TALLAHASSEE – Florida Southern's trip to Florida State on Friday for a split meet with the Seminoles produced numerous personal-bests, season-bests, and even more importantly, a whole collection of NCAA qualifying times. The Moccasins also got a win from junior Lauren Reynolds and three very close seconds from junior Alli Crenshaw, while fellow junior Kelsey Gouge and sophomore Cassie Ley helped them achieve NCAA "B" times in three different relays.
The two schools competed in 16 different races Friday, with eight in the morning and eight later in the afternoon. That gave the Moccasins plenty of opportunity to hit Division II time standards, and they did so in five individual events and three relays.
Florida Southern got a morning victory from Reynolds (South Elgin, Ill.) in the 200-backstroke, and Crenshaw (Marietta, Ga.) came agonizingly close in three different races throughout the day. She finished less than one second out of first in both the 200-freestyle and 1,000-freestyle, and within two seconds of first in the 500-freestyle. Along with Gouge (Snellville, Ga.) and Ley (Hilton Head, S.C.), they also helped the Mocs to a runner-up in the 200-freestyle relay.
The Moccasins earned their first NCAA provisional qualifying time in the first race of the day where Reynolds, Gouge, sophomore Alex Ballard (Kingfisher, Okla.) and Ley clocked in at 1:46.65 in the 200-medley relay. Crenshaw and Gouge then each picked up individual qualifying times in the 200-freestyle and 50-freestyle respectively. Crenshaw finished second in her race by less than a second.
After sophomore Madi Rowan (Matthews, N.C.) posted her best time of the season in the 200-butterfly as the Mocs' top swimmer, Reynolds was victorious in the 200-backstroke with an NCAA "B" time of 2:01.33, beating out Caroline Page of Florida State by 3.97 seconds. Crenshaw nearly made it two in a row for Florida Southern in the next race, the 500-freestyle, but finished two seconds behind FSU's Madison Jacobi, still with a "B" time of 4:55.36.
The morning ended with junior Morgan Burns (Hilton, N.Y.) as the Mocs' top performer in the 200-breaststroke, and the 200-freestyle relay team comprised of Gouge, Ley, Reynolds and Crenshaw finishing second with another "B" qualifying mark.
In the afternoon, freshman Jacinda Whittenburg (Lakewood, Colo.) was the Mocs' #1 swimmer in the 400-IM where she finished just a quarter-second ahead of Burns, with both of them making big jumps from their previous times this season. The same was true of Ballard and freshman Britt Aubley (Jacksonville, Fla.) in the 100-butterfly where they were the Mocs' best performers.
Reynolds just missed her second NCAA "B" time when she placed third in the 100-backstroke, and Gouge was the team leader in the 100-breaststroke that followed. Crenshaw then gave Florida Southern another runner-up finish with an NCAA "B" time of 10:06.72 in the 1,000-freestyle where she was half a second behind the Seminoles' Daniella Van Den Berg.
The Moccasins ended the meet with Gouge, Reynolds, Ley, and Crenshaw posting yet another NCAA "B" time in the 400-freestyle relay at 3:31.96.
Florida Southern will be off from competition for a little over a month before taking part in the Shark Invitational hosted by Nova Southeastern, December 18-21.