Women's basketball Senior Night at The Branch included redshirt junior forwad Arielle Durant. Though Duratn said this was the first year she felt truly healthy and a year of eligibility remains, she's done after this season. Academically done. As in, she's about to get her master's degree in sports management.
While Durant told us this, FIU's swimmers did their own finishing up in Atlanta, coming home second behind Rice in the Panthers' first Conference USA swim meet, FIU's best finish in a conference championship meet. Rice racked up 1,000 points, helped greatly by taking all the relays. FIU's 740 points edged East Carolina's 700 and Western Kentucky's 686.
Just as she used to in the Sun Belt, senior Sabrina Beaupre took Diver of the Meet. Beaupre followed a narrow second in the 3-meter springboard by dominating the 1-meter springboard Friday and 10-meter platform Saturday.
Also treating C-USA as she did the Sun Belt, junior Johanna Gustafsdottir won a third consecutive conference title in the 200 backstroke. Her 1:55.05 didn't break the school record she set with her first 200 back conference title, 1:54.40, but she did do some record-breaking with a leadoff 50.01 in the 400 free relay. Gustafsdottir, freshman Jenny Alfani, freshman Jenny Deist and junior Klara Andersson came in second to Rice (catch the running theme?) but did so in a school record 3:20.74. That shaved 0.93 off the record set at last year's Sun Belt meet by Gustafsdottir, Andersson, Dani Albright and Marina Ribi. And all members of this relay team should be back next year. Ribi was a senior and Albright decided to quit swimming.
In her last individual conference championship event, senior Sonia Perez Arau knocked 7.24 seconds off her own school record while snagging second in the 1,650 free in 16:28.63. Below 400 yards, Gustafsdottir's the best swimmer in FIU's 11-season history. At or above 400, it's Perez, two-time conference champion in the 400 individual medley and school record holder at every distance at or above 400 meters.
Juniors Jean Madison and Dani Meara got FIU points with a fifth (2:18.28) and ninth (2:19.97), respectively, in the 200 breaststroke. Senior Sarah D'Antoni swam to a 200 butterfly sixth place in 2:01.13. Deist's personal best 50.43 in the 100 free was good enough for fifth.