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Liberty to Open CCSA Championships on Thursday

February 14, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Cori Gary will aid the Liberty swimming team in the sprint freestyle events and in relays at the CCSA Championships.

The Liberty swimming team will compete in the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Swimming and Diving Championships, held Thursday through Saturday at Gabrielsen Natatorium on the campus of the University of Georgia.

The meet will follow the NCAA championship's three-day format, with trials in the morning and finals during the night session each day. The Lady Flames competed in the Radford Invitational in November, giving them a look at the championship meet format. A total of 13 teams will compete in this year's conference championship.

The Lady Flames will enter the CCSA championships for the second time, after finishing in sixth place out of 13 teams with 267 points last season.

Liberty posted four medal-winning, top-three swims at the 2011 conference championship. Brye Ravettine placed second in the 50 free and 100 free, and the team placed third in both the 200 free relay and 400 free relay. Ravettine was named Co-Freshman of Meet for her efforts, tying Jessie Porter of Florida Gulf Coast with 53 points apiece.

This season, the Lady Flames posted a 12-2 dual-meet record, including 9-1 against conference opponents. In head-to-head competition, Liberty defeated the teams that finished second, third and fourth at the 2011 CCSA championship event.

Relays have proven the difference in three meets for the Lady Flames. Liberty came from behind to beat Marshall, North Dakota and Georgia Southern, with all three of those meets not decided until the Lady Flames swept the meet-ending freestyle relay.

Florida Gulf Coast is the favorite to win its fourth conference title in a row, as the Eagles boast the top time in the conference in each swimming event so far in the 2011-12 campaign. Liberty figures to be in the mix for a top spot, along with Davidson, Georgia Southern and Gardner-Webb.

Five relays will be contested at the conference meet. The Lady Flames should contend for medals in multiple relays, as they have posted the third best time in the 200 free relay and 200 medley relay so far this season.

Fans can expect fast times at the event, as each team's athletes aims to peak for the conference championship.

Overall, the Lady Flames have nine top-eight entries into the CCSA championships, including two each in the 50 and 100 free. Ravettine ranks second in the league in both sprint freestyle events, and has the third fastest 100 backstroke time.

Two Liberty swimmers were named CCSA Swimmer of the Week this season. Freshman Erin Curry earned the weekly award on Oct. 26 after breaking a program record and winning two individual events. Ravettine was the swimmer of the week on Feb. 1 for helping the Lady Flames to a 7-0 weekend at Gardner-Webb and at the Davidson Duals.

Freshman Emily Duff has set four program records this season, in both the 200 and 400 individual medley, along with the 200 backstroke and 1000 freestyle. She has won nine races in 2011-12, second on the team to Ravettine's 10 event victories. Curry and Bethany Wakeley have won eight events apiece.

All three days of the CCSA Championships will be video streamed live via the Big South Network. Also, for the second consecutive time, 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.

2012 CCSA Championships
February 16-18
Gabrielsen Natatorium
Athens, Ga.

Schedule of Events
Day 1 – Trials (10 a.m.)

200-yard Freestyle Relay "B"
10-minute intermission
500-yard Freestyle
200-yard Individual Medley
50-yard Freestyle
20-minute intermission
400-yard Medley Relay "B"
One-meter Diving (1:30 p.m. Women)
Three-meter Diving (1:30 p.m. Men)

Day 1 – Finals (6 p.m.)
200-yard Freestyle Relay "A"
One-meter Diving (Women)
500-yard Freestyle
200-yard Individual Medley
50-yard Freestyle
Three-meter Diving (Men)
400-yard Medley Relay "A"

Day 2 – Trials (10 a.m.)
200-yard Medley Relay "B"
10-minute intermission
400-yard Individual Medley
100-yard Butterfly
200-yard Freestyle
100-yard Breaststroke
100-yard Backstroke
20-minute intermission
800-yard Freestyle Relay "B"
One-meter Diving (1:30 p.m. Men)

Day 2 – Finals (6 p.m.)
200-yard Medley Relay "A"
10-minute intermission
400-yard Individual Medley
100-yard Butterfly
200-yard Freestyle
100-yard Breaststroke
100-yard Backstroke
One-meter Diving (Men)
800-yard Freestyle Relay "A"

Day 3 – 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. 16, 2012
500-yard Freestyle
Defending Champion:
Leah Daniel (Florida Gulf Coast) – 4:48.22 (two-time champion, 2009 and 2011)
2011-12 Leader: Leah Daniel (Florida Gulf Coast) – 4:55.72
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Emily Duff – 5:10.07 (14th)
Liberty Entrants: Emily Duff, Bethany Wakeley, Margaret Riel, Emily Mudd, Sarah Kendrick
Outlook: Two-time champion Leah Daniel returns to defend her 500 freestyle championships, as she won the event in 2009 and 2011. Once again, she holds the top time in the conference, swimming 4:55.72. Daniel's teammates Devon Robins, Jessie Porter and Eva Lehtonen are close behind. Liberty's Emily Duff brings the 14th-best performance to the meet, at 5:10.07.

