2022 Conference USA Championships: FIU Pulls Away for Eighth Straight Title

Photo Courtesy: FIU Athletics

2022 Conference USA Championships: FIU Pulls Away for Eighth Straight Title

Florida International’s reign isn’t over yet, the Golden Panthers pulling away at the 2022 Conference USA Championships for their eighth straight title.

FIU led most of the way, though the lead did narrow to 39 points after the 100 freestyle on the meet’s final day. But FIU ended up with 1,131.5 points to Rice’s 998.5. That’s wider than the 51-point margin by which FIU won in 2021. Rice and FIU combined to win all the swimming events.

2022 Conference USA Championships Team scoring

Women - Team Rankings - Through Event 21                     
  1. Florida International Univ.    1131.5   2. Rice University                 998.5
  3. Marshall University               600   4. University of North Texas         531
  5. Florida Atlantic University       523   6. Old Dominion University           358

The future is bright for FIU, with freshman Christie Chue winning three events to be named the swimmer of the meet. Chue won the 200 individual medley in 1:58.42, outdueling 2020 champion Marta Cano-Minarro of Rice. Chue also claimed the 100 breaststroke in an FIU podium sweep ahead of Delanie Goll and Sara Gyertyanffy, then bested Goll for the 200 breast title.

Mia Zahab, a transfer from Washington State, won the 400 IM in 4:14.65, relegating two-time reigning champion Stephanie Hussey to third. Hussey was also second in the 200 fly and third in the 500 free.

Elinah Phillip and Kelsi Campbell went 1-2 in the 50 for FIU. Campbell was also second in the 100 fly and third in the 200 back. Phillip was the 100 free runner-up. Julia Miranda won the 200 back to go with third in the 100 fly and 100 back. Gyertyanffy added silver in the 100 free.

Miranda swam on four winning relays, anchoring the 200 free and 800 free. Chue, Hussey, Campbell and Phillip swam to three relay wins each.

On the boards, Maha Gouda also capped her career in fine form. The senior was named the diver of the meet for the third time in four years, led by a score of 254.20 on platform to win it for the fourth consecutive year. She fell shy of repeating as the 1-meter and 3-meter champ, taking silver in both. The 1-meter gold went to teammate Mandy Song, who was second last year and won in 2020.

Florida Atlantic’s Alicia Mora Herencia medaled three times, winning 3-meter, finishing second on platform and third on 1-meter.

Rice mounted a charge by finishing fifth in all five relays. Their fab freshmen, Arielle Hayon, delivered the swim of the meet in the 100 fly. Hayon went 51.82 to trim the only meet record of the week, downing the mark set in 2015 by fellow Owl Casey Clark. Hayon also won the 200 fly.

Rice’s strength centers on the distance program. Amelia Kane won the 500 free and was second to teammate Shann Campbell in the mile. Cano-Minarro won the 200 free ahead of mate Lauren McDougall and was third to Hayon in the 200 fly. Madison Howe won the 100 free and was third in the 50.

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