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Smoke in the water, fire on the track (and field)

I'll get to this morning's Board of Trustees' Athletics Committee meeting in my next post. And baseball clobbered The Green of the Ivy, Dartmouth, 11-0 to go to 10-0 this season. 

Spring football starts Mar. 18 and runs through April 12. Conference USA's football media days are July 22 and 23 in Dallas.

But, elsewhere, FIU folks are trying to win conference championships swimming and running, so let's get to that.

In the Atlanta pool, the favorites paid for FIU, trailing leader Rice by 181 points and leading third place East Carolina by 28 points.

Senior Sonia Perez Arau knocked 4.02 seconds off Quincy Christian's Conference USA meet record and won the 400 individual medley by 4.84 seconds with a 4:12.11. Perez was third after the opening butterfly leg, then destroyed the field with a 1:03.20 backstroke leg that put her 2.14 seconds up halfway through the race. She closed with the race's fastest freestyle leg, 57.02. Second coming out of fly was sophomore Becky Wilde, who stayed in the mix with the non-Perez part of the field through back. But after breast, she was slotted into sixth, where she finished in 4:22.20.

After senior Sabrina Beaupre finished second in Thursday's 3-meter springboard diving, I'd have bet my next paycheck on Beaupre taking the 1-meter springboard and 10-meter platform. As predictable as the Canadiens winning the Stanley Cup in the late 1970s, Beaupre won her seventh conference title.

If junior Johanna Gustafsdottir hadn't reset her 200 free school record by leading off Wednesday's 800 free relay with a 1:46.90, her 1:47.55 in Friday's 200 free final would've done it. That got Gustafsdottir, who came into the meet seeded fourth, a third behind Rice's Casey Clark (1:46.98) and FAU's Agi Bucz (1:47.47). Gustafsdottir led Clark by the start of a wink after 100, but Clark blew out a great third 50 and a strong final 50, while Bucz swam the race's fastest final 50 to pip Gustafsdottir for second.

Junior Klara Andersson got FIU points with an eighth in the 100 breast with a 1:03.17. Andersson's 1:02.89 in the prelims was a tick off Jessica Chadwick's school record 1:02.84.

I picked the 400 medley relay for an upset on a whim. The team of Gustafsdottir, junior Dani Meara, freshman Jenny Alfani and Andersson came in fourth behind Rice's 3:39.00. FIU's 3:43.19 was the second best time in school history behind the 3:40.87 posted by last year's Sun Belt Championship winner, an all-star concoction of the 100 back (Gustafsdottir), 100 breast (Chadwick), 100 fly (Marina Ribi) school record holders and Andersson, who had second best 100 free in FIU history behind Gustafsdottir.

Friday, Gustafsdottir gave FIU the lead after the leadoff backstroke (of course). She didn't swim the 100 back Friday, but surely will swim the 200 back Saturday. FIU could get a win there and from Beaupre in the 10-meter platform. FIU's seeded second behind Rice in the 400 free relay. 

Inside the Birmingham CrossPlex, FIU and East Carolina's women dominated iron slinging. FIU sophomores Miriam Pierre (61 feet, 5 1/2 inches) and Chelsea Goburne (58-4 1/2) finished second and fourth amidst a 1-3-5 placing by East Carolina women that was led by Kayla Padgett's 68-5 3/4.

In the ongoing events, sophomore Brandon Ballard qualified for Saturday's 800 meters final with a 1:54.44, sixth fastest among the final eight. Senior Lashae White got out of the 400 prelims in 56.04 seconds. Sophomore Cam'ree Jackson hustled to a 7.54 60 to make that final. Senior Desmond McGill shot through the 60 hurdles in 8.15 seconds, the fourth best of the eight finalists separated by 0.13 seconds.

 

 

 

 

 

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