ORLANDO, FL – Junior Peyton Breault and sophomore Haley DeGrace each won another medal Sunday on the final day of the 2017 Sunshine State Conference Women's Swimming Championships, and their performance helped the Moccasins secure third-place in the team standings, with Nova Southeastern winning the meet and Tampa finishing second.
The Sharks claimed their third SSC Women's Swimming Championship after also winning in 2012 and 2015. They finished the meet with 950½ points while the Spartans scored 783. Florida Southern had 545 points in third place, Saint Leo was fourth with 467, Lynn was fifth with 325½, Florida Tech finished sixth with 274, and Rollins was seventh with 251.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Senior Madi Rowan was the first to score points for the Moccasins on Sunday when she placed 14th overall in the 1,650-freestyle in a time of 18:07.46. Nova Southeastern junior Madison Yelle won the race after also winning the 1,000-free on Thursday, clocking in at 16:56.06.
- After not having any swimmers hit NCAA qualifying times in the 100-free during the regular season, the Moccasins had two of them do so on Sunday, with sophomore Rebeka Dics first accomplishing that in the prelims. She went on to finish sixth in the finals with a time of 52.12 seconds, and sophomore Krystal Karas won the consolation final with a new NCAA "B" time of 51.35 seconds. Freshman Mallary Meyer also reached the consolation final of the 100-free after posting her best time of the season during the morning prelims. Winning the 100-free was Saint Leo junior Natalia Garriock in 50.58 seconds.
- Florida Southern's first medalist of the night was junior Breault in the 200-backstroke. She finished third in a time of 2:01.34 to strengthen her earlier NCAA "B" time from the regular season. Winning the 200-back was Nova Southeastern junior Courtney DeVeny in 1:57.94, and her teammate, senior Emma Wahlstrom, was second in 1:59.15. DeVeny and Wahlstrom have now combined to win the last three SSC 200-backstroke titles, with Wahlstrom winning last years' race and DeVeny doing it for the first time in 2015. Freshman Kyra Fraser placed eighth for Florida Southern, and senior Leah Haney was 12th overall in a season-best time of 2:07.56.
- After Breault's third-place finish in the 200-back, sophomore DeGrace followed with another bronze medal for the Moccasins when she took third in the 200-breaststroke. She improved on her earlier NCAA "B" time by swimming the race in a school-record 2:18.03, while junior Jacinda Whittenburg finished sixth in 2:20.71. Senior Kourtney Gavin and freshman Erin Daugherty were in the consolation final and finished 11th and 15th overall. Nova Southeastern junior Malin Westman, who won the 100-breast one night earlier, won the 200 on Sunday in a time of 2:14.24.
- The Moccasins closed out the meet with a fourth-place finish in the 400-freestyle relay, putting together an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 3:27.39. Breault, Dics, Karas and Meyer swam those four legs for the Moccasins. Nova Southeastern won the event in 3:24.43.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Yelle's win in the 1,650-free came by 6.42 seconds over defending champion Catalina Galea Berraud of Lynn, and was 30 seconds faster than what she swam last year while placing sixth.
- Dics' sixth-place finish in the 100-free marked the first time in five years the Mocs were led by someone other than Kelsey Gouge at the SSC Championships. Gouge graduated last spring.
- DeVeny won four individual titles for Nova Southeastern this year, taking both individual medley events, the 200-butterfly and 200-backstroke. She also helped the Sharks win two relays, but fell short of former Moccasin Mary O'Sullivan's seven total wins in 2011. O'Sullivan won three individual races and was part of four winning relay teams for Florida Southern at the inaugural conference championship meet.
- Breault had a silver in the 200-free and a bronze in the 200-back during the meet, and DeGrace had a silver in the 100-breast and bronze in the 200-breast.
- One night after breaking the school record in the 100-breaststroke, DeGrace broke what had been the oldest standing record in the book when she beat Rae-Lynn Sheffield's time in the 200-breast. DeGrace's time of 2:18.03 was 0.99 second faster than the time Sheffield posted in the 2011 SSC Championships.
The Moccasins will now await selections for the NCAA Division II National Championships, which will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, March 8-11. Those selections will be announced on Wednesday, February 22.