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FGCU swimming and diving wraps up the regular season on a high note

(EN Photo / Kim Smith)

The FGCU swimming and diving team defeated FAU in their final home meet of the regular season Friday, Jan. 27, at the FGCU Aquatics Complex. The Eagles took the match with a dominate 177-63 victory over the Owls.
The Eagles led in the first event and didn’t relinquished its dominance the rest of the match, winning all 11 swimming events.
“Finishing our home schedule with a win was an excellent way to send off our seniors,” said FGCU head coach Dave Rollins in an FGCU Athletics press release. “With this incredible group of young women moving into the next phase of their lives, having these moments and memories will be something they can look back on forever.”
After controlling the first event, the 200-yard medley relay, senior Melissa Marinheiro, won the long 1650-yard freestyle. The race took over 17 minutes, but at the end Marinheiro only edged out FAU’s Danielle Zacharias by .26 seconds.
Seniors Barbara Caraballo and Evita Leter took the top two spots in the 50-yard freestyle. Madeline Clark won her first event of the season in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 53.06 seconds.
The Eagles would continue to keep the pressure the rest of the day. Sweeping two of the next three events, with Katie Latham winning the 100-yard backstroke and Elizabeth White winning her first event of the season in the 100-yard breastroke with a time of 1:06.31.
Georgiana Gardner had a big win in the 500-yard freestyle, touching the pads more than four seconds faster than the next finisher. FGCU ended their home races by winning the 200-yard freestyle relay.
The following day, Saturday, Jan. 28, FGCU traveled to Miami to take on FIU in a much closer 152-148 win for the Eagles.
The win for the Eagles was their 12th dual meet win of the season, matching a program record.
“We knew coming into today that this would be a challenging meet,” said FGCU head coach Dave Rollins in a recent FGCU Athletics press release. “Coming off the high of Senior Day, traveling and racing a very tough team, it was going to be challenging from the start. These young women showed so much pride, grit and determination, and it was an incredible experience.”
FGCU got off to a good start, winning the opening race, the 200-yard medley, with a time of 1:43.64. However, FIU responded by winning the next three events – 1000-yard freestyle, 200- yard freestyle, and the 100-yard backstroke – taking a 14-point lead.
In the final dual meet of her career, senior Evita Leter got the Eagles on the winning side, claiming a victory in the 100-yard breaststroke. FGCU would take back the lead as the team finished in the top two places in the 200-yard butterfly.
After an FIU win in the 50-yard freestyle and a win for FGCU diver, Ashley Wright, in the three-meter event, the meet was tied at 75-75. Then, FGCU won the 100-yard freestyle, with Hannah Burdge touching the pads first with a time of 51.38.
FIU would win the next three events to force the fifth lead change of the day. With an eight-point advantage to overcome, the Eagles had to win the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay. FGCU finished their final race of the regular season, winning the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:25.14.
The Eagles will now prepare for the CCSA Championship meet, taking place from Feb. 15 to 18, in Athens, Georgia. FGCU will look for its eighth conference championship in the last nine years.

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