FIU's second day of the Conference USA Swimming & Diving Championships in Atlanta could be summed up by the above Lawrence Welk-as-imitated-by-Mel-Tillis rhythm. Also, the Panthers sit in second with 266 points just ahead of Western Kentucky (226) and East Carolina (224). Rice, the clear favorite to win the team title going into the week, leads with 339.
The 1...: You know who -- junior Johanna Gustafsdottir won the 200 individual medley in 1:57.94, taking down her own FIU record (1:58.27) and the Conference USA champinoships meet record (1:58.08, SMU's Therese Svendsen in 2012). Gustafsdottir had the fastest butterfly split (25.78), fastest backstroke split (29.08) and second fastest closing 50 freestyle (28.54).That's now six individual conference titles by Gustafsdottir in two and a half conference championship meets. I'm guessing she gets more over the next couple of days in the back events.
...and a 2: Senior Sonia Perez Arau erased her own FIU record while losing a duel with Rice junior Erin Flanigan in the 500 free. Perez and Flanigan, the Nos. 2 and 1 seeds, respectively, pulled away from everyone with Perez in front until the next-to-last 50-yard segment. Still, Perez came home in 4:45.06, 3.37 seconds better than the record she set at last year's Sun Belt Championships.
...and a 2: This counts as an upset, although I knew it would be tough for senior Sabrina Beaupre to sweep the diving events as she used to in the Sun Belt. Better divers in C-USA, one more event. I still think Beaupre will take the 10-meter platform and 1-meter springboard after finishing second, 294.30 to 293.70, to Old Dominion junior Rachel Eckert. Freshman Lily Kaufmann came in fifth, scoring 256.00.
...and a 2: Junior Klara Andersson's 22.73 anchor leg couldn't walk down Rice for the 200 free relay championship, but second place FIU still broke the school record of 1:33.58 set by Gustafsdottir, freshman Jenny Alfani, junior Courtney VanderSchaaf and Andersson. This time, the same group in the same order, other than freshman Jenny Deist replacing VanderSchaaf, got home in a smashing 1:32.09, 0.57 behind Rice.
Friday, there's the 100 back, in which Gustafsdottir comes in as the second seed behind North Texas junior Mona Groteguth (yeah, I'm betting Reykjavik rocks in that one); 400 IM, in which Perez had the best time in Conference USA this year by 8.21 seconds, which is almost a generational gap at this distance; the 1-meter springboard, another chance for Beaupre to win her seventh conference title; the 400 medley relay, where FIU has the sixth best seed time, but I'll stick with my prediction that this is a relay they take; the 200 free; the 100 fly; and 100 breast.