The FIU Panthers have built a slim lead over the Fighting Illini at home after day one of a two-day dual meet.
Today, they worked off of two wins from Kyna Pereira. The South African sophomore first ruled the 500 free (4:53.43), winning by over five seconds. She returned to take control of the 200 free, her 1:51.32 enough to hold off the Illini.
Botswanan sophomore Naomi Ruele earned two wins of her own, taking both the 50 free (24.11) and the 100 back (56.64). She led a 1-2-3 charge in the 50 for FIU, and was the only swimmer under 57.7 in the 100.
Illinois found its ways to get points on the board, and 18 of those came directly from Sam Stratford wins. She was first victorious in the 200 fly, finishing at 2:01.26 as Illinois freshman Megan Vuong tallied a 2nd place finish at 2:03.59. Later, Stratford handled the field in the 200 IM– her 2:03.25 topped 2nd place finisher Lori Lynn (Illinois) by more than four seconds, as the Fighting Illini picked up more big points.
Illinois also got a win from Ashley Aegerter in the 200 breast. Aegerter touched at 2:21.00, followed closely by teammates Charli Wike (2:22.14) and Jennifer Coady (2:22.18).
FIU won both relays, first the medley in 1:44.95 (after getting a one-second lead following Ruele’s 26.53 lead off) and then the 400 free relay in 3:27.73. Pereira anchored that 400 relay in 51.03, the fastest in the field.
The meet will finish up with the remaining events tomorrow.