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By Cathleen Pruden, Swimming World College Intern
No records fell, but six swimmers earned NCAA B cuts in the final morning of Conference USA Action. Florida International holds onto first place. With more solid swims this morning, the Panthers have nearly secured their victory. Marshall and Rice are still in competition for second, though Rice holds a slight edge.
North Texas’s Rebekah Bradley got things rolling this morning, leading a trio of swimmers under the two minute barrier in the 200 backstroke. The freshman touched in 1:57.01. Rice teammates Alicia Caldwell and Kaitlyn Swinney finished in 1:57.94 and 1:58.46 for second and third seeds. All three swimmers earned an NCAA B cut.
In the 100 freestyle, Florida International’s Naomi Ruele shone again, touching the wall in a B cut time of 49.70. Old Dominion’s Moran Johnson swam a 50.51 for the second seed, just ahead of FIU’s Letizia Bertelli in 50.54.
Two NCAA B cuts were met in the 200 breaststroke. Marie-Claire Schillinger of Rice was three seconds ahead of the field in 2:11.84. Claudia Kitching finished second in 2:14.90 for North Texas. Old Dominion’s Ashley Brem earned the third seed with a time of 2:17.24.
Valerie Ingels dropped over three seconds, to move from the seventh seed to the top seed tonight. The FIU senior touched in 2:00.93 in this morning’s 200 butterfly. Shir Wasserman of Marshall dropped two and a half seconds to claim the second seed. The freshman posted a 2:02.23. Rice’s Kiley Beall finished third this morning in a 2:02.70.
Prelims of platform diving will take place later this afternoon. This evening we will also see timed finals of the 1650 and the 400 freestyle relay. The final night of action begins at 6 PM.