CORAL GABLES, Florida, October 12. MIAMI honored its senior class in their first and only home meet this season, but the team didn’t have enough firepower to top a strong Florida Gulf Coast team on Saturday afternoon. FGCU came out with the win, 175-123.
Miami Press Release
The University of Miami hosted its first and final dual meet of the season Saturday, battling the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles on Senior Day at the Norman A. Whitten University Center Pool.
Three veteran Hurricanes were honored in pre-meet ceremonies: Lindsay Lester, Katherine Nicholson and Susan Smiddy.
“It was great to have them recognized,” head swimming coach Andy Kershaw said. “It’s a little unique in that it’s October and we have the season ahead of us, but it was great to see them lead the way in our home pool.”
Kershaw attributed his team’s attacking style to the tone set by its leaders.
“It was evident by the way we swam that we follow our veterans,” Kershaw said. “They’re aggressive swimmers, and that’s how the team swam today. I’m proud of them.”
The Hurricanes opened the meet in impressive fashion, barely missing out on first place in the 200-yard Medley Relay. Miami’s top entry of Heather Arseth, Amy Wiley, My Fridell and Angela Algee finished just a half-second behind FGCU’s winning entry, touching the wall in a time of 1:46.69.
The day’s first event set the tone for the remainder of the meet, which ended 175-123 in favor of FGCU.
“They’ve put the work in, and because of that, they’re confident that they can go out and race aggressively,” Kershaw said.
Miami divers Kara McCormack, Thea Vock and Cynthia Hoppler captured the top three finishes in both diving events. McCormack paced all competitors in the 1-meter (311.55) and 3-meter (360.23).
“The divers did great,” assistant coach Dario Di Fazio said. “It’s early, but we’re on the right track for U.S. Nationals and getting ready for the postseason. For this being our first dual meet, I thought we looked pretty good.”
Freshman swimmer Cameron Davis, who delivered a strong performance in her collegiate debut at the All-Florida Invite, had another good showing Saturday. The Sarasota, Fla., native finished both the 1000 Freestyle (10:21.85) and 500 Freestyle (5:01.12) in second place, earning points for the hosts in her signature distance events.
Arseth continued the lightning pace with a first-place finish in the 200 Freestyle (1:52.41), while fellow newcomer Tiffany Sudarma followed up with a fourth-place showing in the 100 Backstroke (59.82). Julia Schippert finished the 100 Breaststroke in second (1:06.84), while Angela Algee captured first in the 200 Butterfly with a blazing speed of 2:05.88.
“Before the meet, I asked them to race aggressively, and have confidence,” Kershaw said. “Get to the end of the race, and then it’s all about guts. That’s what we saw, and it paid off for us. The thing that I enjoy the most is that they have the confidence to do it.”
Arseth delivered the top time in the 100 Free (51.67) by a full second, while Schippert and junior Amy Wiley earned points in the 200 Breast. After a top finish by sophomore My Fridell in the 100 Fly (56.53), the Hurricanes ended the day with a thrilling second-place finish in the 200 Free Relay (1:36.67). The team’s entry of Arseth, Algee, Fridell and Nicholson came just short of the Eagles time of 1:36.24.
Kershaw decided to enlist his team in the Southern Methodist University Classic (Oct. 18-19) — an event featuring national powers Indiana, North Carolina, Louisville and Southern Cal — the night before his team’s meet with the Eagles.
And after watching his team perform Saturday, he is encouraged the Canes can find success next weekend.
“Coming into this meet, making that decision last night, and knowing the level of that meet — there was a little nervousness,” Kershaw said. “But after seeing how they raced today, I feel really good about that decision and that opportunity.”
Florida Gulf Coast Press Release
Finishing first in 10 of 16 events, the FGCU swimming and diving team claimed its sixth-straight and seventh all-time win over the University of Miami with a 175-123 victory Saturday afternoon in Coral Gables.
“We had a good day with a big win away from home,” head coach Neal Studd said. “Miami was tough, but in the end our depth saw us through. Any time we beat a team from one of the big BCS conferences is a great day. Lani Cabrera and Kira Toussaint both had great days, and Evita Leter provided some pivotal wins.”
