Despite Fast Times, Florida International Falls to Miami on Senior Day
By Paul Dodson
MIAMI (Jan. 30, 2016) – Despite having produced some of the team’s fastest times in dual meet action this season, the Florida International Swimming and Diving Team (7-5) fell to the Miami Hurricanes, 205-95, on Saturday afternoon at the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Center.
“Val Inghels, Jessica Piper and Becky Wilde are great,” Head Coach Randy Horner said. “They’ve done a great job in helping the team focus. They have also provided good leadership through this tough season. They’ve led the charge, stayed focused and kept the team pointed in the right direction. They are doing a great job.”
Sophomores Kyna Pereira and Naomi Ruele stood out for FIU, claiming first-place finishes on the afternoon. Pereira, the reigning Conference USA Swimmer of the Week, continued to dominate the distance events, winning both the 500 and 1000 free. The Umkomaas, South Africa, native posted a time of 10:07.74 in the 1000 free – a season-low in dual meet action. It also improved the second-year Panther to 6-0 on the year in the 1000 free. Pereira also claimed the 500 free title with a time of 4:55.20 – her second-fastest time in the event at home this season. Ruele registered her third victory of the year in the 50 free, coming in at 23.31. The time was a season-best in dual meet action for the Botswana product.
“This was a great performance as a team for a dual meet,” Horner said. “To see some of these season-best performances in a dual meet, with where we are at in training, is exactly what we hoped to do. I feel like we had some stand-out performances with (Naomi) Ruele winning the 50 free and Pereira winning the distance events. There were also a lot of other role players that didn’t win events, but swam very fast and are getting things done and where they need to be.”
In the 200 free, sophomore Skye Carey notched the team’s best time of 1:53.83, placing third. The Satellite Beach, Fla., native also registered the Panthers’ fastest time in the 200 back (2:06.39). Pereira claimed FIU’s top spot in the 100 back (third place) with a career-low time of 58.79. Sophomore Chase Harris recorded a 1:06.83 in the 100 breast for a third-place finish to lead FIU. Junior Jennifer Deist notched a season-best in dual action in the 200 fly, recording a time of 2:04.61. Deist also led FIU in the 100 free with a season-best 51.75 and a fourth-place finish.
Freshman Nicole Hunnewell placed second in the 200 breast to lead FIU (2:25.02), while sophomore Letizia Bertelli claimed the team’s top spot in the 100 fly (56.68) and freshman Ilaria Manzella was the Panthers’ top finisher in the 200 IM (2:11.65). Manzella’s time was a career best.
In diving, sophomore Rebecca Quesnel was FIU’s top finisher, placing third the 1-meter (286.65) and fourth in the 3-meter (285.50) programs.
“The measure of today is definitely not on the scoreboard,” Horner said. “It was not an even battle against a team with tech suits. We swam faster than we had all season. That’s something to hang our hats on. We now have to focus on the next meet.”
FIU will travel to Boca Raton, Fla., to take on C-USA foe Florida Atlantic on Saturday, Feb. 6. The meet is set for 11 a.m.
Florida Swim Network