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By Cathleen Pruden, Swimming World College Intern
Florida International took home a decisive victory at Conference USA Saturday night. Rice held off Marshall for second.
Florida International sophomore Kyna Pereira opened the night with her third individual win of the weekend, stopping the clock at 16:24.36, under the 1650 NCAA B cut time. Anna Lynch and Madison Pulfer scored huge points for Marshall, touching in 16:37.21 and 16:40.10.
The top five swimmers hit 200 backstroke NCAA B cuts in a very tight race for first, and an even closer battle for third. North Texas freshman Rebekah Bradley got her hand to the wall first in 1:56.45. Rice sophomore Alicia Caldwell was just behind in 1:56.89. Teammate Kiley Beall earned third in 1:58.52, but had two swimmers less than half a second behind her.
FIU’s Naomi Ruele also went three for three on individual events this weekend, touching in 49.30 in the 100 freestyle. Sophomore teammate Letizia Bertelli was also under the NCAA B cut with a 49.89. Florida Atlantic’s Agi Bucz finished third (50.32).
Marie-Claire Schillinger of Rice earned the Conference title in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:11.99. North Texas’ Claudia Kitching touched second (2:13.18). Chase Harris snagged third place points for FIU in 2:16.01.
Valerie Inghels of FIU found her way well under two minutes to win the 200 butterfly. The senior finished in 1:58.49, an NCAA B cut time. Marshall’s Chloe Parsemain and Shir Wasserman finished in 2:01.27 and 2:01.63 for second and third.
FIU divers earned first and third on platform. Becce Quesnel won the event with 299.80 while teammate Laura Coronado rounded out the podium with 221.95 points. Marshall’s Megan Wolons was second (242.35).
FIU finished out the weekend with another win, this time in the 400 freestyle relay. Bertelli, Marie Lauridsen, Pereira, and Ruele combined for a winning time of 3:20.10. The battle for second was tight, and the Old Dominion squad of Sofie Sjoberg, Stephanie Norris, Morgan Johnson, and Juliana Santos came out on top with a 3:24.60, a tenth ahead of Rice’s Alicia Caldwell, Schillinger, Anniina Ala-Seppala, and Jacey Parham (3:24.70).
Final team scores:
- Florida International 954
- Rice 636
- Marshall 618.5
- North Texas 491
- Florida Atlantic 380.5
- Old Dominion 360
Full results here: 2016 Conference USA Championships – Results