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Lady Flames Set to Compete in CCSA Championships

February 17, 2014
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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The Liberty swimming & diving team aims for its first CCSA title, competing at the 2014 CCSA Swimming & Diving Championships, Wednesday through Saturday.

The Liberty swimming & diving team is set to compete in the 2014 Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) Swimming & Diving Championships, held Wednesday through Saturday at Tennessee's Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tenn.

For the first time, the CCSA Championships will feature a four-day format. On Wednesday evening at 6 p.m., finals of the 200 medley relay and 800 freestyle relay will be held. Individual events will begin on Thursday morning with preliminary heats at 10 a.m.

With the addition of CCSA newcomer Incarnate Word, a total of 13 teams will compete in this year's conference championship.

The Lady Flames, aiming for their first conference title, are in position to challenge five-time defending conference champion Florida Gulf Coast. Liberty placed second to FGCU at each of the last two CCSA Championships. Last year, the Eagles had the slimmest winning margin of their five-year run, outscoring the Lady Flames, 712-609. With Liberty and FGCU holding many of the top times in the conference again this season, it appears to be a two-team race.

At the 2013 CCSA Championships, Liberty had six total event victories (four individual, two relays) and 20 podium finishes (16 individual, four relays). The Lady Flames set five conference records, five meet records and 13 program records. Liberty had eight NCAA B cuts and US Open cuts by individuals, and one NCAA B cut in a relay.

Jess Reinhardt was named 2013 CCSA Women's Freshman of the Meet, winning two events while setting conference and meet records in both the 100 and 200 fly. Reinhardt went on to represent Liberty in the 100 fly at the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming & Diving Championships.

The Lady Flames went 9-4 in dual meets this season, including 4-0 in conference competition. Liberty posted three wins over major conference opponents, defeating Michigan State once and downing Vanderbilt twice. Most recently, Liberty went 3-0 at the Davidson Duals, defeating three CCSA opponents at the meet.

For the first time, Liberty held mid-season national rankings this year, appearing as high as 43rd in the Oct. 30 Endless Pools/CollegeSwimming.com Top 25. The Lady Flames are currently ranked No. 15 in the latest CollegeSwimming.com Division I Mid-Major Rankings.

Five relays will be contested at the meet, and the Lady Flames took either first or second in four out of five relays last season, including victories in the 200 free relay and 400 free relay. Florida Gulf Coast won the remaining three relay races a year ago. This season, Liberty holds the top time in the CCSA in the 200 medley relay (1:40.39), while the Lady Flames rank second in the 200 free relay, 400 free relay and 400 medley relay.

Liberty will have a diver compete at the CCSA Championships for the first time in program history, as sophomore Courtney Fox will contest both the one-meter and three-meter diving events. Her season best for the one-meter is 228.67, while she will compete at the three-meter height for the first time this season.

Going into the CCSA Championships, Liberty holds the top time in the conference in the following events:
100 breast – Emilie Kaufman (1:02.20) – NCAA Division I B cut
200 breast – Emilie Kaufman (2:16.68)
100 fly – Jess Reinhardt (54.22) – NCAA Division I B cut
200 fly – Jess Reinhardt (2:01.58)
200 IM – Emilie Kaufman (2:02.49)
200 medley relay – Hough, Kaufman, Reinhardt, Babcock (1:40.39)

As was the case last year, many records and lifetime-best times should be expected, as the team has aimed to peak at the conference championships.

All four days of the CCSA Championships will be video streamed live via the Big South Network. Also, for the fourth consecutive year, LibertyFlames.com will post a live blog highlighting continuous meet action. Visit LibertyFlames.com for links and more information.

An event-by-event preview of individual events follows. Please note that the entries listed are those which appear on the pre-scratch psych sheet, and are subject to change.

