WINTER PARK, Fla. (February 14, 2012) - After a historic event last season that saw the conference crown its first champions, Rollins is prepared to make its mark in the second edition as Wednesday starts the 2012 Sunshine State Conference Swimming Championship.
Rollins joins Tampa, Saint Leo, Nova Southeastern, Florida Southern and newcomer Florida Tech as the six schools competing for the SSC's newest trophy.
In 2011, Tampa edged Florida Southern for the women's championship while Nova Southeastern cruised to the women's title. Rollins gathered 531.5 points on the women's side and was a solid third place while the men took fifth in their division with 394.5 points.
Jenny Nilson was one of the top distance swimmers at the event, winning the 1000-yard freestyle, finishing second in the 1650-yard freestyle and third in the 500-yard freestyle. Her times in each event set new school records and were NCAA B standards. She set a new SSC Championship record in the 1000, posting a time of 10:32.04. The then-sophomore was also runner-up in the 1650 with a time of 17:39.57 and stopped the clock at 5:08.26 in the 500.
Mike Weinstein highlighted the Rollins men's effort, finishing three times in the top-10. He took fourth in the 100-yard freestyle, posting a NCAA B cut and Rollins school record time of 46.11. He was added a fourth in the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 1:42.22, also eclipsing the NCAA B standard. In the 50-yard freestyle, the then- sophomore was sixth in 21.37.
Now juniors, both Nilson and Weinstein are looking to reach the medal stand in 2012.
Nilson is seeded second in the 1000 (10:37.42) and ninth in the 500 (5:11.30) yard freestyle events while Grace Alexander is fifth in the 1000 (10:43.40) and 11th in the 500 (5:14.89). In the 1650-yard freestyle, Alexander is fourth (17:52.07) and Nilson fifth (17:55.61).
Leandra Lima is seeded third in the 100-yard backstroke (59:04) after finishing fifth in the event a year ago. She is also 10th in the 200-yard backstroke (2:12.07) and will look to improve on a ninth place finish (2:09.20) last season. Katie Gentsch also has a pair of top-10 seeds, sitting eighth in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:11.90) and 10th in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:36.57). Christine Bianco is the 10th seed in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:16.21.
Weinstein and Brian Sanborn are each top seeds in three events for the Rollins men. Weinstein is ninth in both the 50 (21.33) and 200 (1:42.65)-yard freestyle races while sitting 10th in the 100-yard freestyle (46.50).
Distance specialist Sanborn is ninth in the grueling 1000 (9:51.05) and 1650 (16:32.34) - yard events and is 10th in the 400-yard IM (4:11.69).
The 2012 Sunshine State Conference Championships is hosted at the Long Center in Clearwater, Fla. and will run Wednesday, Feb. 15 through Saturday, Feb. 18.