Liberty claimed a runner-up trophy by placing second at the 2015 CCSA Swimming & Diving Championships, which concluded on Saturday at Georgia's Gabrielsen Natatorium.
Florida Gulf Coast claimed its sixth title in the last seven years, and first since 2013, scoring 1,575 points. Defending champion Liberty placed second with 1,239 points, while Georgia Southern placed third at 1,110.5. Gardner-Webb (1,026.5) and Incarnate Word (851) rounded out the top five.
For the day, Liberty had 15 finals swims (eight A finals, five B finals and two C finals), 12 lifetime bests, two NCAA B cuts, five podium finishes (four individual, one relay) and three program records. On the meet as a whole, the Lady Flames registered 11 podium finishes (six individual, five relay), six program records and seven NCAA B cuts.
Prior to the finals, the 2015 CCSA All-Academic Honorees were released, with 21 Lady Flames being recognized. They included: freshmen Sydney Archuleta, Danielle Boothe, Kendall Hart, Rachel Hoeve, Madi Long, Chelsea Pond, Rachel Rippey, Ashlee Sall and Rachel Wasko; sophomores Natalie Chambers, Heather McCorkel, Morgan Noonan and Victoria Tschoke; juniors Natalie Beale, Ranndi Grubbs, Kendall Hough, Kristin VanDeventer and Hannah Wakeley; and seniors Meghan Babcock, Cori Gary and Chloe Thomas.
The Lady Flames got the finals off to a great start, as junior Hannah Wakeley placed third in the 1,650 free in a lifetime-best program-record 16:45.43. She also set the program 1,000 free record, going 10:06.55 on the way out. Junior Kristin VanDeventer finished fifth in 17:01.74, while freshman Sarah Browning's lifetime-best 17:08.69 earned her sixth place.
Senior Emily Duff broke her own program record with a B cut time of 1:56.50 in the 200 back, placing second in the event for the third year in a row. Sophomore Victoria Tschoke swam 2:00.00 in the A final, finishing in fourth place, while junior Natalie Beale finished in seventh place with a 2:03.26 clocking.
Junior Kendall Hough picked up her third podium finish of the meet, placing third in the 100 free A final with a lifetime-best 50.06. Seniors Meghan Babcock (51.47) and Cori Gary (51.81) placed seventh and eighth, respectively. Freshman Chelsea Pond won the B final in a lifetime-best 51.05, placing ninth overall, while Chloe Thomas placed 15th overall in 52.74. Freshman Ashlee Sall swam her season best, 52.71, for 22nd position.
Freshmen Prudence Rooker clocked 2:20.39 for a sixth-place standing in the 200 breaststroke. Classmate Rachel Wasko went 2:21.64 in the B final for 13th position overall.
Wakeley claimed a runner-up finish in the 200 fly with a lifetime-best 2:00.05 clocking. Junior Ranndi Grubbs swam her best time, 2:05.36, to finish 11th overall, while freshman Kendall Hart's lifetime-best 2:09.01 was good for 18th.
Liberty placed second in the women's 400 free relay, as Hough, Duff, Pond and Babcock swam a season-best 3:21.94. FGCU won in NCAA B cut, meet and CCSA-record time of 3:17.85.
The Lady Flames earned two B cuts in the 200 back prelims, as Tschoke swam a lifetime-best 1:58.39 to place third and Duff's B cut of 1:58.78 was good for fourth. Beale joined Tschoke and Hough in making the A final, in eighth at 2:01.98.
Liberty then qualified seven swimmers for finals in the 100 free. Hough clocked a then lifetime-best 50.22 to earn the second seed, while Gary (51.25) and Babcock (51.32) finished as the sixth and seventh seeds. Freshmen Rachel Hoeve (51.49 – 9th) and Chelsea Pond (51.94 – 12th) both swam lifetime bests, and Chloe Thomas' 52.44 qualified in 16th. Freshman Ashlee Sall went 52.84 for 21st and a C final appearance.
Freshman Prudence Rooker finished seventh in prelims for the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:19.62. Classmate Rachel Wasko made the B final in 10th with her lifetime-best 2:21.40.
Junior Hannah Wakeley swam the fastest 200 fly qualifying time on the morning, earning the first seed in a then personal-best 2:01.01. Sophomore Ranndi Grubbs clocked 2:06.03 to finished 10th, while freshman Kendall Hart earned a C final swim, in 23rd at 2:14.65.
The Liberty swimmers who record NCAA B cut times will await word on selection for the 2015 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships, which will be held in Greensboro, N.C., March 19-21.