Florida Gulf Coast University Dominates Field Winning Seventh CCSA Championship in Eight Years
By George Nunnelley
ATHENS, Ga. – The Florida Gulf Coast University swimming and diving team continued its conference dominance by winning its seventh CCSA Championship in a span of eight years Saturday evening at the University of Georgia’s Gabrielsen Natatorium.
During the four-day conference meet, FGCU clocked 21 NCAA ‘B’ cut times to go along with setting eight program records and five CCSA all-time marks. Additionally, the Green and Blue won 16 of a possible 20 events, including 16 of 18 swimming events.
The Eagles tallied a conference-championship record 1,670 points en route to claiming the title, breaking its own record of 1,575 points at last year’s meet. Liberty finished runner up with 1,358 points while Georgia Southern (925), Gardner-Webb (898) and Campbell (715) rounded out the top five.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my team and my staff,” said FGCU head coach Neal Studd. “Not only did we win the championship, but we did so in record fashion. We won all but two swimming events this week, including every relay event, and set a number of CCSA record while doing so. It was a lot of fun.”
Freshmen swimmers Elise Haan (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast HS) and Fanny Teijonsalo (Espoo, Finland/Makelanrinteen Lukio) earned Co-Most Oustanding Female Swimmer of the Championship and Co-Most Outstanding Freshman Performer honors while Studd received his sixth CCSA Coach of the Year recognition.
Haan and Teijonsalo capped off the competition having each won three individual titles and contributing to four relay victories. The Finland native set the CCSA all-time standard in the 200-yard IM and the FGCU record in the 100-yard butterfly while Haan eclipsed the conference mark in 200-yard freestyle. Additionally, the duo contributed to the all-time CCSA record in the 400-yard medley relay.
On Saturday, Haan capped off the championship with a win in the 200-yard backstroke as she achieved a NCAA ‘B’ cut in the event in a time of 1:54.76. Teijonsalo won the 100-yard freestyle in 48.72 seconds, coming up just 0.13 seconds shy of Emma Svensson’s CCSA record.
Also in the freestyle event, Katie Latham (Deal, Kent, United Kingdom/Sir Roger Manwood’s School) finished runner-up in a time of 49.37 seconds, also good enough for a NCAA ‘B’ cut. FGCU placed four swimmers in the top six in the event as Sarah Hamilton (Stonehaven, Scotland/Mackie Academy) and Kirsten Jamison (Tucson, Ariz./Arizona)finished fourth and sixth.
After being disqualified in yesterday’s 100-yard breaststroke, Katie Armitage (Bushey, United Kingdom/Queens School Bushey) responded in a big way as she not only won the 200-yard event by nearly four seconds, but also set the CCSA all-time record with a time of 2:11.51.
Later, in the 200-yard butterfly, Christina Kaas Elmgreen (Charlottenlund, Denmark/Ordrup Gymnasium) took home the conference crown after touching the pads in 1:57.63 and set the FGCU program record in the event. Teammate Yee Ching Wong (Hong Kong, China/Diocesan Girls’ School) finished third in a time of 2:01.97.
Lastly, to put the finishing touches on their seventh conference crown since 2009, the FGCU 400-yard freestyle relay team of Haan, Barbara Caraballo (Ponce, Puerto Rico/Indian River/Newsome HS), Latham and Teijonsalo closed it out in style as they won the event after clocking a season-best time of 3:18.49, coming up just shy of the program and CCSA record set last year.
SATURDAY ALL-CONFERENCE PERFORMERS
2. Lani Cabrera – 16:43.03
1. Elise Haan – 1:54.76 (NCAA ‘B’ cut)
1. Fanny Teijonsalo – 48.72 (NCAA ‘B’ cut)
2. Katie Latham – 49.37 (NCAA ‘B’ cut)
1. Katie Armitage – 2:11.51 (CCSA all-time record, NCAA ‘B’ cut)
1. Christina Kaas Elmgreen – 1:57.63 (FGCU record, NCAA ‘B’ cut)
3. Yee Ching Wong – 2:01.97
400 Free Relay
1. Haan, Caraballo, Latham, Teijonsalo – 3:18.49
WOMEN’S TEAM STANDINGS
1. FGCU – 1670
2. Liberty – 1358
3. Georgia Southern – 925
4. Gardner-Webb – 898
5. Campbell – 715
6. Incarnate Word – 683
7. UNC Asheville – 506
8. UNF – 470
9. Howard – 183
10. North Carolina A&T – 177
11. Howard – 166
CHAMPIONSHIP HONORS AND AWARDS
Most Outstanding Female Swimmer of the Championship: Elise Haan (FGCU) and Fanny Teijonsalo (FGCU)
Most Outstanding Male Swimmer of the Championship: Nathan Lile (GWU)
Most Outstanding Female Diver of the Championship: Emma Weisel (GSU)
Most Outstanding Male Diver of the Championship: Ryan McIntire (FAU)
Most Outstanding Female Freshman Performer: Elise Haan (FGCU) and Fanny Teijonsalo (FGCU)
Most Outstanding Male Freshman Performer: Felix Richtsfeld (UMBC)
Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year: Elizabeth Lykins (UNCA), Shawn Hendrix (NC A&T), Neal Studd (FGCU), Nate Kellogg (GSU), Ian Coffey (UNF)
Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year: Chad Craddock (UMBC)
Women’s Diving Coach of the Year: David Giambra (GSU)
Men’s Diving Coach of the Year: Bryan Gillooly (FAU) and Noah Sculley (ODU)
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