2014 CCSA Championships
February 19-22
Allan Jones Aquatic Center
Knoxville, Tenn.
Schedule of Events

Day 1 – Finals (6 p.m.)
200-yard Medley Relay "B" & "A"
800-yard Freestyle Relay "B" & "A"

Day 2 – Trials (10 a.m.)
500-yard Freestyle
200-yard Individual Medley
50-yard Freestyle
20-minute intermission
200-yard Freestyle Relay "B"
One-meter Diving (1 p.m. Women)
Three-meter Diving (1 p.m. Men)

Day 2 – Finals (6 p.m.)
500-yard Freestyle
200-yard Individual Medley
50-yard Freestyle
One-meter Diving (Women)
Three-meter Diving (Men)
200-yard Freestyle Relay "A"

Day 3 – Trials (10 a.m.)
400-yard Individual Medley
100-yard Butterfly
200-yard Freestyle
100-yard Breaststroke
100-yard Backstroke
20-minute intermission
400-yard Medley Relay "B"
One-meter Diving (1 p.m. Men)

Day 3 – Finals (6 p.m.)
400-yard Individual Medley
100-yard Butterfly
200-yard Freestyle
100-yard Breaststroke
100-yard Backstroke
One-meter Diving (Men)
400-yard Medley Relay "A"

Day 4 – Trials (10 a.m.)
200-yard Backstroke
100-yard Freestyle
200-yard Breaststroke
200-yard Butterfly
20-minute intermission
400-yard Freestyle Relay "B"
1,650-yard Freestyle-All but last heat of time finals
Three-meter Diving (1:30 p.m. Women)

Day 3 – Finals (6 p.m.)
1,650-yard Freestyle-Last heat of time finals
200-yard Backstroke
100-yard Freestyle
200-yard Breaststroke
200-yard Butterfly
Three-meter Diving (Women)
400-yard Freestyle Relay "A"

Scoring
Scoring will follow the NCAA championships rules.
Individual events will be scored as follows: 20-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
Relay events will be scored as follows: 40-34-32-30-28-26-24-22-18-14-12-10-8-6-4-2

Day 1 – Feb. 19, 2014
500-yard Freestyle
Defending Champion:
Eva Lehtonen (Florida Gulf Coast) – 4:53.54
Championship Meet Record: Leah Daniel (Florida Gulf Coast), 2/17/2011 – 4:48.22
Conference Record: Leah Daniel (Florida Gulf Coast), 2/17/2011 – 4:48.22
2013-14 Leader: Lani Cabrera (Florida Gulf Coast) – 4:49.72
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Heather McCorkel – 5:02.05 (9th)
Liberty Entrants: Heather McCorkel, Kristin VanDeventer, Emily Duff, Hannah Wakeley, Sarah Kendrick
Outlook: With two-time defending champion Eva Lehtonen now graduated, the 500 will have a new winner this season. Five CCSA swimmers have broken five minutes so far this season, led by Lani Cabrera (4:49.72) of Florida Gulf Coast. Freshman Heather McCorkel leads a deep Liberty contingent in the 500, with a time of 5:02.05, while Kristin VanDeventer has gone 5:02.73 this season. Liberty junior Emily Duff is entered at 5:07.90 after placing fourth in the conference at 500 last season.

200-yard Individual Medley
Defending Champion:
Julie Leth-Espensen (Florida Gulf Coast) – 2:01.28
Championship Meet Record: Julie Leth-Espensen (Florida Gulf Coast), 2/21/13 – 2:01.28
Conference Record: Julie Leth-Espensen (Florida Gulf Coast), 11/30/12 – 2:00.68
2013-14 Leader: Emilie Kaufman (Liberty) – 2:02.49
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Emilie Kaufman – 2:02.49 (1st)
Liberty Entrants: Emilie Kaufman, Morgan Noonan, Ranndi Grubbs, Victoria Tschoke, Jennifer Garzinski
Outlook: Florida Gulf Coast has won the 200 IM at all six CCSA Championships. FGCU's Julie Leth-Espensen won in 2:01.28 last year, but has since transferred. Last year's third-place finisher, Emilie Kaufman of Liberty is the heavy favorite with a program-record time of 2:02.49 this year. Tryshia Centeno swam 2:05.41 for FGCU, and is the only other CCSA swimmer to break 2:06 this season.

