Four Eagles to compete at National Level meet

Photo by: Lindsay HartmannThe GSU swimming and diving team has four Eagles featured in a national level meet.

Jack Magruder

The Georgia Southern University swimming and diving team is sending four Eagles to swim at the highly competitive AT&T Winter Nationals at the University of Texas today.

Juniors Kristen Bates (100 Breast) and Courtney Harrison (200 Breast), as well as sophomores Elaina Lanson (50 and 100 Free) and Abigail Lavallin (100 Breast), all met qualification times in their respective events.

The meet starts today and runs through Dec. 1.

“We are extremely excited to take Kristen, Courtney, Elaina and Abbie to Winter Nationals. They have a tremendous opportunity to represent Georgia Southern University at the national level and will be exposed to some of the best swimmers in the world,” head coach Nathan Kellogg said in a press release.

Not only does the quartet have the opportunity to compete in a national-level short-course meet against other college standouts, they will also run into Olympic gold medalist swimmers such as Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin, Kate Ledecky and Nathan Adrian.

Lanson has set three GSU records in the 100 Free, 400 Medley Relay and the 400 Free Relay. She also received the swimming and diving team’s “Most Valuable” award for the 2011-2012 season.

Harrison was the CCSA Champion in the 200 Breaststroke in 2012, posting a new GSU record in the process. She received the swimming and diving team’s “Most Dedicated” award for the 2011-2012 season.

Bates was named CCSA Champion in the 100 Breast in the 2011-2012 season, posting a new GSU record. She was runner-up in 200 Breast and finished 14th in 50 Free. She also swam on 400 Medley Relay and 400 Free Relay, and posted times that reset both GSU records. Bates was also an All-CCSA performer in 100 and 200 Breast, 200 and 400 Medley Relays and 400 Free Relay. In her last meet, Bates continued to excel, coming in first in the 100 Breast and a second in the 200 Breast.

Lavallin swam three lifetime bests in the 2011-2012 season to finish fourth in the 100 Breast, 14th in the 100 Fly and 11th in the 200 Fly.

After this event, the Eagles will hit the pool on Jan. 5 with a full squad to start the spring portion of their schedule. They will travel to Fort Myers, Fla. to face conference foes Florida Gulf Coast and Liberty.