200-yard Individual Medley
Defending Champion:
Myriam Plante (Florida Gulf Coast) – 2:01.55
2011-12 Leader: Victoria Cadge (Florida Gulf Coast) – 2:03.67
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Erin Curry – 2:10.11 (13th)
Liberty Entrants: Erin Curry, Emily Mudd, Mallorie Chambers
Outlook: The 200 IM is one of three events that has been won by Florida Gulf Coast at each of the first four CCSA Swimming & Diving Championships. Victoria Cadge, the 2009 conference champion in the 200 IM, holds the fastest time in the conference this season, at 2:03.67, nearly three seconds ahead of the next competitor. Erin Curry is Liberty's top entrant in the 200 IM, with a 2:10.11.

50-yard Freestyle
Defending Champion:
Lindsey Martin (Davidson) – 22.57
2011-12 Leader: Emma Svensson (Florida Gulf Coast) – 22.54
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Brye Ravettine – 23.24 (2nd)
Liberty Entrants: Brye Ravettine, Cori Gary, Marley Cripe, Meghan Babcock, Chloe Thomas, Sarah McCorkle, Rachel Nelson, Carley Drye
Outlook: After four straight 50 free victories at the conference championships for Lindsey Martin of Davidson, a new champion will emerge. Florida Gulf Coast's Emma Svensson and Liberty's Brye Ravettine are the top two sprinters in the conference. Svensson edged out Ravettine, 23.17 to 23.24, in their first meeting this season. Ravettine placed second at last year's championship, on the way to a Co-Freshman of the Meet award. Cori Gary is eighth in the conference with a season best of 24.14, followed by Marley Cripe, who is ninth with 24.21.

Day 2 – Feb. 17, 2012
400-yard Individual Medley
Defending Champion:
Victoria Cadge (Florida Gulf Coast) – 4:19.10
2011-12 Leader: Victoria Cadge (Florida Gulf Coast) – 4:25.11
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Erin Curry – 4:34.71 (13th)
Liberty Entrant: Erin Curry
Outlook: Victoria Cadge of Florida Gulf Coast returns after winning the 400 individual medley in last year's championship. She swam the best time of any competitor in the conference so far this season, 4:25.11, just 0.76 seconds faster than teammate Eva Lehtonen. Liberty's Erin Curry has the 13th-best time coming into the championships, at 4:34.71.

100-yard Butterfly
Defending Champion:
Emily Castle (Davidson) – 54.46
2011-12 Leader: Emma Svensson (Florida Gulf Coast) – 55.21
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Bethany Wakeley – 57.55 (8th)
Liberty Entrants: Bethany Wakeley, Marley Cripe, Rachel Nelson, Sarah Kendrick
Outlook: Three-time 100 fly champion Emily Castle has graduated. Emma Svensson (55.21) and Danielle Butler (55.46) of Florida Gulf Coast have posted the top two 100 fly times this season, followed by Meredith Nakano of Davidson at 56.41. Bethany Wakeley of Liberty, last year's eighth-place finisher, returns as the eighth-seeded swimmer in the 100 fly, at 57.55.

200-yard Freestyle
Defending Champion:
Leah Daniel (Florida Gulf Coast) – 1:48.70
2011-12 Leader: Leah Daniel (Florida Gulf Coast) – 1:50.82
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Margaret Riel – 1:56.14
Liberty Entrants: Margaret Riel, Sarah McCorkle, Cori Gary, Meghan Babcock, Carley Drye, Emily Mudd
Outlook: Defending champion Leah Daniel of Florida Gulf Coast returns with a top-seeded time of 1:50.82 in the 200 free. Florida Gulf Coast swimmers have posted the top five 200 free times this season. Margaret Riel holds Liberty's best entry time, at 1:56.14. Riel won the 200 free at each of Liberty's final two regular-season meets.