50-yard Freestyle
Defending Champion:
Emma Svensson (Florida Gulf Coast) – 22.37
Championship Meet Record: Brye Ravettine (Liberty), 2/16/2012 – 22.19
Conference Record: Brye Ravettine (Liberty), 2/16/2012 – 22.19
2013-14 Leader: Emma Svensson (Florida Gulf Coast) – 22.76
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Meghan Babcock – 23.16 (3rd)
Liberty Entrants: Meghan Babcock, Brye Ravettine, Cori Gary, Jess Reinhardt, Chloe Thomas, Amber Slack
Outlook: Florida Gulf Coast's Emma Svensson returns to defend her 50 free title from last season, as she won in 22.37. In 2013, Liberty took home second (Brye Ravettine – 22.88), third (Cori Gary – 22.96) and tied for fourth (Meghan Babcock – 23.02). Svensson holds the top time in the CCSA this season, at 22.76, and is followed by teammate Kira Toussaint at 22.97. Liberty's Meghan Babcock will be a top contender, in third on the performance list at 23.16. Ravettine, the CCSA record holder in the 50, will likely miss the meet due to injury.

Day 2 – Feb. 22, 2013
400-yard Individual Medley
Defending Champion:
Julie Leth-Espensen (Florida Gulf Coast) – 4:18.50
Championship Meet Record: Julie Leth-Espensen (Florida Gulf Coast), 2/22/13 – 4:18.50
Conference Record: Julie Leth-Espensen (Florida Gulf Coast), 11/30/2012 – 4:15.32
2013-14 Leader: Karen Vilorio (Florida Gulf Coast) – 4:22.80
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Emily Duff – 4:33.63 (10th)
Liberty Entrant: Emily Duff
Outlook: Florida Gulf Coast's Julie Leth-Espensen earned the 400 IM title last season, in 4:18.50, but has since transferred. Kylie Warne of Campbell placed third in 2013, and is ranked fifth this year, at 4:30.12. FGCU holds the top four times in the CCSA 400 IM in 2013-14. Liberty's lone entrant, Emily Duff, has the 10th best time, clocking 4:33.63 at the Hokie Fall Invitational.

100-yard Butterfly
Defending Champion:
Jess Reinhardt (Liberty) – 53.18
Championship Meet Record: Jess Reinhardt (Liberty), 2/22/13 – 53.18
Conference Record: Jess Reinhardt (Liberty) – 52.87
2013-14 Leader: Jess Reinhardt (Liberty) – 54.22
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Jess Reinhardt – 54.22 (1st)
Liberty Entrants: Jess Reinhardt, Bethany Kennon, Ranndi Grubbs, Natalie Chambers, Sarah Kendrick,
Outlook: Liberty sophomore Jess Reinhardt, the conference record holder and 2013 champion, looks to defend her 100 fly title. She holds the top time in the CCSA this season, in an NCAA B cut 54.22. Bethany Kennon, 2012 100 fly winner and last year's runner-up, has swum the fifth fastest time in the conference in 2013-14, 56.09. Emma Svensson (54.65) and Kira Toussaint (54.73) will likely focus on other events, while Gardner-Webb's Giogrie Graves ranks fifth, at 55.86.

