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Liberty Claims Second at CCSA Championships

February 18, 2012
|  Athens, Ga.
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Liberty women's swimming celebrates with its second place trophy at the conclusion of the 2012 CCSA Swimming and Diving Championships.

The Liberty swimming team placed second with 538.5 points in the 2012 Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Swimming and Diving Championships, held at Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga.

Brye Ravettine was named Women's Swimmer of the Meet for registering the most points of any women's swimmer during the meet. She won a pair of individual events, set one conference record, swam three individual NCAA B cuts, and was on two victorious relays. Ravettine was the Co-Freshman of the Meet at the 2011 CCSA Championships.

Ravettine was also voted CCSA Women's Swimmer of the Year for her standout performance all year. She was named CCSA Swimmer of the Week on Feb. 1, and also earned a qualifying standard in the 50-meter freestyle for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

Jake Shellenberger was voted CCSA Women's Swimming Coach of the Year, for guiding Liberty's second-year women's swimming team to a very successful campaign. He led the Lady Flames to a 9-1 record in conference dual meets, and a second-place finish at the conference championships.

Liberty finished in sixth place with 267 points at last year's conference championships, its first year as a swimming program. By finishing in second with 538.5 points this season, the Lady Flames have made the best placing and scoring improvement from one year to the next in the conference meet's five-year history.

Florida Gulf Coast won the women's championship for the fourth season in a row, scoring 840 points. Liberty was next, at 538.5, followed by Georgia Southern in third at 477.5. Gardner-Webb took fourth, with North Florida in fifth and Davidson in sixth.

At this week's meet, Liberty had 13 medal-winning performances, five event victories, six NCAA B cuts, 16 program records and numerous lifetime bests.

Ravettine earned her second event victory of the meet, swimming a program-record and NCAA B-cut 49.33 to win the 100 freestyle. Meghan Babcock placed fourth, in 51.19, with Cori Gary swimming 51.23 for fifth and Sarah McCorkle placing eighth in 51.61. Marley Cripe took second in the B final, and ninth overall, with a 51.50, and Chloe Thomas placed 13th overall, in 52.45.

The Lady Flames ended the meet by winning the 400 free relay in a program-, meet- and conference-record 3:21.09 that also earned an NCAA B cut. Ravettine, McCorkle, Gary and Babcock swam on Liberty's victorious 400 free relay.

Bethany Wakeley swam a program-record 2:02.33 to claim second place in the 200 fly. She trimmed 1.4 seconds off of her record swim from the morning. Rachel Nelson finished in 16th place, in 2:10.55.

During the A final of the 200 back, Emily Duff and Erin Curry both broke the Liberty record, set earlier in the morning. Duff placed third, in 2:02.40, while Curry finished in fourth, clocking 2:02.73. Margaret Riel took eighth in 2:04.52.

During Saturday's morning preliminaries, Liberty sent 11 swimmers to finals, including eight A finalists and three B finalists. Additionally, 13 out of 15 Lady Flame swims were lifetime bests.

The Lady Flames earned three top-eight finishes in 200 backstroke qualifying. Curry swam a program-record 2:02.94 to earn the third seed, while Duff was sixth, in 2:03.36 and Margaret Riel seventh with a 2:03.73.

Liberty had a standout morning in the 100 free, with six Lady Flames making finals. Ravettine posted the fastest time, 49.47, which was a program record and NCAA B cut. Gary was fourth in qualifying, at 51.73, while McCorkle (51.50) and Babcock (51.66) earned seeds seven and eight. Cripe (52.15) and Thomas (52.31) qualified 11th and 12th.

Wakeley placed third in 200 fly prelims, lowering her own program record to 2:03.73. Nelson swam a lifetime best by nearly six seconds, 2:08.75, to qualify in 15th place.

Carley Drye swam a lifetime-best 54.53, finishing in 34th place in the 100 free.

In the 200 breast, Jennifer Garzinski placed 21st, clocking a season-best 2:27.39, while Mallorie Chambers finished 31st with a lifetime best of 2:37.54.

Sarah Kendrick dropped almost six seconds from her best time, finishing the 200 fly in 2:16.97 for 26th place.

The Lady Flames who have registered B cuts will await selection announcements for the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships. The championships will take place from March 15-17, in Auburn, Ala.