MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – After Emma Svensson made FGCU history in day one of the 2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship, day two brought freshman Kira Toussaint the opportunity to make a mark of her own, and that is exactly what she did. Becoming the first from the Green and Blue to stand on the awards podium at NCAAs, Toussaint placed seventh in the 100-yard backstroke, clocking a 51.81.
To begin the second day in Minneapolis, Kira Toussaint (Amstelveen, Netherlands/Keizer Karel College) posted a 51.75 in the 100 backstroke prelim to place fifth overall and earn a spot in the A final, something no one from FGCU had ever done before.
Naming eight, the field for the 100-yard backstroke A final listed four veteran seniors and seven swimmers from programs ranked in the national top 15. Toussaint didn’t let her role as the only freshman and the sole representative of a mid-major program hinder her performance as she finished the race for a national title in 51.81 seconds to place seventh.
Not only was Toussaint’s race historic for her team, it elevated FGCU athletics to a new level of competition as the freshman was the university’s first student-athlete to participate in a contest where the winner was crowned NCAA D-I National Champion.
“Today was yet again an incredible step forward for our program,” head coach Neal Studd said. “We’re now two for two in scoring at NCAAs, which is an amazing accomplishment for a mid-major school. Kira making the A final and racing for a notional title only shows what the future holds for FGCU. She was extremely disciplined and I could not be more proud of what she has accomplished.”
In day on of the championships, Svensson (Upsala, Sweden/Celsiusskolan) swam the race of her life, clocking a 22.09 in the 50-yard freestyle prelim, and continued on to the B final where she placed 12th with a 22.33.
At the end of day two the Eagles sit in 24th place with 17 points in the competition of the nation’s best.
Toussaint will return tomorrow and race the 200-yard backstroke in the final day of competition. Finals will be broadcast live on ESPN3. Live video and live scoring for prelims is be available here: http://bit.ly/1em2mRX
For complete coverage of FGCU women’s swimming at NCAAs, follow us on Twitter @FGCU_WSWIM and visit www.FGCUAthletics.com.