Conference USA Championships Day Four: FIU Runs Away With Sixth Consecutive Title

FIU Wins Sixth Straight Title Photo Courtesy: Conference USA

The 2020 Conference USA Championships concluded Saturday night in Atlanta, Georgia with Florida International University running away with its sixth consecutive Conference USA title over Rice University by 155 points, 1044.5 to 889.5.

Florida International nearly made it a sweep of the championship awards. Stephanie Hussey of Florida International, the 2020 Conference USA 400 IM and 200 fly champion, shared the honor of Swimmer of the Meet with Rice’s Marta Cano Minarro, the 2020 Conference USA champion in both the 200 IM and 200 free. Florida International freshman Mandy Song, the 2020 Conference USA champion on both the 1 meter and 3 meter boards, was named Diver of the Meet.

Florida International swept the coaching awards, with head coach Randy Horner earning Swimming Coach of the Year honors and diving coach Nick Yang receiving Diving Coach of the Year.

Day 1 Recap

Day 2 Recap

Day 3 Recap

Full Results

Conference USA Championships: 1650 Freestyle

Rice dominated the longest and only timed final event of the Conference USA Championships, with four finishers scoring A final points. The Owls were led by senior Claire Therien, who won by over five seconds with a time of 16:36.78. Old Dominion sophomore Jacqueline Tinneny finished second with a time of 16:41.97 and was followed by Florida Atlantic sophomore Spence Atkins in third (16:45.86), Rice teammates Sarah Nowaski (16:49.39), Shannon Campbell (16:57.43), and Virginie Qian (16:58.77) in fourth through sixth, Marshall senior Angelica Di Marzio in seventh (17:13.52), and Old Dominion freshman Elin Sigurgeirsdottir in eighth (17:19.53).

1650 Free Pt 1

1650 Free Pt 2

1650 Free Pt 3

Conference USA Championships: 200 Backstroke

In a very close final where the top four places were separated by a mere 0.34 seconds, Florida International junior Julia Miranda claimed the title with a time of 1:58.47. Second and third were separated by just 0.01 seconds, with Marshall senior Jordyn O’Dell finishing in 1:58.65 and Old Dominion senior Jacklyn VandePoel third with a 1:58.66. Rice junior and 500 freestyle champion Ellery Parish finished fourth in 1:58.81, followed by 100 backstroke champion and Florida International sophomore Michaela Trnkova in fifth (1:59.66), Florida Atlantic junior Abby Marshall in sixth (2:00.17), Rice freshman Zoe Spitz in seventh (2:01.06), and Florida International sophomore Kelsie Campbell in eighth (2:02.99). Marshall junior Heather Sigmon took the B final, but narrowly missed breaking the 2-minute barrier, winning with a 2:00.22. Rice freshman Adalyn Armistead won the C final with a 2:02.21.

200 Back

Conference USA Championships: 100 Freestyle

With the top three finishers all earning NCAA ‘B’ cuts, Florida International freshman Jasmine Nocentini earned her second individual gold medal of the meet, just missing the conference record with a winning time of 48.93. Rice senior Kate Nezelek finished second in 49.23, and was followed by Marshall junior Darby Coles in third (49.44) and Florida International freshman Lamija Medosevic in fourth (49.84) who all broke 50 seconds. Fifth through seventh were separated by eighth hundredths of a second with Rice junior Lindsay Mathys in fifth (50.21), Leigh Faires McGee of University of North Texas in sixth (50.26) and Florida International sophomore Helga Fodor in seventh (50.29). Rounding out the A final was Marshall senior Catherine Bendziewicz in eighth with a time of 50.50. Rice sophomore Becca Evans won the B final in 50.80, and freshman teammate Sini Kolvu took the C final with a time of 51.45.

100 Free Pt 1

100 Free Pt 2

Conference USA Championships: 200 Breaststroke

In another close race for the Conference USA title, Florida International teammates Delaine Goll and Taylor Grabenhorst went 1-2 in the 200 breaststroke with NCAA ‘B’ cut times of 2:12.74 and 2:12.89. Rice junior Nicole Limberg finished in third with a time of 2:14.69, and was followed by sophomore teammate Phillis Range in fourth (2:15.34), Old Dominion freshman Tara Enneking in fifth (2:17.81), Florida Atlantic senior Haley O’Meara in sixth (2:19.31), Rice sophomore Erin Vance in seventh (2:20.10), and Florida Atlantic junior Ana Neff-Jendrasko in eighth (2:22.56). Florida International junior Victoria Cantu Villanueva won the B final in 2:19.86, and Rice junior Cailey Renken handily won the C final with a time of 2:17.79, which would have been good enough for fifth in the A final.

200 Breast

Conference USA Championships: 200 Butterfly

The final individual race of the Conference USA Championships was also an extremely close finish for the title, with the top three finishers separated by just 0.39 seconds. 400 IM champion and Florida International junior Stephanie Hussey took the event with an NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 1:58.15. Rice teammates Lindsay Mathys and Marta Cano Minarro finished in second and third with NCAA ‘B’ cut times of 1:58.43 and 1:58.54. Also under the 2-minute mark were Florida Atlantic sophomore Spence Atkins in fourth (1:59.25) and Rice junior Brittany Bui in fifth (1:59.53). Rounding out the A final were Florida International freshman Kasia Kolodziej in sixth (2:00.87), Rice junior Becca Brandt in seventh (2:01.40), and Rice sophomore Shannon Jelley in eighth (2:05.36). Florida International freshman Emily Cordovi narrowly won the B final in 2:00.33 and was followed closely by Marshall freshman Nicole Rueff with a 2:00.55, both of which would have been good enough for sixth in the A final. Florida International sophomore Chloe Hampson took the C final in 2:03.59.

200 Fly

Conference USA Championships: Platform Diving

Florida International again dominated diving, placing six into the A final of a diving event and again representing the top of the podium. This time, Florida International sophomore Maha Gouda ran away with the title by 36.95 points with a score of 311.90. Florida International also finished second through fifth with junior Rachel Foord in second (275.95), freshman and 1 and 3 meter board champion Mandy Song in third (264.90), senior Britanny Haskell in fourth (257.80), and sophomore Kaitlyn Fredericks in fifth (247.05). Florida Atlantic teammates Taylor Downs (219.70) and Malvina Catalano Gonzaga (214.95) finished in sixth and seventh and were followed by Florida International senior Brooke Bouchard in eighth (207.15). Florida Atlantic freshman Alicia Mora Herencia won the B final with a score of 208.40.

Platform Diving

Conference USA Championships: 400 Freestyle Relay

The final night of competition at the Conference USA Championships saw many close races for the title, and the final event of the championships were no different. Florida International team of sprint champion and freshman Jasmine Nocentini (49.67), sophomore Helga Fodor (50.37), 200 backstroke champion and junior Julia Miranda (50.49) and freshman anchor Lamija Medosevic (48.95) beat out senior Kate Nezelek (49.64), sophomore Becca Evans (50.37), sophomore Marta Cano Minarro (49.51), and junior Lindsay Mathys (50.09) of Rice by 0.13 seconds, 3:19.48 to 3:19.61. Florida International and Rice were followed by Marshall in third (3:22.96), University of North Texas in fourth (3:26.55), Old Dominion in fifth (3:29.66), and Florida International in sixth (3:32.14).

400 Free Relay Pt 1

400 Free Relay Pt 2

Final Team Standings

Florida International – 1044.5

Rice – 889.5

Florida Atlantic – 453

Marshall – 365.5

University of North Texas – 328

Old Dominion – 323.5

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