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Positioned for greatness

The UNF women’s swimming and diving team broke 11 school records at the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Championships in Athens, Ga. Feb. 19-21 to finish its season.

The record performances, including three broken Feb. 21, helped the Ospreys notch a fifth place finish with 435 points out of the 12 teams. The Ospreys (6-2), who had five all-conference showings, placed third at the Davidson Invitational this season.

“The bar is set higher in our conference, and our whole conference is swimming faster,” UNF head coach Beth Harrell said. “Knowing we were only a few points out of third place makes us a little bit hungrier.”

Sophomore LynAnn Nelson broke four UNF records, two CCSA records and had three all-conference showings in the 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle. Nelson clocked in at 1 minute, 47.52 seconds in the 200 and set a new UNF and CCSA record. Nelson also earned the NCAA “B” cut, which gives her a shot at competing in the NCAA Championships.

“The way anyone achieves a goal in swimming is pouring your heart and soul into practice,” Nelson said. “And knowing at the end of the season that you reached your goals is great.”

Freshman Taylor Crosby clocked in at 2:21.44 in the 200 breaststroke to set a new UNF record and finish fourth overall.

After earning all-conference honors in the 200 fly last year, sophomore Patricia Lanoue broke the previous record of 2:07.70, clocking in at 2:03.75 to finish in second place for the second year in a row.

Senior Caroline Poling joined in, breaking a UNF record by finishing the preliminaries in 2:04.03. Poling also finished the 100-fly preliminaries with 55.05 seconds.

Junior Kelly Gillis was another record breaker, setting a UNF record in the 400 individual medley with a 4:29.67 finish in the preliminaries. She finished eighth in the final with 4:31.88.

Sophomores Megan Boudreau, Sara Taylor and Lanoue set a new record in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 7:40.27. Nelson, along with junior Emily Shaw, Crosby and Poling set another new school record in the 400 medley relay, clocking in at 3:51.40. Freshman Amanda Anderson beat the previous UNF record in preliminaries with a time of 2:07.74.

On the diving board, senior Emily Eisenhower placed first in the 3-meter dive with a score of 290.75 and placed fourth in the 1-meter with a score of 227.70.

She also qualified for the Zone Championships, which allows her to have the chance to compete for the NCAA.

“As a team this was one of the best tapered meets we have ever had in the career of UNF swimming,” sophomore Allison Fethe said. “Our coaches know what to do in order to attain success.”

Going into the offseason, Nelson believes the entire team knows they are capable of performing at a very high level and achieving their goals. The UNF swim team is also going to be very motivated going into next season.

“We had a really great season,” Harrell said. “The girls had fantastic chemistry, [were] very positive and supportive of one another and were really great to coach.”

At the start of the season, the team started with times that were not as fast as it had hoped, but with hard work it got faster and faster, Harrell said.

The Ospreys planned to go for their best times by the end of the year, which they did and took the program to a new level, Harrell said.

And this will help recruitment reach new heights because the goal is to find the fastest recruits possible and show results of faster times, Harrell said.

E-mail Matt Head at [email protected].

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