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Lady Flames Off to Early Lead at CCSA Championships

February 15, 2021  Lynchburg, Va.   RSS
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Lady Flames Off to Early Lead at CCSA Championships

Liberty holds a slim, 15.5-point lead over FGCU following Monday's opening day of the 2021 CCSA Swimming & Diving Championships, hosted at Liberty Natatorium.

The two-time defending champion Lady Flames scored 563 points today, compared to 547.5 for second-place FGCU. Incarnate Word sits in third with 431 points, followed by UNC Asheville with 281.

Team Standings
1. Liberty – 563

2. FGCU – 547.5
3. Incarnate Word – 431
4. UNC Asheville – 281
5. Campbell – 257
6. Georgia Southern – 237
7. Gardner-Webb – 233.5
8. Bellarmine – 122

Liberty A Finalists
• 200 medley relay – 4th place in 1:42.49 (Payton Keiner (25.74), Jessica Schellenboom (28.70), Shelby Haines (24.67), Heather Gardner (23.65))
• Fr. Maddie Freece – Three-Meter Diving (6) (1st place in 297.50)
• Jr. Lauren Chennault – Three-Meter Diving (6) (3rd place in 270.10)
• Jr. Abigail Egolf-Jensen – Three-Meter Diving (6) (5th place in 242.40)
• Jr. Emma Hazel – 500 freestyle (3rd place in 4:57.71)
• So. Eva Suggs – 500 freestyle (4th place in 4:57.78)
• Sr. Arielle Arnett – 500 freestyle (5th place in 4:58.99)
• Fr. Chloe Harris – 200 IM (3rd place in 2:02.45)
• Sr. Lindsey Cohee – 200 IM (7th place in 2:04.12)
• So. Jessica Schellenboom – 200 IM (9th place in 2:04.95)
• Sr. Payton Keiner – 50 freestyle (4th place in 23.12)
• 800 freestyle relay – 1st place in 7:24.30 (Abby Strohmeier (1:51.45), Chloe Harris (1:51.58), Eva Suggs (1:50.91), Emma Hazel (1:50.36))

Notable
• Liberty posted 12 top-nine finishes on Monday night, including five podium finishes, two event victories and one NCAA Zone Qualifying score.

• 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.

• Freece became the first Lady Flame to win three-meter diving at the CCSA Championships. The Lady Flames now have at least one win in all of the events offered at the conference championships.

• Freece earned an NCAA Zone qualifying score in three-meter diving with her 297.50 in the A Final. Freece and Olivia Robinson had already qualified for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships in one-meter diving earlier this season.

• The Lady Flames wrapped up the evening by winning the 800 free relay in 7:24.30. This is the fourth straight year that Liberty has won the CCSA 800 free relay. That is the longest streak of winning a single relay at CCSA Championships in program history. Liberty has a chance for its fourth straight conference 400 free relay title this week.

• Emma Hazel earned her fourth career CCSA podium finish, placing third in the 500 free in 4:57.71. She has posted two top-three conference finishes in the 200 back and one in the 200 free in her Liberty career.

• Chloe Harris took third place in her CCSA debut event, swimming 2:02.45 in the 200 IM.

• Senior Payton Keiner finished fourth in the 50 freestyle for the third straight season at the CCSA Championships.

Historically Speaking
• This is the third year in a row that Liberty has had two divers on the podium for three-meter diving. Chennault has made the top three in three-meter diving each of the last three years. 

• Freece's 297.50 score in three-meter diving is good for second in program history. Allie Hallstrand (219.20) is now ranked 10th on Liberty's all-time top 10 list in three-meter diving.  

• Harris now ranks fifth in program history in the 200 IM at 2:02.45.

• Liberty's 800 freestyle relay (7:24.30) ranks eighth in program history.

• The Lady Flames' 200 medley relay time of 1:42.49 is ninth on the program's top 10 list.

Up Next
Tomorrow's action on day two of the 2020 CCSA Swimming & Diving Championships begins at 10 a.m. with preliminary heats of the 100 fly. Friday's program will also feature the 400 medley relay, the 400 individual medley, 200 free, one-meter diving, 100 breaststroke, 100 back and 200 freestyle relay.