More Delays on Day 3 of CCSAs as Liberty and UIW Stretch Leads

by Andy Hardt 4

February 22nd, 2019 News


  • 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.

Liberty and Incarnate Word extended their leads on the women’s and men’s sides, respectively, to perhaps wrap up the battles at the top of the podium. But the real winners were the athletes, coaches, and fans who patiently waited through a 55-minute delay this morning, and some more minor timing delays tonight, as frustrations with constant meet delays have mounted in Lynchburg.

Women’s Recap

Team Standings After Day 3

  1. Liberty – 1366.5
  2. Florida Gulf Coast – 1190
  3. Incarnate Word – 773
  4. Georgia Southern – 698
  5. Campbell – 598.5
  6. UNC Asheville – 571
  7. North Florida – 475
  8. Gardner-Webb – 464
  9. Howard – 335

Liberty almost doubled their lead to a likely insurmountable 176.5 points over Florida Gulf Coast. Liberty won 4 events on the night, with FGCU taking the other two. Incarnate Word had a great night to move into third over Georgia Southern, but the top two teams are in a meet of their own.

Gracie Redding of FGCU added the 100 fly title by the smallest of margins to the 50 free title she won last night. Redding hit the 50 wall in 24.60, half a second ahead of the field. But as Redding faded a bit in the second half, Alicia Finnigan of Liberty charged, and nearly caught Redding with a 27.92 second half. But Redding hung on to win by 0.01 seconds: 53.12 to 53.13. It was the second razor-sharp near-miss for Finnegan, as she was just 0.10 seconds from the 500 win last night. Tina Elmgreen of FGCU was third in 54.06, nearly a second back of the top two.

In the 400 IM, Emma Hazel of Liberty took out the race, hitting halfway in 2:02.80, with her teammate Mikayla Herich hot on her heels (2:03.43). Herich quickly took the lead on the breaststroke, but with a 1:10.98 split, Gianni Pitto, also of Liberty, came from well back to pull close to Herich. Pitto pulled ahead on the penultimate 50, and held on to win in 4:15.06, with Herich right behind in 4:15.23. Liz Zeiger of Florida Gulf Coast moved up on the freestyle to finish 3rd.

The 200 freestyle was a start-to-finish win in 1:48.18 by Emily Zimcosky of Liberty. Zimcosky was the top seed coming in by almost 3 seconds (1:47.41), and in the final she was half a second ahead of the field at the 50 (24.79), and never looked back. But the field was significantly closer in the evening, as Linda Shaw (1:48.81) of Florida Gulf Coast got a transposition away from Zimcosky to finish second.

Petra Halmai of FGCU got the win in the 100 breaststroke, putting up the only 2 sub-1:01 times on the day. Her 1:01.62 in finals dropped a tenth from the morning, and put her about half a second away from the NCAA selection time. Halmai had the fastest splits on both 50s (28.45-32.17). Behind her, Pitto completed a remarkable double, finishing second here in 1:01.50 after winning the 400 IM earlier in the session.

And the 100 back was another 0.01 second margin, but unlike the 100 fly, Liberty beat out Florida Gulf Coast. Payton Keiner was half a second up on the rest at the 50 mark (25.74), but Doris Eichhorn screamed back to almost catch Keiner, who took the win in 53.95 to Eichhorn’s 53.96.

And Liberty celebrated the evening with a win in the 400 medley relay as Payton Keiner (52.82), Gianni Pitto (1:01.84), Alicia Finnigan (52.92), and Emily Zimcosky (50.01) swam to a 3:37.59. Florida Gulf Coast was a close second in 3:38.29, as no other team was even within 5 seconds of the leading duo. Keiner’s backstroke split was over a second faster than she swam to win the 100 backstroke earlier in the night, and just a few tenths away from last year’s selection time.

Men’s Recap

Team Standings After Day 3

  1. Incarnate Word – 709.5
  2. Florida Atlantic – 532.5
  3. Old Dominion – 477
  4. Gardner-Webb – 452.5
  5. NJIT – 265
  6. Howard – 191.5
  7. Mount Saint Mary’s – 187

Incarnate Word all but wrapped up the men’s title as they extended their lead to 177 points over Florida Atlantic. With the scoring only 18 deep compared to the women’s 27, it would take a crazy turn of events for that team to lose. Incarnate Word took three of the evenings titles, equal to Gardner-Webb, who were buoyed by a successful 100 fly-100 back double by Tim Bennett.

