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Swimming Completes First Weekend at All-Florida

Swimming Completes First Weekend at All-Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Miami Hurricanes swimming team wrapped up its opening weekend of competition at the All-Florida Invitational Sunday afternoon, finishing in third place at the Stephen O’Connell Center on the University of Florida campus.

Head swimming coach Andy Kershaw said he was proud of his Hurricanes, who approached the weekend with a focus on training after Hurricane Irma displaced the team for more than a week in early September.

“As far as the meet goes, we certainly had a very productive weekend,” Kershaw said. “I think we really learned a lot, and I think that was evident in the entire performance, looking at the first time we swam events in prelims versus when we swam it again that night in finals.

“The team did a really good job of making the right adjustments and just learning, with it being the first time we swim as a team this season. It was great to see them make those corrections, take instruction and do it with discipline.”

More than just its performance in between the lanes over the past three days, Kershaw said he appreciated his team’s resiliency in adverse conditions.

“I’m really proud of them and proud of everything they’ve endured,” he said. “A lot of heartfelt thanks goes out to the University of Florida, who are certainly competitors of ours, but were still willing to open their doors for us.

They hosted us the whole week, and we all have a lot of appreciation for them. I’m also proud of our girls, I think they showed that appreciation as well.”

Among Sunday’s top performers were senior Julie Suarez, who delivered one of Miami’s best finishes of the weekend by taking second in the 100 free.

Suarez, who finished the morning’s preliminary round in 52.30, lowered that time to 51.05 in the finals Sunday.

“I know Julie had been a little frustrated with her performance up to that point in the meet, and she really stepped up,” Kershaw said. “In addition to that great finish in the 100 free, she was rock-solid for us in all our relays.”

Freshman Carmen San Nicolas put together another strong day to cap an impressive first weekend as a collegiate swimmer.

“Carmen really added a lot as a freshman for her first time competing as a Hurricane,” Kershaw said. “That was great to see, too. I can’t wait to see what she continues to do in her career here.”

Kershaw said he was proud of the way San Nicolas, fellow freshman Annie Kyriakidis and the entire group of newcomers performed against a talented field that included Florida and Florida State.

“I think our freshmen as a whole really round us out a lot more as a team, give us a lot more depth and that’s a great thing,” he said.

Kershaw said Kyriakidis gave Miami “great performances in some tough events,” and rallied from a challenging Saturday to step up once again Sunday.

Facing one of the biggest challenges of the season earlier than he expected with Hurricane Irma, Kershaw said he thinks the adversity sets his team up well moving forward.

“Some of the adverse conditions we faced are really going to set the stage for us moving forward and define the type of team we’re going to be,” he said. “I think it all has us on a successful path to a great ACC Championships and ultimately onto the NCAA Championships.”

The Miami Hurricanes swimming team continues its season Sat., Sept 30 with its first dual meet of the season at crosstown foe FIU. The meet is slated to begin at 12 p.m.