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Spanish national Alba Fernandez has committed to swim for Grand Canyon University in the fall of 2021. She will relocate from her home in Oviedo, Spain to Phoenix, Arizona. GCU is a Division 1 mid-major school competing in the Western Athletic Conference.
“I am happy to say I am committed to Grand Canyon University! I think this is the perfect place for me after having a great feeling with the team, coaches, and academic side! I can’t wait to be a part of GCU!”
Fernandez swims for the Santa Olaya Swim Club in the city of Gijon, bordering the Northern coast of Spain. All of her long-course best times in the backstroke/IM events come from various meets in 2019. Her most successful club meet came in the 2019 Spanish Championships, where she placed 3rd in her age category (16) in the 400 IM with a best time of 5:01. In the 200 back, she swam another best time to grab 2nd. She also placed 3rd in the 200 IM, just a tenth off her personal best.
Top Times LCM:
- 100 Back- 1:06.02
- 200 Back- 2:20.03
- 200 IM- 2:22.85
- 400 IM- 5:01.30
Rough conversions of these long-course times position Fernandez to score at the conference level. At the 2021 WAC Championships occurring just last weekend, she would have placed third in the 400 IM at a converted 4:23.1. Even if her actual times in the upcoming season are a few seconds off this conversion, she has around 5 seconds of buffer to still make the A-final, as the eighth-place qualifying time during prelims was 4:28. The rest of her converted times also put her solidly in the A-final in the 200 IM at a 2:04 and the 200 back at a 2:01. In the 100 back, she would have been on the A/B final bubble at a 56.6.
She will join a deep backstroke group that placed two swimmers in the A-finals of both the 100 and 200, with an additional two in the B-final of the 100, all of whom are expected to return next season. In the IM events, Fernandez would have been Grand Canyon’s only A-finalist in the 200 IM, and one of two in the 400. GCU’s other 400 IMer and Fernandez’s future teammate, Kristina Miletic, placed 8th in the A-final.
Grand Canyon edged out Northern Colorado for third place by just five points at this season’s edition of the WAC Championships. The women’s team title went to Northern Arizona, who were over 100 points ahead of New Mexico State, the runner-up.
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