MIAMI , Florida, January 6. THE FIU swimming and diving team started the New Year with a victory at its own FIU Winter Invitational Saturday afternoon at the Biscayne Bay Aquatics Center in Miami, Fla. FIU posted 717.50 points in the win while TCU finished second with a score of 636.50 and Eastern Michigan finished third with 595 points.
"I'm proud of the girls today," FIU Head Coach Randy Horner said. "We've now finished winter break training and performed very well today. Now it's back to school on Monday!"
Junior diver Sabrina Beaupre earned the maximum 40 points with her victories in the 1-meter (307.35) and 3-meter (314.77) diving events. Both scores were season highs for the Longueil, Quebec, Canada native.
Junior Sonia Perez took first place in two of the three individual events she swam on the afternoon. The reigning Sun Belt Conference swimmer of the week touched the wall first in the 500 Freestyle with a time of 4:59.32 and the 100 IM with a time of 59.52. She also placed sixth in the 100 Freestyle (54.10). She now has a team-high 15 first-place finishes this season.
Sophomore Klara Andersson swam her way to the top of the medal podium with a finals time of 31.07 in the 50 Breaststroke. The victory was the fourth of the year for the Helsingborg, Sweden product. Anderson also finished second in the 100 IM (1:00.38) behind teammate Perez as the Panthers went 1-2-3 with Senior Marina Ribi finishing in third place (1:00.43). Ribi also finished fifth in the 50 Butterfly (26.86) and fifth in the 500 Freestyle (5:07.34).
Sophomore Carolin Rademacher had her best finish of the year in the 200 Freestyle with a time of 1:55.74 while newcomer Jessica Chadwick placed second in the 100 Breaststroke, her highest finish of the season. Sophomore Danielle Meara finished tied for third, less than a second behind Chadwick. Meara also scored 15 points with her fourth-place finish in the 50 Breaststroke (31.39).
Junior Valeriia Popova earned a second-place finish in the 50 Backstroke (28.12) in addition to her fourth-place finish in the 50 Butterfly (26.82) and fifth-place finish in the 50 Freestyle (24.96).
The team of Perez, Chadwick, Ribi and Anderson took second place in the 200 Medley Relay with a time of 1:49.94, earning 34 points for their team. Popova, Meara, Sarah D'Antoni and Kelly Grace finished tied for fifth in the event, securing an additional 27 points for the Panthers.
In the final event of the meet, the team of Andersson, Popova, Perez and Grace took home 32 points with their third-place finish in the 200 Freestyle Relay while Courtney VanderSchaaf, Danielle Albright, Mary Boucher and Ribi placed fifth with 28 points.
The Panthers will return to the pool on Friday, Jan. 11 and take on Central Connecticut State at 6:00 p.m., at the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Center. Admission to the meet is free to all FIU fans.
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Results: FIU Winter Invitational