FGCU Women Win Five Events To Kick Off 2021 Eagle Invitational

By SwimSwam on SwimSwam

2021 Eagle Invitational

November 18-20, 2021
Fort Myers, Florida
Results on Meet Mobile: “2021 Eagle Invitational”

Courtesy: FGCU Athletics

FORT MYERS, Fla./ATLANTA, Ga. – The FGCU swim and dive team kicked off a busy couple of days, Thursday, as they began the Eagle Invitational as well as the Georgia Tech Invite.

At the FGCU Aquatics Complex, history was made on the diving board as three Eagles qualified for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships for the first time in program history. Senior Megan Wakefield (Guelph, Ontario, Canada/Centennial CVI), junior Isabeau Keene (Demorest, Ga./Tallulah Falls School), and junior Delaney Nelson (Cincinnati, Ohio/Ursuline Academy) all qualified on the 1-meter.  The trio all scored above the 265-point standard, led by Wakefield who tallied 286.28 points. Keene registered a score of 278.63 points while Nelson scored 270.68.

“We had a really strong first night of competition,” said head coach Dave Rollins. “We’ve approached this fist half of the season differently than in years past, so its important to see how they compete. Big congratulations to Megan, Beau and Delaney on qualifying for Zones! That’s huge for our program.”

In the first individual swim event of the night, junior Sara Niepelova (Piestany, Slovakia/Gymnazium Pierra de Coubertina/ECU) won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:58.74, breaking five minutes for the first time this season.

In the 50 free, the Eagles swept the podium as junior Hailey Jerew (Miami, Fla./Cutler Bay Senior HS) took first with a personal-best time of 22.81, the seventh-fastest in program history. Senior Brittney Pike (Boerne, Texas/Boerne Samuel V. Champion/Arkansas) touched second with a time of 23.55 while sophomore Emma Hixenbaugh (Louisville, Ky./Ballard HS) was third with a time of 23.80.

“Hailey was absolutely flying going 22 for the first time,” continued Rollins. “As a team we talked about how can we be better tonight than this morning. Not just times or scores, but execution of our races. That’s what we are focused on. Lots of racing to go, both here and in Georgia, really proud of how Tori and Petra are competing. Should be an exciting weekend!

The Eagles also took first in both relays tonight. The quartet of freshman Macy Mullis (Colbert, Ga./Madison County), sophomore Karen Arngeirsdottir (Reykjanesbaer, Iceland/Fjolbrautaskoli Sudurnesja), junior Julia Rodriguez (Gainesville, Fla./Buccholz HS), and Pike took first place in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:42.50.

Pike picked up her second relay win of the night in the 800 free along with Niepelova, junior Anna Hogan (Louisville, Ky./Ballard HS), and sophomore Zuzanna Rabiniak (Radom, Poland/X Liceum Ogolnoksztalcace Mitsrzostwa Sportowego W Lublinie) with a time of 7:34.30.

After one day of the Eagle Invitational, the Eagles lead with 425 points. Georgia Southern is in second with 259 points while North Florida is close behind with 246 points.

At the Georgia Tech Invite, seniors Petra Halmai (Dombovar, Hungary/Lanczos Kornel Secondari Grammar School) and Wiktoria Czarnecka (Lublin, Poland/Liceum NR 10 W Lublinie) swam against some of the nation’s best and showed that they belonged.

In the 50 free, Czarnecka finished ninth in a field of 58 swimmers, all from the SEC or ACC, with a time of 22.95 while Halmai finished 18th out of 48 in the 200 IM with a time of 2:01.57.

Everybody will be back in the pool tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. for day two of both invitationals with the finals tomorrow night at 6 p.m.

For complete coverage of FGCU swimming & diving, follow the Eagles on Twitter (@FGCU_WSwimDive), Instagram (@FGCU_WSwimDive) and online at www.FGCUAthletics.com. You can also sign up to have news on FGCU swimming & diving or other programs delivered directly to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.

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