CLEARWATER, Fla. – After preparing for championship season for the past few weeks, the Nova Southeastern men’s and women’s swim teams are geared up and ready to go starting with the 2020 Sunshine State Conference Championships beginning on Thursday, Feb. 13 at the Long Center in Clearwater, Fla.
The meet itself is a four-day event consisting of both prelims and finals. Thursday through Saturday, prelims will begin at 10:00 a.m. followed by finals at 6:00 p.m. On Sunday, Feb. 16, prelims will start once again at 10:00 a.m., but finals will begin at 5:00 p.m. preceded by senior student-athlete recognition. Keep up with the latest results, live video, and meet information by visiting the SSC CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL.
“It’s always a thrill to pull into the Long Center,” explained head coach Ben Hewitt. “So many great moments come to mind on the drive over and the anticipation builds. It’s a special conference meet with so many outstanding races, breakthroughs and moments of adversity.”
The men’s swim team took the SSC crown in 2019, with the women finishing in second place. 2019 SSC Female Swimmer of the Year, Emma Sundstedt, took home the title of Female Swimmer of the Meet at the 2019 championships after earning individual gold medals in the 500 free, 1000 free and 1650 free. The six-time SSC Champion will look to continue her success this weekend. Sasha Masolva, the 2019 SSC Female Freshman of the Year, will also be a force to be reckoned with, as she earned three gold medals (200 fly, 200 IM, 400 IM) last year and currently holds five top-times in the conference in 2019-20. A new face to keep an eye out for is junior transfer Cassandra Wright, who holds the league’s top times in the 100 and 200 backstroke, posting not only a program-record time of 53.70 in the 100 back earlier this season, but a conference record, as well.
On the men’s side, three-time champion Magnus Poulsen will look to finish his senior season out in style. He currently holds the top time of the season in the 100 butterfly, and still holds the conference record time of 46.73 in the event, set at the 2018 SSC Championships. Vincent Lijoi will also be a strong competitor this weekend, who will look to repeat his 2019 500 freestyle and 1000 freestyle crowns in 2020.
Throughout the regular season, the No. 6 ranked women’s team went 8-1 overall and was a perfect 5-0 in conference competition. Also ranked No. 6 by the CSCAA, the men’s team finished 7-2 on the season and 4-1 in league duals.
“As usual, it’s going to be another intense four-day battle,” admitted Hewitt. “Our kids have worked hard, they’ve sacrificed and prepared themselves for this moment. We are keeping our eyes on performance and growth through competition… Looking to have a successful championship meet!”
Nightly recaps will be available on NSUSharks.com, but be sure to follow @NSU_Swim on Twitter for hourly updates during each session of this upcoming SSC Championship meet.