectively.

Liberty picked up a win in the 800 free relay, defending their title from last year. Though they were a bit off last year’s time, Liberty finished in 7:24.30, nearly 3 seconds ahead of runner-up FGCU (7:27.09). Abby Brown Strohmeier led the Flames team off in 1:51.45, and was followed by Chloe Harris (1:51.58), Eva Suggs (1:50.91), and Emma Hazel 1:50.36.

The Flames also won 3-meter diving, where freshman Maddie Freece finished with a 21-point lead, racking up a total of 297.50 points. The defending champion, Reese Wakefield, an FGCU sophomore, finished 2nd with a 278.75, well under her 310.00 from last year.

Incarnate Word picked up win thanks to sophomore Ximena Conde Merlos, who touched first in the 500 free. Merlos swam a great race from a pacing perspective, splitting 56.82, 59.89, 59.40, 59.24, and 58.08 respectively by 100, for a final time of 4:53.43. She was the defending champ in the event, having won the race with a 4:52.91 last year.


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2 years ago

Go Flames! Times are faster than in the B1G

Reply to  PowerTower
2 years ago

B1G hasn’t even started yet ?

Reply to  PowerTower
2 years ago

The winning times at this meet are faster than some swimmers in the B1G, but they are nowhere near the winning times at B1Gs last year. Liberty’s winning 800 free relay time would have only beaten 2 teams at B1Gs last year. Their 200 medley relay would have gotten dead last.

2 years ago

“ Halmai put together a well-rounded race, splitting 25.24 on fly, 29.89 on back, 33.76 on breast, and 30.13 ”

Out in 25.2 and back in 30.1 is not a well-rounded race. Heck, that is Michael Andrew territory there….

Reply to  Whoa
2 years ago

You’ve gotta admit that first 150 is pretty dang good though.