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Season-best times highlight loss at FSU, 189-109

The Florida Gulf Coast swimming and diving team recorded its fi rst loss against Florida State University last Friday with a score of 189-109. The score may not show it, but the Eagles performed well and posted several season-best times in their dual meet against the Noles. The team has yet to ever beat FSU, even after recording four firstplace, seven second-place, and five thirdplace fi nishes this past meet.
“We really competed well and had great swims and are continuing to improve. We are fascinated with times, and we were able to really drop them,” said head coach Neal Studd. “It’s weird to be excited about a loss, but we were about this one.”
The first season-best time recorded was during the 200-yard medley relay where Emma Svensson, Evita Leter, Kira Toussaint, and Sara Hamilton fi nished the race in 1.42.97, taking second place. Svensson also outswam the competition in the 100-yard backstroke to post the leading time of 55.48. Karen Vilorio fi nished close behind her in third with a time of 57.27.
Svensson continued to tally points and recorded the fastest time this season for the Green and Blue as she placed second in the 50-yard race with a time of 23.45 and third in the 100-yard race, fi nishing in 51.00. “I was both happy and surprised at my meet times,” Svensson said.
“I had a tough week before with training, but I always expect to do good. I didn’t know how much the training was going to pay off this week and how I was going to do. I felt accomplished for what I did against some of the fastest in the ACC.”
The Eagles were victorious in the 200- yard backstroke as Toussaint touched fi rst, posting a season-high 2:00.89. Following Toussaint was Vilorio in second place with a 2:03.36. Toussaint also gained the Eagles points in the 100-yard butterfl y, placing second with a time of 57.27.
“Individually, the girl’s had a break through and it will bring confi dence rolling forward. We are better than ever,” Studd said.
Lani Cabrera lead the Eagles in the lengthy freestyle events as she touched third in both the 1,000-yard in 10:17.90 and 500- yard in 4:58.15. In the 100-yard breaststroke, Leter took second place with a season-best of 1:03.84.
The women finished strong in the final event of the meet. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the Eagles took home fi rst, second and third place. The team of Christina Tanninen, Hamilton, Cabrera and Leter led the team with a time of 1:37.58. Finishing close behind were Sandra Wilk, Charlie Molenda, Devon Robins and Nina Schiffer in second place with a time of 1:40.41. The team taking third was made up of Heather Coutts, Ellen Vann, Kellie Roedig and McKenzie Cassidy.
“I was really proud with how the team did. A lot of girls stepped up. It’s fun to race when you have a good team atmosphere,” Svensson said.
At this time last year, the swimming and diving team was one win behind this years’ team.
“This year we are doing a lot more testing on fitness and strength,” Studd said. “Push-ups have been very important, with girls going an average of 63 and the top girl doing 115. This next meet with UCLA should be a good match up and a good battle.”
On Friday, Nov. 1, the Eagles will be competing in a quad meet against University of California Los Angeles, Oregon State University, and University of California Santa Barbara in Los Angeles, California.
“I have never been to the West Coast, and I’m excited to see the campus of such a big school,” Svensson said. “We have been training really hard for these meets. I’m just going to go hard and do what I can to recover between meets. This next meet will be one more step towards our goal.”

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