FAIRFAX, Va. – The Florida Atlantic University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams competed in the Patriot Invitational held over the weekend by George Mason and it was a record breaking affair for the Owls. The women’s team earned a third place finish with 564 points, while the men’s team took sixth with 396 points.
The women's team moved up four spots in the meet compared to last season, showing much improvement across the board.
COACH PREACCO'S TAKE
"Our swimmers and divers had an incredible weekend. They brought it on and never backed down, which lead us to a third place finish on the women's side and sixth on the men's.
"They came together as a team, session after session, and pushed each other to surpass themselves to accomplish meet records, freshmen records, multiple first places, podium and A finals, B-cuts, and Zone cuts for our divers.
"This is a young group, as we had a large recruiting class, but they came together as a team in record time. I couldn't be happier about our season so far. The have done an amazing job as a team this past semester and it showed. I can't wait for what the future has in reserve for us. Go Owls!"
Spence Atkins had a dominant weekend in the water for the Owls, grabbing four wins in the finals in the 1650 freestyle, 500 free, 200 free and 200 butterfly events. Her times in the 1650 and the 500 finals were both meet records.
Teammate Natalie Clausen came from behind to finish right behind Atkins in the 1650 free with a 16:59.13 time for second place.
Danica Garbett was impressive in the IM events, taking first place in the 200 and second place in the 400.
Abby Marshall also earned big points for FAU with a second place victory in the 50 free and a fourth place finish in the 100 frees. Haley O’Meara had a top ten finish in the 200 breaststroke (2:25.17). Marshall’s and O’Meara’s wins came in the Championship Final.
The FAU relay teams had an impressive showing as well. Spence Atkins, Natalie Clausen, Madison Rizzo and Sharon Kok claimed the 800 freestyle title. The squad comprised of Lydia Musleh, Abby Marshall, Atkins and Kok earned sixth place (3:30.34) in the 400 freestyle relay. The team featuring Melanie Doan, Kelsey Witkey, Clausen and Kyleigh Firman tied for ninth (3:32.93).
Victoria Moretti proved herself and swept both the one meter (252.90) and three meter (291.40) diving titles in the finals. Moretti has now qualified for NCAA Zone Diving.
Will Smith earned the top mark among the FAU men with a second place finish in the 1650 freestyle event (15:47.39). That mark was a freshman team high. Michael Rahrig earned seventh place in the 200 butterfly event (1:51.94) in the Championship Final.
The 400 freestyle relay team of Colin Kozak, Connor Smoak, Calvin Lillo and Cole Wisecarver took fourth place with a 3:05.15 time.
Logan Downey also swept both diving titles with first place finishes in the one meter (315.0) and three meter (288.35). Downey has also claimed a spot in the NCAA Zone Diving event.
The Owls’ next event will be the FAU Fun Invite held on December 20 at the FAU Aquatics Center. The meet begins at 2:00 p.m. The schools attending are Old Dominion, Denver, Wittenberg and North Texas (women only).
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