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    Lady Flames Earn Valuable National-Level Experience at Toyota U.S. Open

    Dec 3, 2022 | Lynchburg Va | Swimming & Diving

    Liberty junior Abbie Shaw earned a 23rd-place finish in the 100 backstroke on Friday, highlighting Liberty’s participation in the 2022 Toyota U.S. Open at Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, N.C.

    Shaw was one of six Lady Flames competing at the meet (also Kaycee Cannings, Heather Gardner, Genna Joyce, Jessica Schellenboom and Sydney Stricklin), which featured World record holders Katie Ledecky and Regan Smith.

    Liberty Competitors
    • Jr. Abbie Shaw – 100 backstroke (23rd place in 1:03.87; qualified for C Final in 1:03.55) 200 backstroke (39th place in 2:22.89)

    • Jr. Heather Gardner – 100 breaststroke (36th place in prelims (1:13.30))

    • Jr. Genna Joyce – 100 breaststroke (49th place in prelims (1:14.28)); 200 breaststroke (30th place in prelims (2:39.66))

    • So. Sydney Stricklin – 100 freestyle (32nd place in prelims (58.22))

    • Sr. Jessica Schellenboom – 100 breaststroke (48th place in prelims (1:14.23)); 200 breaststroke (34th place in prelims (2:40.36))

    • Fr. Kaycee Cannings – 200 freestyle (35th place in prelims (2:09.80)); 100 freestyle (45th place in prelims (59.93))

    Notable
    • The Toyota U.S. Open returned to a single-site format for the second year in a row after being contested simultaneously across nine sites in 2020.

    • Shaw qualified for the C Final in the 100 backstroke in 1:03.55, before finishing seventh in the C Final (23rd overall) in 1:03.87 at night.

    • Junior Heather Gardner swam a lifetime-best 1:13.30 in the 100 breaststroke, finishing 36th overall and ahead of teammates Jessica Schellenboom and Genna Joyce.

    • Joyce competed at the U.S. open for the second year in a row, as she earned a ninth-place finish in the 200 breaststroke last year.

    • Stricklin made her third straight appearance at the U.S. Open, as she competed as a high school senior and then last year as a Lady Flame.

    • Freshman Kaycee Cannings, a native of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, was attempting to earn Canadian Trials standards in both the 100 freestyle.

    • This is the 12th season in a row that Liberty has had participants compete in USA Swimming national meets, and sixth time at a meet hosted in either November or December (also 2011, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021).

    • This weekend began the qualifying window for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

    Historically Speaking
    • Shaw is the first Lady Flame to earn a finals swim at a USA Swimming National meet since Joyce’s 2021 Toyota U.S. Open ninth-place showing in the 200 breaststroke.

    Liberty’s All-Time Scoring Performances at USA Swimming National Meets
    2011 Winter Nationals – 50 freestyle – Brye Ravettine (17th place)
    2013 U.S. Open – 100 breaststroke – Emilie Kaufman (13th place)
    2017 Phillips 66 National Championships – 200 butterfly – Alicia Finnigan (t-10th place)
    2018 Phillips 66 National Championships – 200 butterfly – Alicia Finnigan (10th place)
    2018 Winter Nationals – 200 butterfly – Alicia Finnigan (5th place)
    2019 Phillips 66 National Championships – 200 backstroke – Payton Keiner (14th place)
    2021 Toyota U.S. Open – 200 breaststroke – Genna Joyce (9th place)

    Up Next
    Liberty’s next scheduled dual meet is Jan. 7 when the Lady Flames will compete at East Carolina.

    Pictured at top: Abbie Shaw