Florida Gulf Coast Swimming and Diving Readies for Georgia Tech Invite
By George Nunnelley
ATLANTA, Ga. – After a week off from competition, the No. 24 FGCU swimming and diving team travels to Atlanta, Ga., for the Georgia Tech Invite at the McAuley Aquatics Center fromThursday, Nov. 19 to Saturday, Nov. 21. The swimming preliminaries will start at 10 a.m. each day with the finals starting at 6 p.m. The diving preliminary and final events will start an hour after the swimming events.
“We’re excited to see the girls race under some great conditions at Georgia Tech,” said FGCU head coach Neal Studd. “I’m hoping they can take another step forward as we prepare for championship season in the spring.”
This weekend’s field includes a trio of nationally-ranked opponents as No. 18 Alabama, No. 21 Arkansas and No. 46 South Carolina are all set to compete in the three-day invite. It will mark the Eagles first competition against the Tide and Razorbacks this year. Earlier this season, FGCU defeated the Gamecocks by a 48.5-point margin at the FGCU Classic.
A season ago, FGCU finished fourth among the 17-team women’s field that made up the Georgia Tech Invite. The Green and Blue finished behind Florida, Arkansas and Florida State and placed ahead of Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, FAU, Miami, South Carolina, Auburn and Clemson, among other programs.
Through six meets this season, the Eagles have built an impressive resume with four dual-meet wins over nationally-ranked opponents in No. 33 Notre Dame (158-104), No. 35 Boise State (159-140), No. 44 Utah (165-135) and No. 31 FSU (220.5-132.5) and remain in CollegeSwimming’s top 25 ahead of Ohio State, Kentucky, Minnesota, LSU, Arkansas, Virginia Tech and FSU among other prominent programs. Additionally, the Eagles are less than 10 points shy of cracking the nation’s top 20. In the Mid-Major poll, the Eagles have distanced themselves from the field as they hold more than a 24-point advantage over No. 2 Nevada. Yale, Denver and Villanova round out the Mid-Major top five. Additionally, the Green and Blue have received votes in each of the last two installments of the CSCAA Top 25.
SWIMMERS & DIVERS TO WATCH
Sophomore Katie Armitage (Bushey, United Kingdom/Queens School Bushey) is off to a 5-0 start in the 100-yard breaststroke and has notched a pair of wins in the 200-yard event as well. Armitage achieved a pair of NCAA ‘B’ cuts and set two FGCU Aquatics Center records in the events with season-best times of 1:01.73 and 2:15.69, respectively, vs. Notre Dame. She also holds the Green and Blue’s three fastest times in the pair of breaststrokes and was named the CCSA Women’s Swimmer of the Week following her performance at the All Florida Invite. Armitage will participate in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststrokes and 200-yard IM in Atlanta.
Senior Lani Cabrera (Bridgetown, Barbados/St. Ursala’s Secondary School) was recently named the CCSA Women’s Swimmer of the Week following her personal-best performance at FSU. The Barbados native turned in the second-fastest 1000-yard freestyle time in program history as she touched the pads in 10:04.08, nearly eight seconds faster than her previous individual best vs. Notre Dame this season. She is 4-0 in the event this season and also earned a win in the 500-yard freestyle while finishing second in the 200-yard event at FSU. Cabrera will compete in the 200-yard, 500-yard and 1650-yard freestyle events at Georgia Tech.
Junior Barbara Caraballo (Ponce, Puerto Rico/Indian River/Newsome HS) has won the last four IM events she competed in dating back to the Notre Dame meet and turned in a pair of season-best performances in the 100-yard and 200-yard events with times of 57.47 seconds and 2:01.65 seconds, respectively, at FSU. Her time in the 200-yard IM in Tallahassee was the third fastest in program history. Additionally, she was named the CCSA Women’s Swimmer of the Week after the FGCU Classic. Caraballo will compete in the 200-yard and 400-yard IM and the 200-yard backstroke this weekend.
Freshman Elise Haan (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast HS) earned CCSA Women’s Swimmer of the Week honors in two of her first three collegiate meets. She is a perfect 7-0 in individual events to start he career at FGCU and has also contributed to five relay victories. The Naples native achieved a NCAA ‘B’ cut in the 100-yard backstroke after swimming a season-best time of 54.41 seconds vs. Notre Dame. Additionally, Haan has turned in the Eagles’ three fastest times in both the 100-yard and 200-yard backstrokes. She will compete in the 100-yard and 200-yard backstrokes and 50-yard, 100-yard and 200-yard freestyles this weekend.
Junior Ashley Wright (Port Saint Lucie, Fla./Indian River/Lincoln Park Academy) has won three CCSA Women’s Diver of the Week awards this season. Most recently, she took home the honors after besting a personal-best performance in Salt Lake City with a 276.75-point effort off the three-meter board in Tallahassee. Wright surpassed the NCAA Diving Standards with a 272.33-point performance off the one-meter board in Utah. After three meets as a member of the Green and Blue, the Port Saint Lucie native now holds two of the program’s top-10 all-time scores in the two events. She will compete in the one-meter and three-meter dives in Atlanta.
Alabama (Men & Women)
Carson-Newman (Men & Women)
FAU (Men & Women)
Georgia Southern (Women)
Georgia Tech (Men & Women)
Indian River (Men & Women)
UNLV (Men & Women)
UNC Asheville (Women)
South Carolina (Men & Women)
SCHEDULE OF COMPETITION (FGCU SEASON BESTS)
Thursday – Prelims: 10 a.m.; Finals: 6 p.m.
200 Free Relay (Latham, Haan, Caraballo, Armitage – 1:33.33)
500 Free (Lani Cabrera – 4:53.18)
200 IM (Barbara Carballo – 2:01.65)
50 Free (Katie Latham – 23.03)
400 Medley Relay (Haan, Armitage, Wong, Burdge – 3:43.96)
1M Diving (Ashley Wright – 272.33)
Friday – Prelims: 10 a.m.; Finals: 6 p.m.
200 Medley Relay (Haan, Armitage, Wong, Latham – 1:41.19)
400 IM (Barbara Caraballo – 4:26.62)
100 Fly (Yee Ching Wong – 55.98)
200 Free (Elise Haan – 1:49.26)
100 Breast (Katie Armitage – 1:01.73)
100 Back (Elise Haan – 54.41)
800 Free Relay (Latham, Shaw, Burdge, Jamison – 7:35.44)
3M Diving (Ashley Wright – 276.75)
Saturday – Prelims: 10 a.m.; Finals: 6 p.m.
1650 Free (Melissa Marinheiro – 17:27.18)
200 Back (Elise Haan – 2:00.26)
100 Free (Katie Latham – 50.14)
200 Breast (Katie Armitage – 2:15.69)
200 Fly (Christina Kaas Elmgreen – 2:01.88)
400 Free Relay (Burdge, Caraballo, Latham, Armitage – 3:24.29)
Platform Diving (Mikaila Buening – 126.55)
Both live stats and a video feed for this weekend’s meet can be found at the top of this release.
The three-day meet in Atlanta is FGCU’s last of the fall season. The Green and Blue will resume competition as they host Rice at the FGCU Aquatics Center on Sunday, Jan. 3 at 10 a.m.