CONFERENCE USA – WOMEN
- Wednesday, February 27 – Saturday, March 2
- Georgia Tech Aquatics Center, Atlanta, GA (Eastern Time Zone)
- Defending Champion: Florida International (4x) (results)
- Live results
- Live Video: Feb. 28- WATCH | March 1- WATCH | March 2- WATCH
- Championship Central
- Day 1 Results PDF
- Day 2 Results PDF
Florida International took sole possession of the lead in the team battle on day 2, despite being outdone in the pool on the day. FIU, instead, got the work done on the boards, and it sure paid off. They tallied up a 1-2-3-4-7 finish in the 3 meter diving tonight, led by Maha Gouda.
Even as Rice fell way behind with no divers, they still but up a fight in the pool taking the titles in the 500 free and 200 free relay.
Ellery Parish came out as the victor in the 500 by nearly 3 seconds, though the whole race wasn’t a runaway. She and FIU’s Oceane Peretti were neck-and-neck for the first 300 yards before Parish made her break late in the race to blow it wide open. Peretti finished 2nd in 4:46.76, while Rice’s Claire Therien took 3rd in 4:47.22.
Rice finished the day by showing off their sprint skills too. The team of Kate Nezelek (23.16), Becca Evans (22.58), Marie-Claire Schillinger (22.78), and the Marta Cano Minarro (22.58) combined for a 1:31.10, 3-tenths ahead of FIU in 1:31.39, and not far to North Texas (1:31.88) or Marshall (1:32.31) either.
For FIU, Naomi Ruele led off their relay in 22.39 – the fastest split of the field.
Ruele also gave FIU their only swimming win of the night posting a 22.15 in the 50 free to run away from the field by more than half-a-second. For the two-time Conference USA Swimmer of the meet, that time is overwhelmingly-likely to earn Ruele an invite to the NCAAs in a few weeks.
The day’s other event, the 200 IM, was won by Catherine Bendziewicz of Marshall, who swam a 1:58.94, to edge out Rice’s Marta Cano Minarro (1:58.98). Bendziewicz built up an early lead, and managed to just hang on at the end to earn the title, swimming a lifetime best by three-tenths of a second. That’s her 3rd-straight conference title in the event, and the junior will return next season to try and earn a clean sweep (though she’ll have a gang of swimmers chasing her – the entire A-final will be back next season).
Team Scores After Day 2
- FIU – 328.5
- Rice – 273.5
- North Texas – 183.5
- Marshall – 159.5
- Old Dominion – 114
- Florida Atlantic – 105