S&D Opens Dual Meet Schedule Against Eagles
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami hosted its first and final dual meet of the season Saturday, battling the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles on Senior Day at the Norman A. Whitten University Center Pool.
Three veteran Hurricanes were honored in pre-meet ceremonies: Lindsay Lester, Katherine Nicholson and Susan Smiddy.
“It was great to have them recognized,” head swimming coach Andy Kershaw said. “It’s a little unique in that it’s October and we have the season ahead of us, but it was great to see them lead the way in our home pool.”
Kershaw attributed his team’s attacking style to the tone set by its leaders.
“It was evident by the way we swam that we follow our veterans,” Kershaw said. “They’re aggressive swimmers, and that’s how the team swam today. I’m proud of them.”
The Hurricanes opened the meet in impressive fashion, barely missing out on first place in the 200-yard Medley Relay. Miami’s top entry of Heather Arseth, Amy Wiley, My Fridell and Angela Algee finished just a half-second behind FGCU’s winning entry, touching the wall in a time of 1:46.69.
The day’s first event set the tone for the remainder of the meet, which ended 175-123 in favor of FGCU.
“They’ve put the work in, and because of that, they’re confident that they can go out and race aggressively,” Kershaw said.
Miami divers Kara McCormack, Thea Vock and Cynthia Hoppler captured the top three finishes in both diving events. McCormack paced all competitors in the 1-meter (311.55) and 3-meter (360.23).
“The divers did great,” assistant coach Dario Di Fazio said. “It’s early, but we’re on the right track for U.S. Nationals and getting ready for the postseason. For this being our first dual meet, I thought we looked pretty good.”
Freshman swimmer Cameron Davis, who delivered a strong performance in her collegiate debut at the All-Florida Invite, had another good showing Saturday. The Sarasota, Fla., native finished both the 1000 Freestyle (10:21.85) and 500 Freestyle (5:01.12) in second place, earning points for the hosts in her signature distance events.
Arseth continued the lightning pace with a first-place finish in the 200 Freestyle (1:52.41), while fellow newcomer Tiffany Sudarma followed up with a fourth-place showing in the 100 Backstroke (59.82). Julia Schippert finished the 100 Breaststroke in second (1:06.84), while Angela Algee captured first in the 200 Butterfly with a blazing speed of 2:05.88.
“Before the meet, I asked them to race aggressively, and have confidence,” Kershaw said. “Get to the end of the race, and then it’s all about guts. That’s what we saw, and it paid off for us. The thing that I enjoy the most is that they have the confidence to do it.”
Arseth delivered the top time in the 100 Free (51.67) by a full second, while Schippert and junior Amy Wiley earned points in the 200 Breast. After a top finish by sophomore My Fridell in the 100 Fly (56.53), the Hurricanes ended the day with a thrilling second-place finish in the 200 Free Relay (1:36.67). The team’s entry of Arseth, Algee, Fridell and Nicholson came just short of the Eagles time of 1:36.24.
Kershaw decided to enlist his team in the Southern Methodist University Classic (Oct. 18-19) – an event featuring national powers Indiana, North Carolina, Louisville and Southern Cal – the night before his team’s meet with the Eagles.
And after watching his team perform Saturday, he is encouraged the Canes can find success next weekend.
“Coming into this meet, making that decision last night, and knowing the level of that meet – there was a little nervousness,” Kershaw said. “But after seeing how they raced today, I feel really good about that decision and that opportunity.”