FIU Panthers Take Five More Events on Day Three of Conference USA


Florida International had made it clear over the first two days of the 2016 Conference USA Championship that the team title they brought home last year was no fluke.  The Panthers have had several events that could rightfully be called sweeps, and today they might have brought their incredible performance to a whole new level.  When the smoke cleared after day three action, FIU had claimed the title in five more events, including yet another relay victory.


  1. Caroline Wanner, FR, Marshall 4:15.07
  2. Kaitlyn Swinney, SO, Rice 4:16.15
  3. Ilaria Manzella, FR, Florida International 4:18.90

Freshman Caroline Wanner has been a major contributor for the improved 2016 Marshall team, with her C-USA winning time of 4:15.07 cutting over three seconds from their team record in the 400 IM.  Her 3rd place 2:01.68 finish in Thursday’s 200 IM also lowered the time on the Thundering Herd record board, and helped to push Marshall ahead of Rice after the day two scores were posted.  Kaitlyn Swinney claimed 2nd in the 400 IM for the Owls, followed by FIU’s freshman from Italy, Ilaria Manzella in 3rd at 4:18.90.  Rice and Marshall each had two more swimmers score in the A-final, with the advantage going to Rice on 4th and 6th place finishes from Jaecey Parham (4:22.52) and Hanna Huston (4:22.83.)  Marshall’s Maddie Schaffer and Emma Lockyer were 7th and 8th with 4:26.04 and 4:26.15 respectively. 5th place points went to FIU’s Becky Wilde at 4:22.60.


  1. Valerie Inghels, SR, Florida International 53.47
  2. Marie Lauridsen, FR, Florida International 53.72
  3. Letizia Bertelli, SO, Florida International 54.13

FIU again extends their lead with another dominating performance, taking four of the top five places in the 100 fly, led with 53.47 by senior Valerie Inghels.That time for Inghels lowers her FIU Record from the 53.88 she set at this meet last year.  Marie Lauridsen (53.72,) Letizia Bertelli (54.13,) and Jenny Deist (54.69) joined in to rack up major points with 2nd, 3rd and 5th, split only by Marshall’s Chloe Parsemain who edged in at 54.20 for 4th place.    Gloriya Mavrova, also from Marshall, turned in a 55.38 for 7th, surrounded by 6th and 8th place finishes from Kiley Beall (54.89) and Meaghan Wisenbaker (56.36) claiming points for the Rice Owls.


  1. Kyna Pereira, SO, Florida International 1:46.46
  2. Skye Carey, SO, Florida International 1:47.83
  3. Alicia Caldwell, SO, Rice University 1:48.81

The 200 free featured more domination from the FIU Panthers, this time with sophomores Kyna Pereira and Skye Carey claiming the top two positions and NCAA B cuts with 1:46.46 and 1:47.83 respectively.  That time for Pereira is a team record for the Panthers, taking down the 1:46.90 mark set in 2014 by Johanna Gustafsdottir.  Australian sophomore Alicia Caldwell earned 3rd place points for the Rice Owls on a 1:48.81 finish. Agi Bucs from Florida Atlantic (1:49.43,) Sara Whelan from North Texas (1:49.81,) Morgan Johnson from Old Dominion (1:49.91,) Jessica Piper from FIU (1:50.96,) and Anniina Ala-Seppala from Rice (1:51.53) completed the rest of the A-final.


  1. Marie-Claire Schillinger, FR, Rice 1:01.69
  2. Ashley Brem, FR, Old Dominion 1:01.74
  3. Claudia Kitching, SO, North Texas 1:01.88

The 100 breast final at the C-USA had three underclassmen all within two tenths of each other and under the NCAA B standard.  Ashley Brem from Old Dominion took it out in 28.70, about three tenths ahead of the pack, and managed to hold off all but Marie-Claire Schillinger from Rice who snuck past her on the back half to win the event in 1:01.69 to Brem’s 1:01.74.  UNT took 3rd and 4th places with a 1:01.88 from Claudia Kitching and a 1:02.60 from Sarah Vaisse who also turned in a B cut with her 1:01.75 performance from prelims.  FIU’s Chase Harris (1:02.97,) Shelbi Ragsdale from Rice (1:03.22,) Ashley Teller from Old Dominion (1:03.31,) and Hannah Roper from FAU (1:03.40) also scored A-final points for their teams.


  1. Naomi Ruele, FR, Florida International 53.09
  2. Rebekah Bradley, FR, North Texas 53.42
  3. Alicia Caldwell, SO, Rice 53.98

Naomi Ruele has been a bright spot for the FIU Panthers this weekend.  The freshman from Botswana already won the 50 free on Thursday night in a Conference USA Record, and now has claimed another championship for the 100 backstroke, winning the event by just over three tenths of a second ahead of another freshman, Rebekah Bradley from North Texas.  Alicia Caldwell from Rice was also below 54 seconds with a 53.98 for 3rd place.  FIU’s Jenny Alfani (54.04) and Colleen VandePoel (54.27) also earned NCAA B cuts at 4th and 5th places.  Shelly Patton from Rice, Rachel Crino from FAU and Ally Mayhew from FIU took 6th through 8th with 55.54, 55.64 and 56.21 respectively.


  1. Becca Quesnel, SO, Florida International 281.80
  2. Alexa Elkins, SO, Florida Atlantic 265.65
  3. Lily Kaufmann, JR, Florida International 250.85

The FIU Panthers claimed another C-USA title, this time with a 281.80 performance on the 1-meter springboard from Canadian sophomore Rebecca Quesnel.  Lily Kaufmann also claimed the third place spot on the podium for the Panthers, finishing behind Florida Atlantic’s Alexa Elkins (265.65.)  Marshall gets to claim diving as an advantage in the team battle against Rice, on three scoring positions in the top 8 with Heather Lonkert in 4th (237.70,) Megan Wolons in 5th (237.70,) and Kelly Toner in 7th (234.30.)  FAU’s Kiley Kuether and UNT’s Samantha Scheck finished 6th and 8th with 237.55 and 205.95.


  1. Florida International 3:39.66
  2. Rice University 3:40.35
  3. Old Dominion 3:45.10

The FIU team of Ruele (54.02,) Harris (1:03.09,) Inghels (52.75,) and Pereira (49.80) combined to claim yet another C-USA Relay title with their 3:39.66 finish.  The Panthers had to claw their way back from a 1.5 second deficit after Rice’s spectacular early splits of 54.14 and 1:01.35 from Caldwell and Schillinger for the back and breast splits respectively.  Rice finished close behind at 3:40.35 for runner-up.  Old Dominion claimed the right to stand on the podium by holding off North Texas, beating them 3:45.10 to 3:46.02.  FAU and Marshall were 5th and 6th with 3:46.23 and 3:47.87.

Team scores (after day three):

  1. Florida International 663
  2. Rice University 430
  3. Marshall 397
  4. North Texas 326
  5. Florida Atlantic 269
  6. Old Dominion 236



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