Clearwater, Fla. – The day started just as any other for Lynn University's swimming team but ended in historic fashion. After Sarah Hughes claimed her second Sunshine State Conference Championship medal in as many days, the 400 medley relay team earned bronze and became the first relay in program history to qualify for the NCAA Division II National Championship. The excitement continued on the leaderboard as the Fighting Knights are in third place for the first time in school history.
INSIDE THE MEET:
Score: Lynn (3rd) - 188 (Tampa leads with 482)
Location: Long Center Pool | Clearwater, Fla.
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HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Evening Session
- Lynn placed seventh in both the A and B 200 freestyle relays, sporting times of 1:38.73 and 1:42.14.
- The Fighting Knights move up the leaderboard started in the 400 individual medley. Hughes, seeded third heading into the final, topped her prelim time by almost five seconds with a time of 4:19.08 to win the silver medal.
- Samar Khacha beat her prelim time as well, besting her mark by almost three seconds at 4:26.17 to finish fifth.
- Lynn had two swimmers compete in the 100 fly. Clara Monges qualified for the A finals, earning the seventh seed but the junior swimmer missed out on the podium by a mere nine-one hundredths of a second with a time of 55.83.
- Karolina Smylek was third in the B final, tapping the wall in 56.55.
- The excitement drew to a climax in the 400 medley relay. Buoyed by Smylek, Hughes, Monges and Laia Coma, the Fighting Knights surpassed expectations with a time of 3:46.28, beating the NCAA relay provisional by more than a second while also taking third place.
- Coupled with the 400 MR B team's sixth place finish, the Blue and White were able to secure third place after the second day of competition.
- Morning Session
- Allyson Currao placed 34th in the 100 fly with a time of 1:00.61.
- The Fighting Knights saw six swimmers compete in the 200 freestyle. Catalina Berraud-Galea led the group with a time of 1:55.73. She placed 20th overall, missing the 'B' finals by less than a second.
- Sarah Nichols was clocked at 1:57.25, Anita Field 1:57.21, Grace Armit 1:59.04, Sydney Keefe 2:04.08 and Aliah Maginley 2:04.36.
BEYOND THE HEAT SHEET:
- This is the first NCAA qualifying relay in program history.
- The Fighting Knights have now medaled in three relays, all bronze: 2014 – 400 medley, 2015 – 200 medley and 2019 – 400 medley.
- Hughes' medal is the fifth in her career. She also becomes the third swimmer in program history to medal in the same event three times, joining Tyne Potgieter (100 breast – 2013-15) and Catalina Berraud-Galea (1650 free – 2016-18).
- This is the 29th individual medal in school history and third relay medal.
- 200 free personal-record times: Field topped her best time by seven seconds, Armit beat her previous best time by three seconds. Maginley and Keefe had the largest improvements by nine and eight seconds, respectively.
- Hughes, Khacha, Monges and Smylek all set PRs in their events today.
- Lynn's 400 MR time is a new program record, beating the previous mark by six seconds.
Day three of the Sunshine State Conference Championship begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23. Results can be found live on the Meet Mobile app. For more information check out LynnFightingKnights.com.