St. Leo Swimming Races for NCAA Cuts at the SCAD Invite

St. Leo Cap

By Abby Boone, Swimming World College Intern

LAKELAND – Most of the Sunshine State Conference teams have spent the last few weeks continuing to train as their student-athletes prepare for finals, but select swimmers from St. Leo swimming headed to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Invitational with hopes of qualifying for the NCAA DII championship meet.

Nine swimmers traveled to SCAD with St. Leo head coach Paul Mangen. As a team, they left the meet with 23 NCAA DII cuts: 19 individual B cuts, two individual A cuts, and two relay B cuts.

Coach Mangen chose the SCAD invite instead of the Nova Shark Invite, which many SSC teams will be competing at, because it is two weeks earlier in the season.

“We did rest for this meet, so for those that did not qualify for NCAA’s will have a few extra weeks of training heading into our second cycle than if we raced in two weekends.”

Mangen is proud of his swimmer’s accomplishments, but he continues to focus on training because he knows how quickly the conference and national meets are approaching.

“We had a good showing overall, but if we are going to compete at the level we expect, we need to be great as a whole. We compete in the best conference in the country so we will have the opportunity to compete at a national level at every chance we compete.”

For St. Leo, the A cuts at SCAD were achieved by Daniel Bis and Matheus Assis. Bis qualified in the 1650 free with a time of 15:21.77, and Assis qualified in the 100 fly with a time of 47.92. Bis also achieved B cuts in the 200 fly (1:44.43) and 500 free (4:27.06). Assis came in with B cuts in the 50 free (20.20) and 100 free (44.51).

Bis was chosen as SSC male swimmer of the week for his swims, as well as his part in the two B cut relays. Female swimmer of the week went to Natalia Gariock, who made B cuts in all four of her individual events, also breaking school records in the 100 back (57.42) and 100 fly (56.06).

In the 200 breast, Nicole Webber was a quarter of a second off the A cut with her time of 2:15.18, a time which ranks second in the nation and will earn her a place at the national meet. Her 100 breast (1:03.67) is currently ranked third in the nation.

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