Florida Gulf Coast University’s women started off the Georgia Tech Invite in a big way, winning 4 of 5 events to set up a tight team battle with a Tennessee team that doesn’t appear to be rested much if at all. Meanwhile on the men’s side, the Yellow Jacket men are dominating at home, building a lead of around 100 points with two days left to swim.
Florida Gulf Coast took the first event of the night, winning the 200 free relay in 1:31.55, a season-best by about 3 seconds. The team was made up of Emma Svensson, Christina Tanninen, Sara Hamilton and Kira Toussaint. Toussaint, only a freshman, put up the best split of the field, going 22.35 to run away from defending NCAA Champs in the event Tennessee, which finished in a tie for second in 1:32.07. The Vols graduated half of that national champion relay, but also don’t appear to be very rested. Faith Johnson, returning from that 2013 relay was just 23.0 on the leadoff, and Lindsay Gendron was 22.7 on the anchor leg. Tennessee tied with James Madison University, who got a 22.7 split of their own from Shannon Dubay.
Gulf Coast was again victorious over Tennessee in the 500 free, this time in a tight race between FGCU’s Lani Cabrera and the Volunteers Camryne Morris. Cabrera won 4:49.72 to 4:49.80. A whole pack came in together racing for third place: FAU’s Annett Kovacs was the first to touch, going 4:52.34. James Madison’s Aimee Hooper was fourth in 4:52.52, FGCU’s Nina Schiffer fifth in 4:52.53, and Tennessee’s Mary Griffith sixth in 4:52.91.
Vanderbilt junior Elly Faulkner won the 200 IM, going 2:02.91 and crushing the field in the second 100. Four more women battled for the runner-up spot, all coming in within three tenths of each other. Georgia Tech sophomore Frederique Lefebvre went 2:05.18, Tennessee’s Amanda Carter was 2:05.21, Vanderbilt freshman Alexandra Blankenburg 2:05.32 and FGCU’s Tryshi Centeno 2:05.41.
After going 22.9 to lead off the 200 free relay, Gulf Coast junior Emma Svensson went a tick faster in the open 50, winning in 22.77, .01 off of her prelims swim. Faith Johnson of Tennessee also added one one-hundredth from her prelims time, going 23.05 for second place. James Madison’s Susanne Gingher took third in 23.09. Promising Gulf Coast freshman Kira Toussaint couldn’t get back under the 23-second mark after doing so in prelims; she was fourth in 23.13.
FGCU swept the day’s relays, winning the 400 medley to close the night. The team of Kira Toussaint, Evita Leter, Emma Svensson, and Sara Hamilton went 3:40.69 for the win. Toussaint was a strong 52.88 swimming the backstroke leg. James Madison edged out Tennessee for second place, going 3:42.33 thanks in large part to Susanne Gingher’s 49.2 anchor leg. Tennessee finished third in 3:43.08.
Tennessee currently holds a precarious 2-point lead over FGCU in the team scores, 328 to 326.
Georgia Tech started things off in front of the home crowd by winning the 200 free relay on Nico van Duijn‘s 19.4 anchor split. Van Duijn was the only swimmer sub-20 in the field. His relay mates were Andrew Kosic, Andrew Chetcuti and Jacob Johnson. The Yellow Jackets went 1:19.95 to top Tennessee, who finished second in 1:20.80. Florida Atlantic, the third and final men’s team in competition, took third in 1:23.09.
Elliot Brockelbank kept things rolling for Georgia Tech, winning the 500 free and setting up a 1st through 4th sweep for the Yellow Jackets. Brockelbank was 4:26.57, a lifetime-best for the junior. Following him were Mats Westergren in 4:29.21, freshman Ben Southern in 4:29.39 and Yuval Safra in 4:29.47.
The Yellow Jackets’ Mark Sarman won the 200 IM, breaking 1:50 for the first time this season. He was 1:49.49 to win easily over teammate Anton Lagerquist (1:52.22). Tristan Slater pulled in the highest individual finish of the night for Tennesee, taking 3rd in 1:52.69. Three more Georgia Tech swimmers followed him – Wilson Wei, Andreass Nilsson and freshman Chase Gutknecht.
Andrew Kosic made his first foray under 20 seconds for the 2013-2014 season in the 50 free today. He first went 19.92 in prelims this morning to take the top seed. After going 20.06 leading off Georgia Tech’s 200 free relay at night, the junior got back under at 19.94 to win the event, outshining teammate and relay anchor Nico van Duijn, who was 20.14. Tennessee’s Gustav Aberg Ledjstrom was a close third in 20.15.
Tennessee got its first win of the night in the 400 medley relay, touching out Georgia Tech 3:18.23 to 3:18.93. Gustav Aberg Ledjstrom was the key, splitting 43.8 on the freestyle to run down the Yellow Jackets for the win. The good news for Georgia Tech, though, is that Nico van Duijn split a fast 46.8 on the butterfly leg. The rest of the Tennesse relay was Sean Lehane, Ross Dibblin and Sam Rairden.
After winning 4 of the day’s 5 events, Georgia Tech leads the team race convincingly with 508 points.