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Liberty and FGCU Finish as CCSA Co-Champions in Rare Tie

February 17, 2021  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty and FGCU Finish as CCSA Co-Champions in Rare Tie

After 20 events and thousands of points scored, Liberty and FGCU finished as co-champions at the 2021 CCSA Women's Swimming & Diving Championship, which wrapped up Wednesday at Liberty Natatorium.

This is the first time in CCSA history that two teams have finished in a tie for the title, as Liberty and FGCU both scored exactly 1,748.5 points.  

The Lady Flames have now claimed fourth CCSA title in program history, with the first one coming in 2014 and the last three in a row, 2019, 2020 and 2021. FGCU earns its 10th total CCSA title and first since 2018.

Team Standings
1T. Liberty – 1,748.5
1T. FGCU – 1,748.5
3. Incarnate Word – 1,281
4. UNC Asheville – 1,012.5
5. Campbell – 996
6. Georgia Southern – 823
7. Gardner-Webb – 799.5
8. Bellarmine – 500

Liberty A Finalists
• Sr. Arielle Arnett – 1650 Freestyle (6th place in 17:17.15)
• Sr. Payton Keiner – 200 backstroke (1st place in 1:54.73)
• Jr. Emma Hazel – 200 backstroke (2nd place in 1:57.69)
• So. Eva Suggs – 200 backstroke (3rd place in 1:58.48)
• Jr. Shelby Haines – 200 backstroke (9th place in 2:02.82)
• Fr. Abby Strohmeier – 100 freestyle (5th place in 51.18)
• So. Jessica Schellenboom – 200 breaststroke (3rd place in 2:14.23)
• Jr. Chloe Rippey – 200 breaststroke (4th place in 2:15.17)
• Fr. Jamyson Robb – 200 breaststroke (8th place in 2:16.67)
• Sr. Lindsey Cohee – 200 butterfly (1st place in 1:58.87)
• 400 freestyle relay – 2nd place in 3:21.75 (Payton Keiner (50.40), Abby Strohmeier (50.74), Eva Suggs (50.18), Emma Hazel (50.43))

Notable
• Liberty held an eight-point lead heading into the final event, the 400 freestyle relay. The Eagles won 3:20.87 for 70 points while Liberty finished second in 3:21.75, scoring 62 points.  With social distancing in effect, Liberty swam in heat one, and watched as FGCU swam the second heat to wrap up the co-championship.

• Liberty posted 11 top-nine finishes on Wednesday, including six podium finishes, two event victories and two NCAA B cuts. For the the meet, Liberty earned 39 A Finals, 21 podiums, seven event victories, one program record, three NCAA Zone Qualifying scores and four NCAA B cuts.

• This is the second time that the Lady Flames have served as host for the CCSA Championships, also hosting in 2019. That year, Liberty won its second conference title, while the Lady Flames repeated last year in Knoxville, Tenn.

• Maddie Freece was named CCSA Most Outstanding Diver of the Meet after winning both the one-meter and three-meter diving events this week. She joins current teammate Lauren Chennault, who was named CCSA Co-Most Outstanding Diver of the Meet last year.

• Senior Payton Keiner claimed her fourth straight 200 backstroke title, becoming Liberty's first swimmer to win four CCSA titles in the same event.  She joins only Davidson's Lindsey Martin (50 free and 100 free, 2008-11) and FGCU's Leah Daniel (1650 free, 2009-12) as swimmers to have won four CCSA titles in the same event in their careers.

• Liberty went 1-2-3 in the 200 backstroke for the second year in a row, led by four-time champion Payton Keiner (B cut 1:54.73). Emma Hazel (1:57.69) finished second, while Eva Suggs (1:58.48) finished third. Hazel now has six career podium finishes, while Suggs has five.

• Keiner has now posted eight career podium finishes, including a program-record seven individual-event titles.

 • Cohee won the 200 fly for the second straight year, extending Liberty's winning streak in the 200 fly to five years. She won in an NCAA B cut time of 1:58.87.

• Schellenboom earned her fourth career podium finish, placing third in the 200 breaststroke (2:14.23).

Historically Speaking
• Schellenboom (2:14.23) is now ranked second in program history for 200 breaststroke, while Chloe Rippey (2:15.17) is fifth and Jamyson Robb (2:16.67) is sixth.  

• Chloe Harris now ranks seventh in program history in 200 fly (2:04.84), while Sydney Houtz (2:05.35) is eighth.

• The Lady Flames' 400 freestyle relay time of 3:21.75 ranks fifth on the program's top 10 list.

Up Next
The Lady Flames will host the fourth-annual Liberty Last Chance Meet, next Friday and Saturday at Liberty Natatorium.