Seven swimmers hit halfway in the 100 fly almost together: high 51s. And among those seven, the order for the second 50 split became the order of the race. Tim Bennett of Gardner-Webb just beat out Filip Svedberg of Old Dominion to take the win, 48.00 to 48.07. Those two had nearly identical splits: 22.67-25.33 for Bennett, and 22.73-25.34 for Svedberg. Incarnate Word teammates Bryce Kuchan (48.52), Jared Wallace (48.67), and Carter Wallace (48.92) were the only others under 49.

Hector Ruvalcab of Incarnate Word dominated the 400 IM, his 3:49.10 time good for more than a 9-second win. Ruvalcab was a comfortable 200 IM champ last night, but tonight his win was never in doubt. After a 51.80 fly split, Ruvalcab led by over two seconds, and splits of 59.66, 1:04.10, and 53.54 only extended the lead. Calvin Lillio of FAU used the fastest backstroke split in the field (59.57) to finish second.

After six swimmers took the 200 freestyle out in 49-low, Leonardo Sanchez of Incarnate Word hammered home, posting back-half splits of 24.87-24.97 to win in 1:39.14. Beau Fusilier, Sanchez’s teammate, was a close second in 1:39.34, as Joshua Franco of NJIT led at the 100 (49.11), but had to settle for third in 1:40.34.

In yet another duel, Jordan Mintz (54.70) outtouched Oleksandr Karpenko (54.75) after the latter led by 0.33 seconds at halfway (25.48). But Mintz’s 28.89 second 50 was the only sub-29 in the field as he came back to win. Will Twizell of Mt. St. Mary’s was best of the rest in 55.23.

Bennett completed a double-victory night in the 100 back, with a 25.09 second 50 and a comeback victory in 49.01. Bennett was only third at the 50 (23.92) behind Incarnate Word teammates Aaron Moran (23.51) and Vlad Chumak (25.62). But the aforementioned second 50 took Bennett to a 0.36 second victory, as Moran was second in 49.37 and Chumak was third (49.41).

Logan Downey of Florida Atlantic took a big win in the 1 meter diving, scoring 364.45 to win by 30 points over Dawson Martinez of Incarnate Word (334.00). Incarnate Word had 3 of the top 5 here, as they continued to stretch their lead.

And Incarnate Word capped off the evening with a victory in the 400 medley relay. Vlad Chumak (49.37), Oleksandr Karpenko (54.45), Jared Wallace (48.44), and Beau Fusilier (44.95) took the win in 3:17.21, with Gardner-Webb (3:17.74) in second. Bennet (48.91) and Mintz (53.96) reprised their 100 back and 100 breast wins with the fastest splits, while Svedberg (48.41) had the fastest fly split, and Noah Wilkins (44.46) had the fastest free split.

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3 years ago

Team of seven! The plague will not defeat us

3 years ago

What a joke? Is fonder running the timing system?

3 years ago

This meet has become a joke. Watch the men’s 50 free video. Announced with a 19.31 meet record and a NCAA B cut. Every swimmer wend under 20.0. Only to be scored at a 20.28 for the poor athlete who thought he was going to get a shot at NCAAs.

Meet shut down every session due to timing issues events times adjusted all weekend etc… someone needs to audit the entire meet and decide if any of the times are valid. Don’t recall seeing these issues when it was run at UGA or Tennessee.

The folks at CCSA should really take a step back and think about giving their athletes a truely well run championship meet instead of… Read more »

Reply to  Observer
3 years ago

Every meet at Liberty has been a joke.
Injuries when swimmers get stuck between wall and bulkheads.
Timing systems that drop 0.397 seconds off every time.
NCAA last chance meets that never get time adjusted despite proof the times were wrong.
Stop certifying meets there.
Clearly, they don’t have their act together. The athletes deserve better.