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Miami Finishes Opening Day in Gainesville

Miami Finishes Opening Day in Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Miami Hurricanes swimming team wrapped up its first day of competition at the All-Florida Invitational Friday at the Stephen O’Connell Center on the University of Florida campus.

“We got better as we went, and I think that’s one of the key takeaways,” head swimming coach Andy Kershaw said. “Certainly we were better tonight than we were this morning, but the thing I was most proud of was all of them took a lot of ownership in doing what we needed to do as the best thing for the season as a whole.”

Kershaw expected the weekend to be important for his team from a training perspective, and the early returns were positive.

“They still understand that and I’m proud of that,” he said. “What we need right now is training, and that’s what we did before each session. That’s a big challenge and I’m proud of them for doing that.”

The 200 free relay team, comprised of senior captain Julie Suarez, sophomore Manon Viguier, freshman Carmen San Nicolasand sophomore Iliana Oikonomou, opened the night’s finals with a time of 1:35.73 in the 200 freestyle relay.

In her second event, Viguier delivered what Kershaw called one of the most impressive performances of the day – a time of 5:02.97 in the 500 freestyle finals. Viguier finished in 5:10.86 in the morning’s preliminary round.

“Manon took quite a needed break after competing for France at the World University Games this summer, and to finish with that time after just a week in the water I thought was pretty good,” he said.

San Nicolas also qualified for the night’s finals after finishing in 5:12.31. She improved later on Friday, touching the wall in a time of 5:09.32.

Freshman Annie Kyriakidis was Miami’s top performer in the IM, finishing with a time of 2:08.03 in the 200 IM finals – besting her morning time of 2:10.28.

Two of Miami’s top point-getters a season ago, junior Roxanne Yu finished the 200 IM in a time of 2:11.67 while sophomore Iliana Oikonomou finshed the 50 free in 24.43.

Freshman Sydney Knapp also qualified for the night’s finals in the 50 free and ended with a time of 24.55.

San Nicolas posted impressive swims as part of the 400 medley relay and the 200 free relay.

“We’re certainly looking forward to the girls getting better as we move forward through this weekend, and this is a big opportunity to get some race-type training in,” Kershaw said.