Liberty Captures Initial Coastal Collegiate Swimming Title in a Barnburner with FGCU

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee, February 23. THE Liberty women won the 2014 Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday at the University of Tennessee’s Allan Jones Aquatic Center. The Lady Flames picked up a total of 732.5 points, earning its first CCSA Championship title.

Florida Gulf Coast followed with 718.5 points, while Georgia Southern took third with a score of 423. Davidson placed fourth with 406 points and in fifth with 336 points was University of the Incarnate Word. Gardner-Webb took sixth-place with 284 points, while Campbell followed in seventh with 230 points and North Florida in eighth with 206 points. Radford placed ninth with 109 points and UNC Asheville was 10th with 93 points. Howard took the 11th sport with 86 points and VMI was 12th with 63. Rounding out the field was North Carolina A&T with 32 points.

Florida Gulf Coast’s Lani Cabrera won the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 16:36.63, while Kylie Warne (Campbell) placed second with a time of 16:47.82 and Kristin VanDeventer (Liberty) finished third with a time of 16:55.28.

The top three finishers in the 200-yard backstroke were FGCU’s Kira Toussaint (1:57.83), who broke the conference and meet record, Liberty’s Emily Duff (1:57.52) and FGCU’s Karen Vilario (1:57.74). All three women qualified for NCAA “B” cuts.

Emma Svensson (FGCU) won the 100-yard freestyle for the second year in a row with a time of 49.77, while Meredith Nakano (Davidson) finished second with a time of 50.52. Coming in third was Liberty’s Meghan Babcock with a time of 50.53.

Liberty’s Emilie Kaufman won the 200-yard breaststroke for the second-consecutive year with a time of 2:12.49 which is a CCSA Conference and meet record. Second place went to Katy Williams (2:14.74) of Davidson, while Kristen Bates (2:17.18) of Georgia Southern finished third.

Jess Reinhardt from Liberty broke the conference and meet record to win the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:56.79. Nina Schiffer from FGCU finished in second-place with mark of 1:58.38, while Elise Lankiewicz finished third, touching the pads in 2:00.47.

Kaliya Burton-Akright won the 3-meter diving competition with a score of 312.15 points, edging Incarnate Word’s Kali Lents who tallied 311.85 points. Kimberly Foster of UIW rounded out the podium in third with 293.80 points.

The Florida Gulf Coast team of Toussaint, Emma Svensson, Sara Hamilton and Christina Tanninen set a Conference and meet record with a time of 3:20.13 in the 400 yard freestyle relay. Davidson (Lankiewicz, Meredith Nakano, Kassie Shannon and Angie Healy) finished second in 3:21.50, while Liberty (Reinhardt, Kendall Hough, Kaufman and Meghan Babcock) touched third with a time of 3:23.66.

Kira Toussaint took home Most Outstanding Freshman Performer and Swimmer of the Meet. She set four Conference and meet records, winning the 200-free, 100-back and the 200-back. Her time in the 100-back qualified for an NCAA “A” cut, while she added a win as the anchor leg of the 200-free relay team that finished first

Liberty head coach Jake Shellenberger (5th season) won Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year for the second time, while Incarnate Word diving coach Tommy Law took home Women’s Diving Coach of the Year.

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Results For: Coastal Collegiate Championships: Day Four