Miami Tops In-State Rival Florida Gulf Coast

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The Miami Hurricanes competed in their last home meet before the ACC Championships next month. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The University of Miami Hurricanes Swimming and Diving team defeated the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles Swimming and Diving Teams in Coral Gables, FL, on Saturday.

SCORES

Miami – 160, FGCU – 82

RESULTS

Miami Press Release

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Miami Hurricanes swimming & diving team cruised to a Senior Day victory over FGCU Saturday afternoon, capturing a 160-82 win over its in-state foe at the Whitten University Center Pool.

Miami was in command from the start, earning its third straight victory over the Eagles in dominating fashion. After the Hurricanes won the 400-yard medley relay in a time of 3:49.21, Miami ripped off individual wins in seven of the next eight events to take a sizable lead.

Prior to the meet, the Hurricanes honored three seniors before their final home competition: swimmers Claire McGinnis and Manon Viguier and diver David Dinsmore. Senior Alicia Blagg and head diving coach Randy Ableman were not present as Blagg begins Olympic qualifying overseas at the British National Cup.

“It’s gratifying and I’m happy for them,” Kershaw said. “As I told the team beforehand, for me, these two seniors represent perseverance. They’ve been through injuries, through hard times and low moments in their careers – as most do – but they’ve come through. They never give in.”

Assistant diving coach Dario di Fazio said what separates Dinsmore from his peers is his mental fortitude.

“I’ve never seen an athlete in the world, in diving, that has such mental strength,” di Fazio said. “This sport is 90-percent mental. You can be physically fit and have all the right skills, but if you go to a meet and can’t control the situation, the pressure…many people just fall apart. David is a rare breed.”

Appropriately enough, Dinsmore emerged victorious in a platform exhibition, edging out teammate Zach Cooper. Freshman Mia Vallee picked up top performances in the 1-meter (317.40) and 3-meter (334.95), with teammate Millie Haffety taking second in both events (316.13, 308.63) to add points for the Hurricanes.

Shortly after being recognized in the pre-meet festivities, McGinnis opened individual action by winning the 1,000-yard freestyle (10:35.05) and would pick up another win later on in the day in the 500-yard freestyle (5:06.24).

Junior Sydney Knapp continued her strong campaign with a pair of individual wins, leading the way in the 200-yard freestyle (1:51.82) and the 100-yard freestyle (52.11) while freshman Andrea Todorovic kept the momentum building with the top time in the 200-yard IM (2:06.81).

Freshman Isabel Traba was a standout once again, winning the 200-yard butterfly (2:01.43) against stiff competition from FGCU’s Petra Halmai (2:04.74). She came right back in the next event to take second in the 500-yard freestyle (5:09.85), just behind McGinnis

“It was solid. It was well-rounded. It’s hard to pick any individuals out today,” Kershaw said. “They were executing the training that they’ve been working on, and it was clear they were able to put it into their races.”

Miami ended the meet in strong fashion, with junior Carmen San Nicolas, Viguier, junior Alaina Skellett and Knapp taking the top finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:36.88).

The Hurricanes have only two meets remaining before the ACC Swimming & Diving Championships take place in Greensboro, N.C., in February.

“The key for us is to stay together and continue to build our confidence,” Kershaw said. “That’s going to come from the training, and putting that into competitions. As we do that, we just keep getting better and better. I’m looking for them to keep doing what they’re doing and continue to elevate the level they’re doing at.”

Florida Gulf Coast Press Release

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – While finishing off its in-state road trip, the FGCU swimming & diving team came out on the losing side of a 160-82 battle against the Miami Hurricanes at the Norman Whitten Pool on Saturday afternoon. Though the Hurricanes earned today’s victory, the Eagles (8-7-1, 4-1 CCSA) still hold an 8-4 all-time advantage over Miami.

The ‘Canes (3-3, 1-0 ACC) started the meet hot, claiming first-place finishes in the opening four events until sophomore Wiktoria Czarnecka (Lublin, Poland) ended the streak with a win in the 50 Free. Junior Petra Halmai (Dombovar, Hungary) was the only other member of the team that won an individual event, as she took home the 200 Breast. Overall, the duo accounted for over 26 of the team’s 82 points.

“I’m definitely encouraged with how the team was able to turn its mental focus around between yesterday and today,” head coach Dave Rollins said. “You always want to make sure you do everything you can to bring home a win for the Green and Blue and the way they approached their races and dives definitely gave us a better chance than yesterday. We are starting to see some pieces come together with race strategy and attention to detail. Petra (Halmai) swam a very solid 200 Breast, Liz (Zeiger) continues to compete very well in the 200 Back and Meg (Schienvar) was a pleasant surprise anchoring our freestyle relay. Tori (Czarnecka) also did a great job getting her hand on the wall first in the 50, which was a great way to bounce back from yesterday. She continues to be a rock for our team.”

Throughout today’s meet, FGCU was also led by a handful of second-place finishes that were tallied by freshman Hannah VanDress (Cape Coral, Fla.) and senior Elizabeth Zeiger (Cumberland, R.I.). VanDress’ time of 10:42.13 in the 1000-yard freestyle was good for second, while Zeiger beat Miami’s Una Forsythe by almost four full seconds to finish second in the 200 IM. Freshman Hailey Jerew (Miami, Fla.) also added a high individual finish, tying for third in the 50 Free.

For the first time in her rookie campaign, freshman Delaney Nelson (Cincinnati, Ohio) led the Eagles on both the 1m and 3m boards. Nelson’s team-high 256.43 on the 1m was good for third and her 242.10 in the 3m event, another team-best score, landed her in fourth.

“Delaney was huge on the 1m today,” Rollins added. “She had to compete against people who represent their countries in the Olympics and past NCAA qualifiers, which is not easy. She, and the rest of our divers, did a fantastic job. We have a quick turn-around back home before we honor our graduating seniors next week, which will be a very special afternoon.”

The Eagles will return to the Nest next Saturday (Jan. 25) to host FIU on Senior Day at the FGCU Aquatics Complex. Competition against the Panthers is slated for a Noon start and will be preceded by a ceremony in which Rollins and his staff will honor the six members of this year’s graduating class.

For complete coverage of FGCU swimming & diving, follow the Eagles on Twitter (@FGCU_WSwim), Instagram (@FGCU_WSwimDive) and online at www.FGCUAthletics.com. You can also sign up to have news on FGCU swimming & diving or other programs delivered directly to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.

HEAD COACH DAVE ROLLINS
Head coach Dave Rollins is only the second coach in program history. He was hired Sept. 1, 2016 and owns a 32-19-1 (.627) dual meet record, which includes an 11-2 (.846) mark against CCSA opponents, in his fourth season. Rollins guided FGCU to back-to-back CCSA titles (2017, 2018), as well as the program’s fourth-straight title in 2018, marking the ninth championship in 10 years. In addition, he has been awarded CCSA Coach of the Year in two of his seasons at the helm. Previously, Rollins was the associate head men’s swimming coach at The Ohio State University. Rollins brings over a decade of coaching experience to The Nest, which includes helping to develop Olympians, NCAA Champions and All-Americans, along with multiple conference champions. A native of Brockton, Mass., he was a standout collegiate swimmer in his own right and was inducted into the University of Arizona’s Hall of Fame in 2017, as a nine-time NCAA All-American, national champion, school record holder and team captain.

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