COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After an impressive fall season, the University of West Florida women’s swimming and diving team was ranked 10th in the final College Swimming Coaches Association of America poll of 2016.
The Argonauts had an impressive showing in the season’s home-opener against first-year programs Keiser and Loyola-New Orleans and followed that with a victory over No. 21 Florida Southern in a quad-meet with DI opponents Florida State and Florida Gulf Coast. The fall was capped off with a win at the three-day Panther Invitational, over North Florida, Saint Leo, Lynn and Florida Tech.
In terms of individual performance, the fall was highlighted by Theresa Michalak’s performance at the Panther Invitational, which included her setting a national record in the 100 Breast (1:00.62) and four A-cuts. Michalak has the second-fastest in DII this year in the 50 Free (22.53), the 100 Free (49.42), 100 Back (54.52), the 100 Breast (1:00.62), the 100 Fly (53.98) and the 200 IM (1:59.53).
UWF has also seen top 20 times from freshman Taby Read-Cayton in the 50 Free (23.43), junior Madeline Pitt in the 1000 Free (10:17.86), the 1650 Free (17:01.36) and 400 IM (4:26.19), and senior Rebecca Halfast in the 100 Back (2:02.88).
The Argonauts also have top 10 national times in four relay events, highlighted by the team’s 200 Free Relay squad that has the second-fastest time in the country and the 400 Medley Relay team that ranks fourth.
Diving has been a strong suit against for West Florida, with Monica Amaral leading the way. The senior has won five of the eight events the team has competed in, and all five UWF divers have defeated at least two DI opponents.
Fellow NSISC members Delta State and Lindenwood, which is a newcomer to the conference, are ranked No. 4 and 5, respectively.
The team continues its season with a Senior Day meet against Ouachita Baptist on Saturday, January 7, in the UWF Aquatic Center at 11 a.m. It will be the first of three January meets before the team heads to Cleveland, Mississippi, for the NSISC Championships in February and Birmingham, Alabama, in March for the NCAA Championships.