FIU Takes AAC Title; Christie Chue Blasts 2:07.99 200 Breast for New Conference Record

2024 AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

FINAL TEAM SCORES 

  1. FIU – 778.5
  2. SMU – 666
  3. Rice – 593
  4. East Carolina – 446
  5. FAU – 417
  6. Tulane – 379
  7. North Texas – 336.5

The 2024 AAC Championships is now complete. In the first season since 7-time reigning AAC champions Houston moved to the Big 12, Florida International won big, earning the AAC title by more than 100 points. Of note, Cincinnati, which was also a longtime power of the AAC, has also moved to the Big 12. Incredibly, there was no movement in terms of team standings of the final day of the meet, seeing SMU stay in 2nd, Rice 3rd, East Carolina 4th, Florida Atlantic 5th, Tulane 6th, and North Texas 7th.

The highlight of the last session of the meet came in the 200 breast, where FIU star Christie Chue ripped a new AAC record of 2:07.99, winning the race by nearly 3 seconds. Not only was the swim a new conference record, as well as a new FIU program record, Chue will assuredly earn an invite to the NCAA Championships next month with that time. She currently ranks 15th in the NCAA this season, with only this week’s conference meet left to go.

On top of Chue’s fantastic performance, FIU showed off their breaststroke depth. Sophomore Nicole Frank-Rodriguez came in 2nd with a 2:10.81, while fellow sophomore Emma Becker clocked a 2:11.26 for 3rd, and grad student Delaine Goll finished 4th in 2:11.93. Impressively, since they won the meet so comfortably, Chue’s win in the 200 breast was actually Florida International’s only win of the night, other than the team title, of course.

SMU took the 400 free relay to close out the meet, seeing Lucrezia Napoletano (49.48), Johanna Gudmundsdottir (48.70), Tiffanie Ruan (50.28), and Indra Vandenbussche (49.19) combine for a 3:17.65, winning the race by nearly a second. It was Chue that clocked the fastest split in the field in the relay, swimming a 48.49 on FIU’s anchor.

Prior to her win in the 400 free relay, SMU sophomore Jimena Leguizamon won the 200 back in 1:55.19. She got out to a big early lead, splitting 55.11 on the first 100, which was the fastest split in the field by more than a second. Leguizamon would then more or less hold that same lead through the back half of the race, finishing 1st by 1.36 seconds.

In the team diving event, which are now becoming commonplace in the NCAA, SMU won with a score of 331.15.

Rice picked up a pair of wins on the night as well. The Owls kicked the session off with the win, seeing sophomore Ella Dyson take the 1650 free in 16:21.98 to defend her title. Senior Imogen Meers also won the 100 free for Rice in 48.80. Meers was out in 23.64, then came home in 25.16, both of which were the fastest splits in the field on their respective 50s.

Tulane freshman Victoria Raymond earned a win in the 200 fly, swimming a 1:56.78. She was locked in a very tight race with Rice junior Arielle Hayon (1:56.97), who set the AAC record in the 100 fly the day prior. Raymond was out faster than Hayon, despite Hayon being the superior 100 flyer, and had grown her lead to as much as 1.08 seconds at the 150 turn. Hayon held pace better than Raymond, coming home in 30.13 on the final 50 to Raymond’s 31.02, but it wasn’t quite enough and the freshman would stand atop the podium.

 

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ice
1 month ago

Christie has not been posting good LC times for awhile. But if this is any indication of her form, Singapore looks set to have a formidable breaststroke duo with Letitia Sim as well.

btw, Swimswam, i know you’re keeping tabs on Nick Mahabir. A whole article in the Singapore media recently about his plight which explains why he’s been MIA: https://www.straitstimes.com/sport/breaststroke-specialist-nicholas-mahabir-gets-incurable-virus-paris-2024-dreams-in-tatters

jbrow
Reply to  ice
1 month ago

What a backhanded compliment. How about instead of commenting on her past swims, you focus on the fact that she had an amazing meet.

Que
1 month ago

Do they not have a men’s meet?

Admin
Reply to  Que
1 month ago

They do not.