The final night of action at Allan Jones Natatorium would see a non-stop battle for first place by both the men and women of the CCSA conference. The battles were primarily fought between Liberty University and Florida Gulf Coast on the women’s side, and Incarnate Word and University of Maryland-Baltimore County for the men.
After four days of seemingly endless record breaking, the Liberty University women would go on to defeat five-time defending CCSA champion Florida Gulf Coast. The Eagle’s two relay DQ’s on day’s one and three would ultimately be their demise.
The Incarnate Word and UMBC men were neck and neck all weekend, but big-time swims for the UIW cardinals on day four would eventually be enough to give them their first CCSA crown over the Retrievers.
Florida Gulf Coast sophomore Lana Cabrera kicked things off in women’s 1650 free with a big-time swim of 16:36.6. Cabrera’s mark was just off the CCSA record of 16:36.13 set by Gulf Coast alumnus Leah Daniel in 2009. Campbell University’s Kylie Warne followed in second at 16:47.82 and Liberty’s Kristin VanDeventer took third in 16:55.28.
The men’s 1650 would see Incarnate Word sophomore Connor Hennessy claim a new CCSA record at 15:33.69. UMBC’s Robert Breen took a second place finish in 15:37.29 and Dylan Ludwick grabbed third place in 15:41.76, Ludwick also took third in this event last year. The UMBC Retrievers snuck two more swimmers into the top-eight in Andrew McKissik (7th 15:56.44) and Reed Neuendorf (8th 15:56.96).
Kira Toussaint continued her dominance Saturday with a new CCSA record in the women’s 200 back at 1:54.52. The FGCU freshman was a full three seconds ahead of Liberty’s Emily Duff (2nd 1:57.52, NCAA “B” cut) and Toussaint’s teammates Karen Vilorio (1:57.74) and Sandra Wilk (1:58.59) would take third and fourth respectively, each earning NCAA “B” cuts in the process.
Incarnate Word’s Andrii Nikishenko would take down the men’s 200 back CCSA record in 1:43.94. UMBC senior Mohamed Hussein also dipped under the conference record at 1:44.35. Fellow UMBC senior Johan Rohtla finished third in 1:45.66. All three men earned NCAA “B” cuts with their efforts.
The women’s 100 free CCSA crown was taken by FGCU junior Emma Svenson in 49.77, an NCAA “B” standard. The battle for second saw Davidson junior Meredith Nakano out-touch Liberty’s Meghan Babcock by just .01. Nakano touched in 50.52 followed by Babcock in 50.53. Liberty and Florida Gulf Coast each had three swimmers in the top eight.
UMBC frosh Gregor Spoerlein took down the conference record in the men’s 100 free at 44.44 followed by Alex Bouwer of UIW in 44.86. UMBC’s Lauri Kaei took third in 45.24. Trevor Doll (8th 45.82) gave UMBC their third top eight finisher in the event.
Emilie Kaufman, 2014 CCSA champion in the women’s 100 breast, took home top honors in the 200 breast with a new conference record and NCAA “B” standard of 2:12.49. Davidson freshman Katy Williams took second 2:14.71, also an NCAA “B” standard. Georgia Southern’s Kristen Bates nabbed third in 2:17.18.
Incarnate Word’s Thiago Parravicini sped to a new CCSA record in the men’s 200 breast at 1:54.67. Parravicini narrowly missed the NCAA “A” standard of 1:54.10. Parravicini’s teammate Rostik Fedyna took runner-up at 1:58.02, an NCAA “B” standard. UMBC Retriever Leo Endres took third in 2:00.15.
Liberty University’s Jess Reinhardt demolished the women’s 200 fly CCSA record, touching the wall in 1:56.79. Florida Gulf Coast’s Nina Schiffer would follow in second at 1:58.38 and Davidson freshman Elise Lankiewicz had a third place finish at 2:00.47, just out-touching Bethany Wakeley of Liberty (2:00.59).
The men’s 200 fly was a shootout for first place between Incarnate Word swimmers Evandro Silva and David Moore. The senior, Silva, took first in 1:47.24. His freshman counterpart David Moore came in at 1:47.61. Another UIW freshman, Kaulen Applin, took third in 1:50.28.
400 Free Relay
Heading into the 400 free relay, the Liberty University women held a 22 point lead over Florida Gulf Coast. Despite a new CCSA record by FGCU (3:20.13), Liberty University’s third place finish (3:23.66) was enough to protect their lead and take down the five-time defending champions in FGCU. Davidson’s quartet would take second in 3:21.50.
UMBC won a close race in the men’s 400 free relay with a new CCSA record of 2:56.57. The Retrievers finished just ahead of the Incarnate Word team who finished at 2:56.63. Even with the victory, it would not be enough for UMBC to take down Incarnate Word. Davidson took third in 3:00.93.
These four days in Knoxville have shown the collegiate swimming community that the CCSA is one of the top mid-major programs in the nation. At times it seemed like a new conference record would need to be broken in order to win an event. If this weekend was any indication, it’s that the CCSA will only get stronger in years to come.
1. Liberty University
2. Florida Gulf Coast
3. Georgia Southern
5. Incarnate Word
8. North Florida
12. Virginia Military Institute
13. NC A&T State
1. Incarnate Word
5. New Jersey Tech
6. Virginia Military Institute