Backstroke Wins by Breault Highlight Final Home Meet of the Season as #14 FSC Falls to #8 Nova Southeastern

Seniors Lauren Reynolds, Kelsey Gouge, Alli Crenshaw, Morgan Burns, and Heather Burns
Seniors Lauren Reynolds, Kelsey Gouge, Alli Crenshaw, Morgan Burns, and Heather Burns

LAKELAND – Sophomore Peyton Breault notched a pair of individual backstroke wins, senior Kelsey Gouge and junior Kourtney Gavin had one apiece, and senior Alli Crenshaw and sophomore Jacinda Whittenburg each had a pair of seconds as #14 Florida Southern fell to #8 Nova Southeastern in its final home meet of the season, 137½ - 124½.

Although Nova Southeastern won nine of the 14 races, Florida Southern stayed within striking distance the entire day by taking second and third place in four of those nine. On two occasions when the Sharks won, the Moccasins responded with second, third and fourth; and in two of the races won by the Moccasins, they would hold the first, third and fourth positions.

The backstroke races were where Florida Southern did much of its damage. Breault swept them for the third time this season with her best times of the year, and on Saturday against Nova, the Mocs also took two of the next three positions. In the 100, junior Leah Haney tied for second place with a season-best time of her own, and senior Lauren Reynolds was fourth, In the 200, Haney was third and Reynolds fourth.

Gouge picked up her win in the 50-freestyle, the 55th victory of her career, and Gavin's win came in the 100-butterfly where she turned in her best time of the season. Gouge also had a runner-up finish in the 100-freestyle, finishing .06 seconds behind Nova's Emma Wahlstrom.

The Moccasins also won the 200-freestyle relay, which came from Gouge, freshmen Rebeka Dics and Krystal Karas, and Crenshaw. It gives Gouge and Dics a team-high seven relay wins, while Crenshaw and Karas earned their fourth.

Crenshaw would give Florida Southern runner-up finishes in the 1,650-freestyle and 500-freestyle, two races won by Nova Southeastern's Georgina Allin. Whittenburg's two runner-up finishes came in the 100-breaststroke and 200-breaststroke, coming in behind the Sharks' Malin Westman in both of them. The breaststroke, however, were the two races in which the Mocs held the second, third and fourth positions, with Whittenburg followed by senior Morgan Burns and freshman Haley DeGrace each time.

Completing Saturday's second-place swimmers for the Moccasins was Dics in the 200-freestyle. It was a tight finish too, with Dics only 0.41 seconds ahead of Gouge who finished third.

Florida Southern will end the regular season next Friday (January 15) on the road with a 2 p.m. dual meet at Indian River State College.