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By Cathleen Pruden, Swimming World College Intern
A plethora of NCAA B cuts were earned Friday night as Florida International holds on to their lead at Conference USA.
In the first event of the night, three swimmers made a statement, earning NCAA B cuts in the 400 IM. The trio was lead by Marshall freshman Caroline Wanner in a 4:15.07. Rice sophomore Kaitlyn Swinney touched in 4:16.15. Florida International’s Ilaria Manzella rounded out the trio in a 4:18.90. Seven of the top eight finishers were underclasswomen, which should lead to some more exciting races in the upcoming years.
FIU’s speed shone through again in the 100 butterfly, where the Panthers swept the podium. Valerie Inghels was first to the wall in 53.47. The senior was followed by Marie Lauridsen and Letizia Bertelli in 53.72 and 54.13. All three earned the NCAA B cut.
Kyna Pereira held onto her top seed to lead a 1-2 finish for FIU, both with B cuts, in the 200 freestyle. The sophomore touched in 1:46.46, ahead of her classmate Skye Carey in 1:47.83. Alicia Caldwell earned third place points for Rice in 1:48.81.
The top three in the 100 breaststroke was another trio of young swimmers. Marie-Claire Schillinger won the Conference title for Rice with a 1:01.69. Just behind her was Old Dominion’s Ashley Brem, who dropped over a second from the morning to stop the clock at 1:01.74. Claudia Kitching of North Texas finished third in 1:01.88. Again, the entire podium earned NCAA B cuts.
Naomi Ruele earned her second individual victory of the weekend in the 100 backstroke. The FIU freshman touched in 53.09. Fellow freshman, North Texas’ Rebekah Bradley finished in 53.42, while Caldwell earned her third bronze of the night in 53.98. NCAA B cuts were hit by the top five finishers.
FIU teammates Becca Quesnel and Lily Kaufmann finished first and third on the one meter board with scores of 281.80 and 250.82. Florida Atlantic’s Alexa Elkins earned second place with 265.65.
Florida International had some tough competition from Rice, but held on to win the 400 medley relay 3:39.66 to 3:40.35. Ruele, Chase Harris, Inghels, and Pereira won the event for the Panthers. The Rice quartet was Alicia Caldwell, Marie-Claire Schillinger, Kiley Beall, and Jacey Parham. Old Dominion earned third with Colleen Vande Poel, Brem, Mackenzie Payment, and Morgan Johnson in a 3:45.10.
Team scores through event 14:
- Florida International 663
- Rice 430
- Marshall 397
- North Texas 326
- Florida Atlantic 269
- Old Dominion 236
Results available here: 2016 Conference USA: Day 3 – Results