Swim and Dive honors seniors ahead of big day against UNF

FORT MYERS, Florida. – On a day that began with honoring seven seniors, the FGCU swim team kept the mood going by winning eight races on day one against North Florida, taking a 122-43 lead after nine events.

“Very special day today,” said the head coach david rollins. “Honoring our senior class, seeing them swim together and creating memories for life, brought many tears of joy. As a team, we are in a great position. Several best times of life and of the season are what we’re looking for. With two more weeks until the CCSA Championships, you can see what these ladies are capable of.”

The competition began as the Eagles took the top two spots in the 200 medley relay with junior Claire McAtee (Louisville, Ky./Sacred Heart Academy), senior Petra Halmai (Dombovar, Hungary/Lanczos Kornel Secondari Grammar School), senior Wiktoria Czarnecka (Lublin, Poland/Liceum NR 10 W Lublinie), and junior Hailey Jeremy (Miami, Fla./Cutler Bay Senior High) teaming up for the win with a season best time of 1:41.98.

Second year Rebecca Win (Wawrick, UK/The Kingsley School) followed by victory in the 400 IM. She was the only Eagle in the six-person field, but managed to hit the wall first in a season-best time of 4:31.73.

Emma Hixenbaugh picked up the third win of the day as she swam a personal best 200m freestyle with a time of 1:52.61. Senior Britney Pike (Boerne, Texas/Boerne Samuel V. Champion/Arkansas) and rookie Dani D’Ambrosio (Hillsborough, NJ/Hillsborough HS) was right behind her with times of 1:52.80 and 1:53.61, respectively.

Halmai earned the next two wins for the Eagles as she touched first place in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:01.85 and the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:01.27.

In the 50 free, D’Ambrosio led a trio of Eagles into the top three with a time of 23.90. Hixenbaugh came in second at 24.05 while junior Kaja Reinhardt (Herdecke, Germany/Helene-Lange-Gymnasium Dortmund) finished third at 24.13.

After the shortest race of the day, junior Sara Niepelova (Piestany, Slovakia/Gymnazium Pierra de Coubertina/ECU) won the longest race, claiming first place in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 17:27.15.

The Eagles ended the day the same way they started, with a relay win as Jerew, Czarnecka, Pike and Reinhardt took the 400 freestyle relay victory with a season best time of 3:26, 18.

FGCU will return to the pool tomorrow afternoon for Day 2 against the Ospreys. The first event is scheduled for 12 p.m.

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HEAD COACH DAVE ROLLINS
The head coach david rollins is only the second coach in program history. He was hired Sept. 1, 2016 and boasts a 34-26-1 (.566) dual meet record, which includes a 13-2 (.857) mark against CCAA opponents, in his sixth season. . Rollins guided the FGCU to back-to-back CCSA titles (2017, 2018), as well as the program’s fourth consecutive title in 2018, scoring the ninth championship in 10 years before winning the 10th championship in program history in 2021. Additionally, he received the CCAA Coach of the Year award in two of his seasons at the helm. Previously, Rollins was the assistant coach of men’s swimming at Ohio State University. Rollins brings more than a decade of coaching experience to The Nest, including helping develop Olympians, NCAA champions and All-Americans, as well as multiple conference champions. A native of Brockton, Mass., he was an outstanding college swimmer and was inducted into the University of Arizona Hall of Fame in 2017, as a nine-time NCAA All-American, national champion, record holder school and team. captain.

EAGLE CAMPAIGN
IT TAKES A TEAM to achieve our new goal – a $10 million campaign to address the needs of student-athletes for continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition, strength and conditioning, as well as the department’s needs for facility expansion and improvements as well as mentorship and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and the goal of the EAGLE – Eagle Athletics Generating Lifetime Excellence campaign. Join our team and pledge your donation today to help the Eagles of tomorrow!

#FEEDFGCU
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to contribute, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.

ABOUT THE FGCU
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 85 regular season and conference tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of DI playoff eligibility, the Eagles have brought together 42 teams or individuals competing in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs ranked in the top 25 nationally in their respective sports, including women’s basketball (#21, 2020-21), beach volleyball (#20, 2021) and men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s football. (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Vert et Bleu posted the department’s best sixth place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top 100 nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and Florida State’s top seven teams won the NCAA Public Recognition Award for their rate of academic progression in their sport. FGCU also collectively achieved a record 3.50 classroom GPA in the fall 2020 semester and outperformed the general undergraduate college population for 24 consecutive semesters. The Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 semesters each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a team GPA of 3.0 or higher in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high of 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two finalists for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.

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