Cera, Sundstrand Pace Hurricanes on Day 1

Cera, Sundstrand Pace Hurricanes on Day 1

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami delivered a standout performance on Day 1 of the Miami Invite at the Whitten Center Pool Thursday.

The Hurricanes, battling against Vanderbilt and Iowa on the first of a three-day event, ended the night in first place and enjoyed a number of impressive individual performances.

Head swimming coach Andy Kershaw was encouraged by his team’s early showing in an ever-important midseason barometer.

“I’m excited because I saw them do what we asked them to do,” he said. “They’ve already done the training. Now we add the energy. That’s what they did. That’s the recipe. That’s our goal for this meet – to learn that and carry that forward with us to the rest of our meets throughout the year.

“We’re going to do the work. We know that. We know we’re talented. We’ve got to add the right energy early on.”

After a number of lifetime bests in the morning’s preliminary round, Miami set the tone for the night’s finals with a winning time of 1:32.50 in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Giulia Carvalho, Carmen San Nicolas, Jacey Hinton and Sydney Knapp earned top honors in the event.

“The hardest thing is getting them to relax,” Kershaw said. “I knew they were ready. As long as they could relax, we’d be in great shape. Just go and let it happen. Those first couple of swims are so important. Our first couple of swims today were great, and it just gets rolling from there.”

Among Miami’s top individual performers Thursday was Emma Sundstrand, who delivered a dominant showing in the 200-yard IM. Sundstrand finished first in a blazing time of 2:01.51. Isabel Traba (2:04.47) was second.

Another of Miami’s strongest contributors was Adrianna Cera, who won the 500-yard freestyle (4:48.12). Cera topped teammate Aino Otava (4:51.17), who took second.

Veteran leader Knapp followed up Sundstrand’s dazzling showing by winning the 50-yard freestyle (23.36), edging out Vanderbilt’s Eleanor Beers (23.34) by a razor-thin margin. San Nicolas (23.48) was third.

Miami’s 400-yard medley relay delivered a strong ending to the night, with Danika Huizinga, Sundstrand, Carvalho and Knapp cruising to a first-place victory (3:40.10) ahead of Vanderbilt’s top entry (3:45.33).

The Miami Invite continues Friday at the Whitten Pool. Preliminaries are set for 10 a.m.