Prudence Rooker won the breaststroke at the FGCU Triple Distance Classic.
The Liberty swimming & diving team opened the year 2018 with a second-place finish at the FGCU Triple Distance Classic, held Friday at FGCU Aquatics Complex.
The meet featured a unique scoring system, with athletes swimming three events in each stroke and being scored on their total time. Liberty had two stroke champions, in Alicia Finnigan (butterfly) and Prudence Rooker (breaststroke).
The host Florida Gulf Coast Eagles won with 395 points, followed by Liberty (344), Saint Louis (267) and Rutgers (245), in that order.
The Lady Flames won seven individual events and one relay, while Rutgers earned six individual-event victories and FGCU won four events plus one relay race. Liberty's Prudence Rooker won all three breaststroke races (50, 100 and 200), while Alicia Finnigan took first in the 50 fly and 100 fly.
Liberty claimed the meet-opening 200 medley relay, as the quartet of Payton Keiner, Prudence Rooker, Brittany Weiss and Rachel Hoeve swam 1:44.95, edging out FGCU's 1:45.20.
Rooker earned her first win of the night in the 200 breaststroke, swimming 2:22.67. Morgan Noonan followed in second at 2:23.57.
The 100 breaststroke went to Rooker as well, as the Liberty senior won in 1:05.90. Lady Flames junior Ricki Lee Hodges finished fourth in 1:08.80, while Noonan took fifth in 1:08.85.
Rooker completed the evening sweep by taking the 50 breaststroke with a 29.41, while teammate Hodges finished as the runner-up in 30.26.
Finnigan opened the butterfly races with a second-place finish in the 200 fly, swimming 2:03.23. Lindsey Cohee placed third in 2:03.90. Finnigan later won the 100 fly in 56.46, while Cohee (58.44) and Ashley Mauzy (58.58) placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
In the 50 fly, Finnigan won a tight race in 26.38, as just 0.2 seconds separated Finnigan and fourth-place Mauzy (26.58).
Hannah Baker had a strong showing in the freestyle, winning the 200 free in 1:53.62, while Hoeve (1:57.27) followed in fifth. Baker took third in the 50 free with a 24.18 clocking and also claimed third in the 100 free in 52.82. Chelsea Pond's 53.67 100 free time was good for fifth.
Weiss took first in the 100 back with a 57.54 time, while Keiner swam 57.94 in placing fourth. Weiss finished second in the 50 back in 27.29, and Keiner finished fourth in 27.52.
Keiner claimed a runner-up finish for the 200 back, swimming 2:03.90.
In the individual medley relay circuit, Kiah Francis placed second in both the 100 IM (1:01.08) and 400 IM (4:32.59). Emily Manly took third in the 400 IM (4:36.46) and fourth in the 100 IM (1:01.97). Manly swam 2:11.20 for third in the 200 IM, while Francis' 2:11.60 was good for fourth. Amy Schools earned a second-place finish in one-meter diving, scoring 187.05 points, while finishing ahead of all of FGCU's divers.
Liberty finished second in the 200 free relay to close out the meet, as Hoeve, Colleen Donlin, Weiss and Baker totaled 1:36.46.
Ashlee Sall picked up fifth-place finishes in both the 500 free (5:17.03) and 1000 free (10:45.25).
The Lady Flames will return home to host Marshall and UNC Asheville, next Saturday, Jan. 13 at 11 a.m. at Liberty Natatorium.
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