Conference USA Swimming Enters Invitational Season

Conference USA Gears Up For a Big Weekend

By Jaecey Parham, Swimming World College Intern

HOUSTON – This weekend will be a busy one for the teams of Conference USA swimming. Six out of the seven teams will be competing in invitationals; only Marshall will have a bye week.

Looking Back

Marshall swam victoriously against Ohio University this past weekend. Five teams in C-USA took a break from racing last weekend in preparation for the upcoming weekend. So far this season, North Texas has raised eyebrows by having its best start in the team’s 16-year history. Florida International has also had early season success, particularly from rookie Silvia Scalia.

Florida International

The Lady Panthers are set to compete at the Mizzou Invitational at University of Missouri this weekend. Standout Freshman Silvia Scalia, who was named C-USA Athlete of the Week last week, has already had quick 100 and 200 backstroke events this season (55.76 and 1:58.77 respectively) and should be a big point contributor this weekend. currently has FIU ranked second in C-USA.

Florida Atlantic

Competing at the Georgia Tech Invitational this weekend, we can expect to see fast swims form Anett Kovacs. She has already been 4:56.97 in the 500 freestyle and 2:02.84 in the 200 butterfly. Frida Nilsson has also posted a quick 100 butterfly time this season with a time of 56.06.


The Herd made history last weekend by pulling its first win over Ohio in the program’s history. Sophomore Danica Ross posted the conference’s second fastest 50 freestyle this season with a time of 23.80. Ross pulled another win in the 100 freestyle. Freshman Nele Albers also contributed to The Herd’s success by swimming a 1:52.16 in the 200 freestyle; this time is the third fasted for C-USA this season in addition to being the fastest time in team history. Diver Chloe Jones had the best marks for diving with scores of 224.55 in 3-meter and 222.45 in 1-meter. The Herd will take this weekend off, but will return to the pool at the Zippy Invitational on Dec. 5.

North Texas

Mean Green swimming will continue their history-making season at the Phil Hansen Invitational. Fellow C-USA team Rice, who the Mean Green defeated earlier this month, will also be swimming at this meet. Though Tulane and Houston will also be competing, it seems to be more of a re-match against UNT and Rice. Senior Krista Rossum should contribute nicely to UNT’s efforts, she has already swam a 2:04.37 in the 200 IM and a 4:24.12 in the 400 IM. Team mate Mona Groteguth will also contribute points in the backstroke events, she has swam the 100 back in 56.24 and the 200 back in 2:00.81 already this season.

Old Dominion

Defeating Campbell this past Saturday, the Lady Monarchs had impressive swims from MacKenzie Payment in the 100 butterfly (57.39). Morgan Johnson also contributed to ODU’s win with her 100 freestyle which came in at 52.85. Old Dominion will race this weekend at the Nike Cup Invitational. Both Payment and Johnson should be watched in their races; they will be contributors to the Lady Monarchs’ performance this weekend.


After a close loss to fellow C-USA team North Texas on Nov. 1, Rice will return to racing this weekend at the Phil Hansen Invitational. This weekend provides a comeback opportunity for the Owls, seeing that UNT will also be competing in the meet. Erin Flanigan will most likely pick up wins for Rice in the distance races. She has been 4:55.96 in the 500 Free and 10:08.03 so far this season. Other Owls who should impact the team’s success this weekend are Casey Clark in freestyle and butterfly events along with Rachel Moody in the breaststroke events.

Western Kentucky

The Lady Hilltoppers will be racing at the Louisville Invitational this weekend. Michelle Craddock won three individual races at WKU’s last meet against Vanderbilt and Tulane; she should be a big point contributor this time around as well. Craddock has already swam a 51.19 in the 100 freestyle in addition to a 24.10 in the 50 freestyle. Craddock’s 50 freestyle trails teammate Logan Graumann who has been a 23.52 this season. WKU is currently ranked number one in the conference according to; this invitational could either reinforce their standing or bump the Hilltoppers off the top.


November 21-23: North Texas and Rice at Phil Hansen Invitational
Florida International at Mizzou Invitational
Western Kentucky at Louisville Invitational
Old Dominion at Nike Cup Invitational
Florida Atlantic at Georgia Tech Invitational

C-USA Swimmer of the Week

Marshall’s Danica Ross had a standout performance at The Herd’s meet against Ohio last weekend. Ross contributed wins in both the 50 and 100 freestyle events. Her 50 freestyle was the second fastest for the conference thus far and her 100 freestyle was seventh fastest. What makes Ross’ performance even more impressive is her return from an injury, making this her first meet since Feb. 2013.

Jaecey Parham is a freshman sprinter at Rice.  Prior to enrolling at Rice, Parham trained with the Lubbock Swim Club since she was nine years old.  She also competed at Monterey High School, where she was a Texas state champion.