100-yard Breaststroke
Defending Champion:
Danielle Beaubrun (Florida Gulf Coast) – 1:02.21
2011-12 Leader: Danielle Beaubrun (Florida Gulf Coast) – 1:02.49
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Jennifer Garzinski – 1:09.73
Liberty Entrants: Jennifer Garzinski, Mallorie Chambers
Outlook: Florida Gulf Coast's Danielle Beaubrun returns to defend her 2011 championship in the 100 breast. She has the top time in the conference this season, at 1:02.49, followed by Charity Byrum of Gardner-Webb (1:03.65) and Meredith Nakano of Davidson (1:05.26).

100-yard Backstroke
Defending Champion:
Viktoria Hyddmark (Florida Gulf Coast) – 56.00
2011-12 Leader: Emma Svensson (Florida Gulf Coast) – 53.88
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Brye Ravettine – 58.12 (3rd)
Liberty Entrants: Brye Ravettine, Emily Duff, Chloe Thomas, Jennifer Garzinski
Outlook: Emma Svensson leads the field in the 100 backstroke, with a top time of 53.88 this year. Brye Ravettine ranks third in the conference with a 100 back time of 58.12. Ravettine placed fourth at last year's conference meet with a program-record time of 56.57. Emily Duff ranks sixth in the 100 back, at 58.57.

Day 3 – Feb. 18, 2012
1,650-yard Freestyle
Defending Champion:
Leah Daniel (Florida Gulf Coast) – 16:55.91 (three-time defending champion)
2011-12 Leader: Jessie Porter (Florida Gulf Coast) – 16:59.85
Outlook: Jessie Porter leads a trio of Florida Gulf Coast swimmers at the 1,650 free this season, swimming 16:59.85. Three-time defending champion Leah Daniel swam 17:03.22 in 2011-12, while Eva Lehtonen has a 17:10.59 to her credit. Liberty will not enter anyone in the 1,650 free.

200-yard Backstroke
Defending Champion:
Viktoria Hyddmark (Florida Gulf Coast) – 1:58.90
2011-12 Leader: Karen Villorio (Florida Gulf Coast) – 2:04.68
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Emily Duff – 2:06.86 (6th)
Liberty Entrants: Emily Duff, Erin Curry, Margaret Riel
Outlook: Viktoria Hyddmark of Florida Gulf Coast won three out of the first four CCSA titles at 200 back. Now, FGCU's Karen Villorio (2:04.68) and Jamie Akenberger lead the field. Emily Duff, Liberty's program record holder, is ranked sixth in the 200 back with a time of 2:06.86. Duff has defeated fourth-rated Jenna Ballinger of Gardner-Webb in head-to-head competition this season. Erin Curry has the ninth fastest CCSA time, clocking a 2:07.27 this season.

100-yard Freestyle
Defending Champion:
Lindsey Martin (Davidson) – 49.41
2011-12 Leader: Emma Svensson (Florida Gulf Coast) – 49.49
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Brye Ravettine – 51.58 (2nd)
Liberty Entrants: Brye Ravettine, Marley Cripe, Cori Gary, Sarah McCorkle, Chloe Thomas, Meghan Babcock, Carley Drye
Outlook: Lindsey Martin won each of the last four conference titles in the 100 free. Florida Gulf Coast freshman Emma Svensson brings the top time in the CCSA, at 49.49. Brye Ravettine, who placed second in the 100 free at last year's conference championships, has the second-best time in the conference this year, 51.58. Liberty's Marley Cripe is fifth on the top times list, at 52.21.

200-yard Breaststroke
Defending Champion:
Kim Zachensky (Gardner-Webb) – 2:14.83
2011-12 Leader: Danielle Beaubrun (Florida Gulf Coast) – 2:16.26
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Jennifer Garzinski – 2:32.73
Liberty Entrants: Jennifer Garzinski, Mallorie Chambers
Outlook: Florida Gulf Coast's Danielle Beaubrun, the runner-up last year in the 200 breast, brings the top time to the CCSA championships this season, 2:16.26. Meredith Nakano of Davidson has swum 2:19.91 for the 200 breast, and Charity Byrum of Gardner-Webb is third in the conference with 2:20.04.

200-yard Butterfly
Defending Champion:
Jessie Porter (Florida Gulf Coast) – 2:02.84
2011-12 Leader: Danielle Butler (Florida Gulf Coast) – 2:02.50
Liberty's Top Entry Time: Bethany Wakeley – 2:07.29 (6th)
Liberty Entrants: Bethany Wakeley, Rachel Nelson, Sarah Kendrick
Outlook: Florida Gulf Coast has four out of the top five 200 butterfly performers in the conference this season, led by Danielle Butler at 2:02.50. Bethany Wakeley took fourth place in a time of 2:04.78 at the 2011 CCSA Championship. Wakeley enters this year's meet ranked sixth, at 2:07.29.