FGCU Swimming and Diving beats Vanderbilt
By Chase Henry
The FGCU women’s swimming and diving team (5-0) beat Vanderbilt University Friday afternoon, 172-121, at the FGCU Aquatics Center. The win is the program’s first win against an SEC-member university in a dual meet.
Petra Halmai led the way for FGCU, with three individual first-place finishes and finishing first in the 200-yard medley relay.
“This was a surprise for me. We didn’t train much for this meet. After the 100-breaststroke and 200-butterfly, the 200 breast was like ‘Oh my god,” said junior Petra Halmai. “This was crazy for me. I almost swam my best times, and I swam NCAA cuts, so I’m really happy.”
FGCU and Vanderbilt started off the first half the meet by alternating wins in the first four events. The Eagles picked up their first win of the meet in the first competition, winning the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:42.37, which was 26 milliseconds faster than the second-place relay team from Vanderbilt.
FGCU’s first individual win came from Kaja Reinhardt in the 200-yard freestyle, the third event of the swim meet.
The next Eagles win was Halmai’s first individual win of the meet in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:01.18, the meet’s fifth event. Currently, Halmai’s time stands at 11th in the country.
FGCU then went on a win streak, including the 100-yard breaststroke, winning five events in a row. This streak included two wins by Wiktoria Czarnecka, winning the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.24 and winning the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 50.92.
The last FGCU win of the meet came in the last event, the 400-yard freestyle relay, when the FGCU relay team consisting of Reinhart, Czarnecka, Lucjia Sulenta, and Hailey Jerew beat the second-place team from Vanderbilt by .05 milliseconds
“I’m really happy I can swim with my teammates at FGCU,” Halmai said. “I feel very comfortable and really good. I’m sure these [times] won’t be my best times.”
Overall, FGCU won 10 out of the 16 events in the meet, including both diving events with Reese Wakefield taking first in both events.
The FGCU swimming team gets to stay at home for their next swim meet as the team swims against Houston on Friday, Nov. 1 at 4 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 2 at 11:30 a.m.