200-yard Freestyle
Defending Champion:
Eva Lehtonen (Florida Gulf Coast) – 1:50.26
Championship Meet Record: Lyn Ann Nelson (North Florida), 2/20/2009 – 1:47.52
Conference Record: Lyn Ann Nelson (North Florida), 2/20/2009 – 1:47.52
2013-14 Leader: Kira Toussaint (Florida Gulf Coast) – 1:48.26
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Bethany Kennon – 1:52.66 (6th)
Liberty Entrants: Bethan Kennon, Heather McCorkel, Kristin VanDeventer, Meghan Babcock, Cori Gary
Outlook: Eva Lehtonen of FGCU took the 200 free at last year's CCSA Championships, in 1:50.26, but Lehtonen has graduated. Florida Gulf Coast swimmers have posted the top five 200 free times this season, led by Kira Toussaint's 1:48.26. Lani Cabrera follows at 1:51.75. Liberty's Bethany Kennon (1:52.66) and Heather McCorkel (1:52.79) are rated sixth and seventh, respectively.

100-yard Breaststroke
Defending Champion:
Laura Day (Liberty), 1:01.45
Championship Meet Record: Emilie Kaufman (Liberty), 2/22/13 – 1:01.04
Conference Record: Emilie Kaufman (Liberty), 2/22/13 – 1:01.04
2013-14 Leader: Emilie Kaufman (Liberty) – 1:02.20
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Emilie Kaufman - 1:02.20 (1st)
Liberty Entrants: Emilie Kaufman, Morgan Noonan
Outlook: The 100 breaststroke features a pair of NCAA B cut qualifiers, in Liberty's Emilie Kaufman (1:02.20), 2013 runner-up and CCSA record holder, and 2012 champion Kristen Bates from Georgia Southern (1:02.46). Bates edged Kaufman, 1:02.92 to 1:03.49, head-to-head at the Davidson Duals. Defending champion Laura Day of Liberty has since transferred. FGCU's Evita Leter has also broken 1:03 this season, with a 1:02.97.

100-yard Backstroke
Defending Champion:
Emma Svensson (Florida Gulf Coast) – 53.11
Championship Meet Record: Emma Svensson (Florida Gulf Coast), 2/22/13 – 53.11
Conference Record: Kira Toussaint (Florida Gulf Coast), 11/22/13 – 52.62
2013-14 Leader: Kira Toussaint (Florida Gulf Coast) – 52.62
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Kendall Hough – 57.91 (9th)
Liberty Entrants: Kendall Hough, Brye Ravettine, Victoria Tschoke, Chloe Thomas, Natalie Chambers, Jennifer Garzinski, Amber Slack
Outlook: Emma Svensson has won the 100 back during each of her first two CCSA Championship meets. Teammate Kira Toussaint, however, set the conference record in an NCAA B cut time of 52.62 earlier this season. Svensson is seeded second at 55.48. Liberty's Kendall Hough placed fifth last year, and has the ninth fastest time in 2013-14, 57.91. FGCU's Karen Vilorio (56.44) and Sandra Wilk (56.83) are ranked third and fourth, respectively.

Day 3 – Feb. 23, 2013
1,650-yard Freestyle
Defending Champion:
Kylie Warne (Campbell) – 16:51.53
Championship Meet Record: Leah Daniel (Florida Gulf Coast), 2/21/2009 – 16:36.14
Conference Record: Leah Daniel (Florida Gulf Coast), 2/21/2009 – 16:36.14
2013-14 Leader: Lani Cabrera (Florida Gulf Coast) – 16:41.87
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Kristin VanDeventer – 17:08.43 (3rd)
Liberty Entrants: Kristin VanDeventer, Hannah Wakeley, Heather McCorkel
Outlook: Campbell's Kylie Warne returns after winning the 1,650 in 2013, but Warne is ranked eighth this year, at 17:27.29. FGCU's Lani Cabrera boasts the fastest time, 16:41.87, followed by Elise Lankiewicz of Davidson, at 16:53.77. Kristin VanDeventer leads a strong contingent of Lady Flames, as she is third with a program-record 17:08.43. Hannah Wakeley placed fourth last year, and is rated seventh, in 17:19.60. All of the top eight finishers return from last season's 1,650 free.

