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By Cathleen Pruden, Swimming World College Intern
Beginning Wednesday, Florida International University will chase its second straight Conference USA Championship title.
Kyna Pereira will be vital to the Panthers’ effort. The sophomore is the second seed in the 500, and first in the 200 and 1650 freestyles. Classmate Letizia Bertelli could also score serious points. Bertelli is seeded second in the 50 freestyle, third in the 100 butterfly, and eighth in the 100 freestyle. Becca Quesnel, FIU’s top diver will have the chance to score valuable team points. She’ll be up against tough competition in North Texas’ Averie Ruiz, who holds two top two seeds. The Panthers hold the top seed in the 400 freestyle relay.
Rice’s Kaitlyn Swinney enters this weekend’s competition with two NCAA B cuts. The sophomore has a third seeded 200 backstroke and top seed in the 400 IM. Classmate Kiley Beall is entered with five top ten seeds, including first in the 100 butterfly, where she has posted a B cut. Freshman Marie-Claire Schillinger is poised to make an impact in the breaststroke events, entering second in the 200 with a B cut time, and as the top seed in the 100. Rice also leads the way with top seeds in the 200 and 400 medley, as well as the 800 freestyle relays. The Owls dominated the conference in 2014, and with this depth, could be ready to make a come back.
Florida Atlantic’s Agi Bucz will also be chasing Conference crowns, coming in as the top seed in the 200 IM, with an NCAA B cut, and the 100 freestyle. Bucz will have competition from a host of others, including Marshall freshman Caroline Wanner, the second seed in the 200 IM. In her inaugural collegiate season, she is also seeded fifth in the 200 butterfly and second in the 400 IM (with an NCAA B cut time).
Full psych sheet available here: 2016 Conference USA Women: Psych Sheet – Results