FIT Men Place Fifth And Women Sixth, SSC Championship

By  //  February 23, 2015

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'This team has made amazing strides'

With competition wrapping up Sunday night, Florida Tech swimming brought its excellent performance at the Sunshine State Conference Championship to a close.(Photo by Jim Hogue)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – With competition wrapping up Sunday night, Florida Tech swimming brought its excellent performance at the Sunshine State Conference Championship to a close.

The FIT men finished fifth in the incredibly deep SSC field, ending the championship with 301 points. Their female counterparts finished in sixth-place with 399 points.

Nova Southeastern claimed the women’s crown, while Florida Southern earned the men’s championship.

Over the course of the four-day championship, records fell left and right for the Panthers. A total of 22 new school-records were set in Orlando, including new best times in an unbelievable 16-of-19 events for the FIT men.

Additionally, the Panthers set 16 total NCAA “B” Cut qualifying times.

Head coach Justin Andrade was beaming at the conclusion of competition.

Justin Andrade
Justin Andrade

“This team has made amazing strides,” said Head Coach Andrade.

“The team worked hard all year and became much closer. We are so proud not only of how they swam, but how they conduct themselves as student-athletes. This team is a family and they do a great job of supporting each other. Florida Tech Swimming has a bright future ahead.”

On Sunday, Yagoh Kubagawa broke a school-record for the fourth-consecutive day, placing sixth in the mile with an NCAA “B” Cut time of 15:40.70.

Brian Dumont
Brian Dumont
Tyler Phelps
Tyler Phelps

Brian Dumont registered a 2:03.10 in the 200-yard backstroke, breaking his own school-record. Tyler Phelps broke his own FIT-record in the 200-yard backstroke, timing in at 1:51.58.

Dar Raz took seventh in the 200-yard backstroke, touching in 2:05.00. Raz’s preliminary time of 2:04.29 was quick enough to break her school-record in the event. Julie Coen was directly behind the Israeli native in eighth, making the final touch in 2:05.41.

In relays, Raz, Bernie Murphy, Madison Hart and Liana Soileau teamed up to take fifth in the 400-yard freestyle relay, finishing in 3:34.28.

Matching the feat, Thomas Steenberg, Nir Barnea, Nathan Hufnagel and Victor Westerlund joined forces for fifth-place in the men’s race, crushing the previous FIT-record with a “B” cut time of 3:01.20.

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The Panthers weren’t alone in Orlando, with a bevy of parents making the trip to support the squad.

“We had a great deal of parents attend the meet,” said Andrade. “It meant so much to the team, it’s exciting to watch traditions being built.”

For the majority of student-athletes the 2014-15 season has come to a close. However, for a select few qualifying swimmers, the journey continues at the NCAA Division II Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The list of qualifying student-athletes will be announced on Tuesday.

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