By Joel Delgado ’12 MS ’17
For the third straight year, the FIU swimming and diving team returned home from the Conference USA Championships as conference champions, finishing with 922.5 points – the fourth highest score in conference history.
The Panthers registered 15 first-place finishes and broke 10 school records over the course of the four-day event in Atlanta, with junior Kyna Pereira leading the way with four gold medals to capture C-USA Swimmer of the Meet honors.
Heading into the final day of the event Feb. 25 with a comfortable 140-point lead over the rest of the competition, the Panthers won an additional six events on Saturday and added to their lead, finishing 173.5 points ahead of second-place Rice.
The Panthers put an exclamation point on their performance by setting a school record in the 400 free relay with the team of Jennifer Deist, Letizia Bertelli and 2016 Olympic Games participant Naomi Ruele posting a time of 3:17.15. The time was good enough to make the NCAA Championships A cut, helping the trio become the first relay team in school history to earn that distinction.
Head Coach Randy Horner, who took over the program in 2010, was tapped C-USA Coach of the Year for the third year in a row.
To read more about FIU swimming and diving, go to FIUSports.com.