FIU’s women’s swimming and diving team delivered lessons in finishing the job Saturday at the Conference USA meet in Knoxville, Tennessee, to win a championship of many firsts:
First conference swimming title; first Conference USA title in any sport; first conference title in any sport since the women’s golf team’s 2013 Sun Belt Conference championship. And it finished a season in which FIU went 10-0 in dual meets.
The Panthers entered the day with a 104.5-point lead over Rice and left with a 103.5-point win, 765 to Rice’s 661.5. Western Kentucky finished with 645 points.
Nobody finished the job like senior Johanna Gustafsdottir. The greatest swimmer in FIU history won her 10th individual conference title and third of this meet with a 2:12.35 in the 200 breaststroke, lowering her own school record. In the meet-closing 400 relay, Gustafsdottir launched into her anchor leg in third place behind Rice and Western. A 48.48 leg, almost a second faster than Rice’s anchor and over two seconds faster than any other anchor, brought FIU the win in a school-record 3:18.85.
After the meet, Gustafsdottir was named Conference USA Swimmer of the Year. She won the same award as a freshman in the Sun Belt Conference.
Freshman Silvia Scalia beat her own 200 backstroke school record with a 1:53.80 that led a 1-2 finish with junior Karin Tomeckova. Sophomore Lily Kaufmann won the platform diving event.