200-yard Backstroke
Defending Champion:
Jennifer Morgan (Florida Gulf Coast) – 1:57.83
Championship Meet Record: Jennifer Morgan (Florida Gulf Coast), 2/23/13 – 1:57.83
Conference Record: Kira Toussaint (Florida Gulf Coast), 11/22/13 – 1:56.50
2013-14 Leader: Kira Toussaint (Florida Gulf Coast) – 1:56.50
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Emily Duff – 2:03.25 (4th)
Liberty Entrants: Emily Duff, Victoria Tschoke, Kendall Hough, Natalie Chambers, Jennifer Garzinski
Outlook: Although defending champion Jennifer Morgan transferred from Florida Gulf Coast to Arizona State, FGCU has the favorite in the 200 back this season. Freshman Kira Toussaint broke the CCSA record with an NCAA B cut time of 1:56.50, 5.46 seconds faster than second-ranked CCSA swimmer, Karen Vilorio of FGCU. Liberty's Emily Duff is rated fourth, at 2:03.25, after placing second last season.

100-yard Freestyle
Defending Champion:
Emma Svensson (Florida Gulf Coast) – 49.55
Championship Meet Record: Lindsey Martin (Davidson), 2/19/2011 – 48.95
Conference Record: Lindsey Martin (Davidson), 2/19/2011 – 48.95
2013-14 Leader: Sara Hamilton (Florida Gulf Coast) – 50.24
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Meghan Babcock – 51.37 (4th)
Liberty Entrants: Meghan Babcock, Kendall Hough, Cori Gary, Chloe Thomas, Brye Ravettine, Amber Slack
Outlook: While 2013 champion Emma Svensson returns in the 100 free, she has the third fastest time in the CCSA, 50.34. Florida Gulf Coast's Sara Hamilton went 50.24, while Kira Toussaint of FGCU has gone 50.33. Meghan Babcock of Liberty is fourth, at 51.37, and should challenge for the victory.  Kendall Hough is ranked seventh, with a time of 51.67 for the Lady Flames. Last season, Liberty placed four in the 100 free A final, three of whom will compete this week.

200-yard Breaststroke
Defending Champion:
Emilie Kaufman (Liberty) – 2:15.00
Championship Meet Record: Kim Zachensky (Gardner-Webb), 2/1911 – 2:14.83
Conference Record: Julie Leth-Espensen (Florida Gulf Coast), 11/30/2012 – 2:13.19
2013-14 Leader: Emilie Kaufman – 2:16.68
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Emilie Kaufman – 2:16.68 (1st)
Liberty Entrants: Emilie Kaufman, Morgan Noonan
Outlook: In the 200 breaststroke, defending medalist Emilie Kaufman holds the top mark this season, 2:16.68. She is followed in second by Katy Williams of Davidson, who has swum 2:18.03 this year. FGCU's Evita Leter went 2:19.85, holding third position in the top times list. Kaufman defeated Williams head-to-head at the Davidson Duals, 2:19.76 to 2:22.96.

200-yard Butterfly
Defending Champion:
Jess Reinhardt (Liberty) – 2:00.41
Championship Meet Record: Jess Reinhardt (Liberty), 2/23/13 – 2:00.41
Conference Record: Jess Reinhardt (Liberty), 2/23/13 – 2:00.41
2013-14 Leader: Nina Schiffer (Florida Gulf Coast) – 2:01.40
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Jess Reinhardt – 2:01.58 (2nd)
Liberty Entrants: Jess Reinhardt, Bethan Kennon, Hannah Wakeley, Ranndi Grubbs, Sarah Kendrick,
Outlook: Jess Reinhardt of Liberty won the 200 fly at the 2013 CCSA Championships, wrapping up Freshman of the Meet honors with a conference-record 2:00.41 swim. This year, her time of 2:01.58 is seeded second, behind Nina Schiffer (2:01.40) of Florida Gulf Coast. Davidson's Elise Lankiewicz has turned in a 2:01.76 clocking this year. Two-time 200 fly runner-up, Liberty's Bethany Kennon, is ranked 10th at 2:07.32.