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Liberty Maintains Sizable Lead Following CCSA Championships' 3rd Day

February 22, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Gianni Pitto won the 400 IM, placed second in the 100 breaststroke and swam on the winning 400 medley relay on Friday.

Gianni Pitto won the 400 IM, placed second in the 100 breaststroke and swam on the winning 400 medley relay on Friday.

The Liberty swimming & diving team carries a 176.5-point lead into the last day of the 2019 CCSA Women's Swimming & Diving Championships following a strong showing Friday at the Liberty Natatorium.

The Lady Flames have scored 1,366.5 points, 176.5 points clear of four-time defending champion FGCU (1,190). Incarnate Word is in third (773), and Georgia Southern sits fourth with 698 points.

Team Standings
1. Liberty – 1,366.5

2. FGCU – 1,190
3. Incarnate Word – 773
4. Georgia Southern – 698
5. Campbell – 598.5
6. UNC Asheville – 571
7. North Florida – 475
8. Gardner-Webb – 464
9. Howard – 335

Liberty A Finalists
• 400 medley relay – 1st place ((Payton Keiner (52.82), Gianni Pitto (1:01.84), Alicia Finnigan (52.92), Emily Zimcosky (50.01)) – 3:37.59

• Sr. Alicia Finnigan – 100 butterfly (2nd place in 53.13)

• So. Lindsey Cohee – 100 butterfly (6th place in 54.77)

• Fr. Gianni Pitto – 400 IM (1st place in 4:15.06)

• R-So. Mikayla Herich – 400 IM (2nd place in 4:15.23)

• Fr. Emma Hazel – 400 IM (4th place in 4:22.70)

• So. Kiah Francis – 400 IM (9th place in 4:34.25)

• Jr. Emily Zimcosky – 200 freestyle (1st place in 1:48.18)

• Sr. Shelby Black – 200 freestyle (3rd place in 1:49.23)

• Jr. Hannah Baker – 200 freestyle (4th place in 1:49.77)

• So. Emily Manly – 200 freestyle (5th place in 1:50.30)

• So. Arielle Arnett – 200 freestyle (9th place in 1:52.33)

• Fr. Gianni Pitto – 100 breaststroke (2nd place in 1:01.50)

• Sr. Ricki Lee Hodges – 100 breaststroke (7th place in 1:03.53)

• So. Payton Keiner – 100 backstroke (1st place in 53.95)

• Jr. Brittany Weiss – 100 backstroke (4th place in 55.16)

• Fr. Emma Hazel – 100 backstroke (5th place in 55.61)

Notable
• The Lady Flames posted 17 top-nine finishes on Friday, including eight podium finishes, four event victories and five NCAA B cuts. Through three days, the Lady Flames have totaled 19 top-three finishes, seven event victories and six NCAA B cuts.

• Liberty won the 400 medley relay for the second year in a row, and third time in program history.
• Following Gianni Pitto's 400 IM relay victory and Emily Zimcosky's 200 freestyle win, Liberty has now won every swimming event at least once at the CCSA Championships in program history.

• Pitto won the 400 IM in NCAA B cut and program-record time of 4:15.06, while Herich took second in B cut time, 4:15.23. Pitto later finished second in the 100 breaststroke, earning an NCAA provisional qualifying time, 1:01.50.

• Emily Zimcosky became the first Lady Flame to win the 200 freestyle all-time at CCSA Championships, winning in 1:48.18. Senior Shelby Black picked up her first career podium finish, placing third in 1:49.23.

• Liberty was part of two races that were decided by .01 of a second. Payton Keiner won the 100 backstroke in 53.95, edging FGCU's Doris Eichhorn, who swam 53.96. Liberty has claimed victory in the 100 back at each of the last three CCSA Championships, with Weiss winning in both 2017 and 2018.

• Senior Alicia Finnigan placed second in the 100 fly in NCAA B cut time of 53.13, her third straight year finishing second in the 100 fly at the CCSA meet. FGCU's Gracie Redding won in 53.12.

Historically Speaking
• Emma Hazel's 4:22.70 for 400 IM ranks sixth in program history, while Pitto (4:15.06) and Herich (4:15.23) are first and second, in that order.

• Finnigan improved her lifetime-best in the 100 fly to 53.13, good for second in program history.

 • Zimcosky ranks second in program history with her 1:47.41 in 200 freestyle prelims. Shelby Black moved up to fifth on Liberty's all-time top 10 by swimming 1:49.23 in the A Final. 

• Pitto is now ranked third on the team's record list in 100 breaststroke at 1:01.50.

• Keiner's 52.82 to lead off the 400 medley relay is good for second in program history in 100 backstroke, and meets the NCAA B standard. Emma Hazel's 55.53 from prelims ranks eighth.

• Liberty's 3:37.59 in the 400 medley relay is third on the team's top 10 performers list all-time.

Up Next
Tomorrow's fourth and final day of the CCSA Championships begins at 10 a.m. with prelims of the 200 backstroke, and also includes heats of the 100 free, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, 400 free relay and 1,650 freestyle. Exhibition platform diving will also take place tomorrow.