By Chad Beattie
Melbourne, Fla. – Competition began on the first day of the Panther Invitational with Lynn University’s swimming team putting up some impressive marks. The Fighting Knights had seven swimmers qualify for ‘A’ and ‘B’ finals with one event victory.
The Blue & White began the evening swim with the 200 freestyle relay. Lynn’s A relay team (Fatimah Westbrook, Sarah Nichols, Kaitlin Armstrong & Kasey Swartley) turned in a seventh place time of 1:38.71 while the B relay team (Ktie Tiell, Tara Lunsford, Elizabeth Harris and Aliah Maginley) were timed in 1:49.65.
Catalina Berraud-Galea had the first big individual swim of the evening in the 500 freestyle. The sophomore distance swimmer finished second overall with a NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 5:02.22, and was the top swimmer to finish from the SSC. Swartley was third in the B final with a time of 5:12.61.
Lynn turned heads in the next event, the 200 individual medley, with three swimmers in the A final. Sarah Hughes claimed first place with a time of 2:08.41 while Megan Carlson swam a time of 2:13.09 to place seventh and Laia Coma took eighth (2:14.04).
Both Westbrook and Nichols reached the 50 freestyle B finals. Westbrook clocked in the top time at 24.22 and Nichols tapped the wall in 24.60 to finish fifth.
The Fighting Knights posted a time of 3:55.43 in the 400 medley relay with their A team (Coma, Westbrook, Hughes & Nichols) to place fifth while the B squad (Kayla Smith, Berraud-Galea, Tieri Erasito and Carlson) were clocked at 4:12.54.
BEYOND THE HEAT SHEET:
- Berraud-Galea’s 500 free time was her best of the season.
- Westbrook shaved one and a half seconds off her 50 free time for a personal-best while Nichols’ 50 free time was also her top time of the season.
- Hughes took off a whopping eight seconds from her previous 200 IM time.
The Fighting Knights are back in the pool for day two of the Panther Invitational starting with prelims at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Teams will compete in the 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 free, 100 breaststroke and the 100 backstroke.