The 2014 Conference USA Swimming and Diving Championship kicked off Wednesday night at the Georgia Tech Campus Recreation Center. Defending C-USA Champion Rice holds the lead with 96 points after sweeping the first night of events. East Carolina and Western Kentucky are tied for second with 80 points apiece.
Rice’s pursuit of a title repeat opened with a win in the first meet’s event, the 200-yard medley relay. The Owls, represented by sophomore Shelly Patton, junior Rachel Moody, junior Casey Clark and sophomore Cora McKenzie, clocked in with a time of 1:39.33, narrowly edging East Carolina (1:39.61). Newcomer Western Kentucky came in third (1:41.07).
The Rice relay team of Clark, sophomore Taylor Armstrong, junior Erin Flanigan and senior Karina Wlostowska completed the Owls’ relay sweep, earning top honors in the 800-yard freestyle relay. The squad swam the event in an NCAA B provisional time of 7:12.29. FIU and Western Kentucky placed second and third, respectively.
Western Kentucky leads the way on the men’s side with 86 points. The Hilltoppers earned the first victory of the Men’s Invitational, winning the 200-yard medley relay. Fabian Schwingenschloegl, who threw down a 23.49 breaststroke split to help secure the victory. It was hard to track down information on Schwingenschloegl as he is listed as a freshman in the results, but a junior on WKU’s athletics page. He also has no results in the USA swimming database and is listed as only 19. None the less he joined junior Seth Musser, senior Heitor Rodrigues and sophomore Aymeric Le Corno to combine for an NCAA B standard time of 1:27.20.
WKU also earned huge points from sophomore Giorgi Meyer with his one-meter diving title. Meyer scored 307.50 points, posting more than 10 points higher than his nearest competitor.
East Carolina won the 800-yard freestyle as sophomore Michael Dugan, junior Nikola Simic, freshman Fran Krznaric and sophomore Julien Dodu touched the wall in 6:32.10.
Competition resumes tomorrow, with finals beginning at 6 p.m. ET.