Florida Tech’s Sets School Record in the Medley Relay, Helminiak Wins on Day One of Panther Invite
By Jerry Durney, Florida Tech News Bureau // November 19, 2023
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BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The Florida Tech women’s swimming team opened day one of the eighth annual Panther Invite on Friday at the Panther Aquatic Center.
This year’s field sees the Panthers host Barry, Florida Southern, Indian River State (#1 in NJCAA national rankings), Rollins and St. Thomas University (#6 in NAIA national rankings).
After the first day of competition, Tech sits in second place with 271 points, trailing only Indian River State’s 413 points.
Florida Southern is third with 210 points, followed by Rollins in fourth with 196 points, St. Thomas’ 186 points good for fourth, and Barry rounding out the field with 32 points.
Katherine Helminiak earned her second individual win of the season by emerging victorious in the 500 Free A Final with a time of 4:55.33 which was seven seconds ahead of the closest competition. The Crimson and Gray came out on top in the B Final thanks to Kiera Ceely’s 5:09.33 time.
Maja Malarz finished seventh in the 200 IM A Final with a 2:08.43 time.
The incredibly close 50 Free A Final would see Debora Xavier nab sixth (24.19) and Harper Powell take ninth (24.48). Tech would take second and third in the equally tight B Final as well thanks to Christina Ramirez (24.47) and Rae Ann Dressel (24.52).
In the 400 Medley relay, the team of Ramirez, Dressel, Torie Whitbeck and Xavier set a school record time of 3:51.64 in the A Final, which earned them fourth place. The quartet of Alex Knodel, Sophia Sichtnik, Brynn Romberger and Malarz won the B Final thanks to their time of 3:58.44.
The 200 Free relay saw the group of Xavier, Brieleigh Wescott, Ramirez and Powell earn second in the A Final through a 1:35.18 finish. Right behind them in third were the squad of Helminiak, Sam Bullard, Malarz, and Dressel, who made the podium with a time of 1:36.63.
The team of Romberger, Emma Knick, Casey Holder, and Mina Lynch grabbed second in the B Final with a time of 1:39.15.
UP NEXT: Day Two of the Panther Invite will begin tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., with the finals beginning at 5:00 p.m. For the latest news, updates, and information on the Florida Tech men’s swimming team, visit FloridaTechSports.com.
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