Wakefield Qualifies for Zones, Swimming and Diving Waterfalls at FIU

MIAMI, Florida. – The FGCU swimming and diving team competed at the FIU, Saturday, in Miami and fell to the Panthers, 190-109.

“We came in today with two goals, we executed our events better than last week and exchanged on relays, and we did a great job on both,” said head coach Dave Rollins. “Congratulations to Reese [Wakefield] who qualified for NCAA zones in both the 1m and 3m. Emma [Hixenbaugh] getting away with an event win is always special and it’s hugely important to see our team challenge themselves to finish their races. Now we can focus on celebrating our seniors and all their achievements and contributions to this program as we head into the final push of the season.”

sophomore Emma Hixenbaugh (Louisville, Ky./Ballard HS) took the lone win for the Eagles on the day when they hit first place in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:08.30.

The other big highlight of the day was at the diving pool as a junior Reese Wakefield (Guelph, Ontario, Canada/Bishop Macdonelle CHS) qualified for NCAA zones in both the 1m and 3m. In the 1m she scored 291.00 while in the 3m she posted a score of 294.68, both well above the NCAA qualifying threshold. She becomes the fourth Eagle to qualify for zones and joins her sister Megan Wakefield (Guelph, Ontario, Canada/Centennial CVI) and Juniors Isabeau Keene (Demorest, Ga./Tallulah Falls HS) and Delaney Nelson (Cinicinnati, Ohio/Ursuline Academy).

The Eagles had a few second places in the group as senior Wiktoria Czarnecka ((Lublin, Poland/Liceum NR 10 W Lublinie) was second in the 50 free just as senior Petra Halmaic (Dombovar, Hungary/Lanczos Kornel Secondari Grammar School) in the 200 breast and the 200 IM.

FGCU returns to action on February 4-5 when they welcome North Florida for a two-day meeting. Friday, the fourth is Senior Day for the Eagles, as the program will honor seven seniors before the game.

For full coverage of FGCU swimming and diving, follow the Eagles on Twitter (@FGCU_WSwimDive), Instagram (@FGCU_WSwimDive) and online at www.FGCUAthletics.com. You can also sign up to receive FGCU Swim & Dive or other program news straight to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.

head coach Dave Rollins is only the second coach in the program’s history. He was hired on September 1, 2016 and holds a 34-26-1 (.566) dual meet record, including a 13-2 (.857) run against CCSA opponents, in his sixth season. Rollins led FGCU to consecutive CCSA titles (2017, 2018), as well as the program’s fourth straight title in 2018, marking its ninth championship in 10 years before winning the 10th championship in program history in 2021. In addition, he was named CCSA Coach of the Year in two of his seasons at the helm. Previously, Rollins was the associate head swimming coach for men at Ohio State University. Rollins brings more than a decade of coaching experience to The Nest, including helping to develop Olympians, NCAA Champions and All-Americans, along with multiple conference champions. Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, he was a standout collegiate swimmer himself, and in 2017 he was inducted into the University of Arizona Hall of Fame as a nine-time NCAA All-American, National Champion, School Record Holder, and Team Captain.

IT NEEDS A TEAM to achieve our latest goal – a $10 million campaign to address student-athlete needs for continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition, and strength and conditioning, as well as department needs in facility expansion and improvement, as well as coaching and leadership training for coaches and employees. The name embodies our mission and purpose of the EAGLE campaign – Eagle Athletics Generating Lifetime Excellence. Join our team and pledge your gift today to help the Eagles of tomorrow!

FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), the FGCU Athletics charities. For more information, including how to contribute, visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to raise awareness.

Together, FGCU teams have won an incredible 85 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of DI postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had 42 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have achieved top 25 nationalities in their respective sports – including Women’s Basketball (No. 21, 2020-21), Beach Volleyball (No. 20, 2021), and both Men’s Soccer (2018, 2019) and Women’s Soccer (2018) and three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue took a division best sixth place in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and the top-100 nationally, for several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018/19, the Eagles had an ASUN and the top seven teams from the state of Florida earned the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their academic advancement in their sports. FGCU also collectively achieved a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester, outperforming the general university undergraduate population for 24 consecutive semesters. Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 each reached another milestone as all 15 programs in each achieved a team GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Eagles also had a record 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017—they were recognized as one of two runner-up winners for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.

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