The 10 first-place finishes the Green and Blue registered were the product of six different Eagles. Leading the group for the second week in a row was freshman Evita Leter (Paramaribo, Suriname/Doral Academy), who touched first as a member of the 200-yard medley relay team and finished first individually in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events. Joining Leter with three winning races was Lani Cabrera (Barbados/St. Ursala’s Secondary School) as a member of the 200-yard freestyle relay and leader in the 500- and 1000-yard freestyle.
Kira Toussaint (Amstelveen, Netherlands/Keizer Karel College) joined Leter to win the 200-yard medley relay and went on to win the 200-yard backstroke, while Emma Svensson (Uppsala, Sweden/Celsiusskolan) joined Cabrera on the winning 200-yard freestyle relay team after posting the 50-yard freestyle winning time. Other first-place finishes came from Sandra Wilk (Lexington, Ky./Paul Lawrence Dunbar HS) in 100-yard backstroke and Nina Schiffer (Dortmund, Germany/SG Dortmund) in 200 IM.
In the diving well, two members scored points for the Eagles as Taylor Malewicki (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny HS) finished fifth in the 1-meter (219.23) and fourth in the 3-meter (221.93) while Cayla Collins (Largo, Fla./Osceola) did the opposite, placing fourth on the 1-meter (222.00) and fifth on the 3-meter (218.10). Of Miami’s 123 points, 32 came off the diving board as the Hurricanes swept the top-three positions in both events.
Saturday’s win marks the sixth-straight time FGCU has topped the Hurricanes. In their past eight meetings, three being dual meets (head-to-head) and five others being invitationals with multiple programs represented, FGCU has totaled a combined 736 more points than Miami to claim seven wins over the Hurricanes the past three seasons. The two have faced off head-to-head in a dual meet seven times, with FGCU leading the series 4-3.
Following the first event of the day, FGCU was off to a strong lead after taking first and third place in the 200-yard medley relay. Leading the Eagles into first were Toussaint, Leter, Heather Coutts (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny HS) and Sara Hamilton (Stonehaven, Scotland/Mackie Academy) with a time of 1:46.19. Closely trailing was the relay team of Wilk, Tryshia Centeno (Agus Buenas, Puerto Rico), Devon Robins (London, United Kingdom/The Grey Coat Hospital) and Christina Tanninen (Burlington, Ontario/Nelson), posting a 1:48.37.
In the 1000-yard freestyle, Cabrera touched first with a time of 10:14.59. More than 15 seconds behind her were other FGCU finishers, Lindsey Meeder (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista), in third at 10:20.62, followed by Caroline Hamilton (Davidsonville, Md./Archbishop Spalding HS), in fourth at 10:33.45.
The Eagles swept the top-three spots in three of the meet’s 16 events. The first was the 100-yard backstroke as Wilk led with a 58.12, Karen Vilorio (Tegucigalpa, Honduras/Elvel School) in second with a 58.36 and Svensson in third at 58.36.
The dominant performance continued in the 200-yard backstroke where Toussaint clocked a 2:01.34 to win, followed by Wilk in second with a 2:06.19 and Vilorio in third at 2:09.03.
In the 200-yard individual medley, FGCU controlled the top spots as Schiffer finished first after a 2:10.07, Jessie Porter (Chorleywood, Hertforshire, United Kingdom/Royal Masonic) touched in second with a 2:10.83, Meeder in third at 2:12.64 and Caroline Hamilton in fourth at 2:13.72.
Leter’s control of the breaststroke races started in the 100-yard race where she earned her first individual title posting a 1:05.55. She was followed by Centeno in fourth at 1:07.04 and Meghan McGuirk (Plaistow, N.H./Peddie School) in fifth at 1:08.94. Leter’s top result was duplicated as she led the 200-yard race with a 2:24.48, followed by Samantha Rahael (Trinidad &Tobago/The Bolles School) in fourth at 2:26.99 and McGuirk in fifth at 2:28.21.
Other winning finishes for the Green and Blue came from the freestyles races where Svensson led the pool in the 50-yard event with a time of 24.54 and Cabrera led the 500-yard with a 5:00.15.
Up next the Eagles will travel to the capital city as they face FSU in a dual meet Friday, Oct. 18, at 2 p.m.