Liberty Women Win #2, Incarnate Word Men Win #3 in CCSA


  • Wednesday, February 20 – Saturday, February 23
  • Liberty Natatorium, Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Incarnate Word men & FGCU women (4x) (results)
  • Live results
  • Live Video
  • Championship Central
  • Format change: Women will score 3 finals, with 9 in each final. Men will score 2 finals, with 9 in each final.

The 2019 CCSA Swimming and Diving Championships are in the books, as long as the books don’t malfunction. The Liberty women broke Florida Gulf Coast’s four-year win streak to take the team title, dethroning the reigning champs by 191.5 points. Meanwhile, the Incarnate Word men started to build a streak of their own, winning by 257 points over Florida Atlantic for their second straight title.

Women’s Recap

Final Team Standings

  1. Liberty – 1859.5
  2. Florida Gulf Coast – 1668
  3. Incarnate Word – 1049
  4. Georgia Southern – 990
  5. Campbell – 970.5
  6. UNC Asheville – 820
  7. North Florida – 722
  8. Gardner-Webb – 711
  9. Howard – 416

Liberty had built a huge lead through Day 3, and they cruised to a comfortable victory. They and Florida Gulf Coast fought back-and-forth today, each winning 3 of the 6 events in the swimming pool. But the close final day did not make for a close final score, and Liberty never left the drivers seats all meet.

Megan Wakefield of Florida Gulf Coast won the platform diving in the morning (221.85) to complete a sweep of the meet’s 3 diving events.

Then Mikayla Herich of Liberty, already 200 IM champ, won the 1650 for her 2nd win. Herich swam 16:37.35 for a large victory over Linda Shaw of Florida Gulf Coast (16:54.78), and Arielle Arnett (16:58.90) of Liberty. Splits aren’t available for the top few swimmers.

Payton Keiner of Liberty added the 200 back title to the 100 back title she won last night. But this one didn’t come down to the touch, as Keiner was 3.73 seconds ahead of teammate Emma Hazel in second (1:57.98). Keiner’s blazing first 100 (55.11) left little in doubt, and she just extended her lead from there. Doris Eichhorn of Florida Gulf Coast was the only other swimmer under 2 minutes with a 1:59.18 for third.

Gracie Redding of Florida Gulf Coast then won her third title of the meet, adding the 100 free to the 50 free and 100 fly she won the past two days. Redding was easily the fastest in the morning (49.23), and was even faster at night, swimming 23.12-25.98 to go 49.10 and win by over half a second. Florida Gulf Coast went 1-2-3, and Hannah Burdge (49.67) and Rebecca Moynihan (49.80) were the only over two swimmers under 50.

Petra Halmai of Florida Gulf Coast, who dominated the 100 breast yesterday, put down an even better performance tonight in the 200 breast. Halmai’s morning swim of 2:11.51 challenged the CCSA record of 2:11.51, set by Katie Armitage in 2016. Halmai took the morning swim out very fast (1:02.87), and took it out even faster at night (1:02.79). Could she hold on? In a sense, no, since Halmai faded badly to a 35.24 final 50, but her early pace was so fast that even still, she broke the CCSA record, winning by 4.11 seconds in 2:11.21. Gianni Pitto, second in the 100 breast last night (and first in the 400 IM), was second again here (2:15.32).

In the final individual event of the meet, Alicia Finnegan of Liberty won the 200 fly over Tina Elmgreen of Florida Gulf Coast after the latter faded badly on the final 50. Elmgreen is the CCSA record holder with her 1:55.55 from last year, and took it out tonight at a hot 55.24. Finnegan was third in 56.37 just behind teammate Lindsay Cohee (56.34). But Elmgreen had flown too close to the sun, and she finished with a painful 30.66-33.09 for a 1:58.99, while Finnegan took the suddenly-large win by splitting 29.59-30.65 for a time of 1:56.61.

With Liberty having long ago sewn up the meet, Florida Gulf Coast made their last statement in the 400 freestyle relay. Rebecca Moynihan (50.09), Hannah Burdge (49.17), Wiktoria Czarnecka, and Gracie Redding combined for a 3.81 second win in 3:18.34. The timing system missed FGCU’s last splits, but aside from those, Burdge and Moynihan were the fastest splits in the field. It’s possible that all four FGCU swimmers were faster that Colleen Donlin’s next-fastest split of 50.18 for Liberty. Liberty was a comfortable second in 3:22.15, while Camels took third in 3:25.44.

Men’s Recap

Final Team Standings

  1. Incarnate Word – 1053.5
  2. Florida Atlantic – 796.5
  3. Old Dominion – 698
  4. Gardner-Webb – 570.5
  5. NJIT – 373
  6. Mount Saint Mary’s – 277
  7. Howard – 248.5

Incarnate Word were the presumptive champs coming into the last day, and they staged a coronation, winning every swimming event tonight to win the meet in a rout. It is Incarnate Word’s second straight CCSA title, and they outscored the bottom three of the other six teams on their own.

In the morning, Michael Cannate of Florida Atlantic took the win in the platform diving with 293.65 in a field with only four competitors.

Later on, in the 1650, Sergio Duran Mata of Incarnate Word flipped the script from the 500 free earlier in the meet to win over Josh Fountain of Florida Atlantic and break the 1650 CCSA record. Fountain was out in the lead, and with a big push right before the 1000 mark (9:18.37) had a 4 second lead over Duran Mata (9:22.09). But Fountain immediately slowed, and his 54.05 10th 100 would end up being his fastest of the entire race. Duran Mata would catch Fountain, and eventually pull away in the last 150 to win in 15:19.61. Fountain was second in 15:23.58, as both men were under the old CCSA record of 15:24.36 by Kyrylo Shvets.

The 200 back was another Incarnate Word title, as Aaron Moran took the win in 1:46.50 over his teammate Vlad Chumak (1:47.17). Moran was almost a second in the lead at the 100 (50.98), and though Chumak slightly outsplit him on the back 100 (55.42-55.52), Moran’s lead was enough to hold on and win the title.

The 100 free had a similar pattern, as Incarnate Word Senior Carter Wallace took the race out in 20.96 for a several-tenths lead, and maintained that margin to the finish to win in 44.71. Noah Wilkins of Old Dominion was second after outsplitting Wallace on the back half (23.70-23.75), and the fastest second split actually belonged to Beau Fusilier of Incarnate Word, who split 21.92-23.26 to move from seventh all the way up to third.

In the 200 breaststroke, Oleksandr Karpenko of Incarnate Word took a wire-to-wire win in 1:59.42. Each of Karpenko’s splits was the fastest in the field, and his 56.01 first 100 put him 1.45 seconds ahead of everyone else. Behind Karpenko, Will Twizell of Mt. St. Mary’s was a comfortable second in 2:01.74.

Hector Ruvalcab dominated the 200 butterfly for his third individual win in as many days. The Incarnate Word Junior won by over three seconds: 1:45.62 to his teammate Jared Wallace’s 1:48.76. Incarnate Word swept the top four places here, as Bryce Kuchan (1:50.47) and Alex Garriga (1:50.97) were third and fourth.

Incarnate Word sewed up the meet in style in the 400 freestyle relay, as they were the only team under 3 minutes, swimming 2:59.47. Carter Wallace (45.37), Beau Fusilier (44.34), Vlad Chumak (44.84), and Aaron Moran (44.92) took a 1.27 second win over Old Dominion (3:00.74). Florida Atlantic used a 44.47 anchor split by Connor Smoak to take third in 3:02.50.

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
anonymous fan
2 years ago


2 years ago

Maybe now the Liberty Flames will get the respect that they deserve for obliterating FGCU