Eduardo Almaguer/sports director
Men’s soccer Head Coach Kenny Arena bolstered his squad with 10 new faces for his first recruiting class at FIU.
Of the 10, seven are from Florida, two are from California and one is from Germany.
“We’re very excited to welcome these outstanding student-athletes to the Panther family,” Arena said in a press release. “This class will be the foundation for our team’s success over the next four years. There is a great mix of attackers and defenders who are all technically sound on the ball. The depth of our team is significantly improved and that will allow us to maintain a high level of play as we get into the later parts of the year. We have a few more important additions to this class that will be announced at a later date.”
Topsoccerdrawer.com named FIU as one of five classes with big potential.
Of all the recruits so far, only one is a transfer, midfielder Nelson Milsaint. He was named First-Team 4A-2A All-Dade County in 2009, ’09,’10 and ’11 by The Miami Herald.
“Nelson is one of the top transfers in the country. He’ll bring a great defensive presence in the midfield or the center of the back. He can cover a lot of ground and will be an imposing force,” Arena said.
TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS
As the Indoor Track & Field Championships came to a close, FIU left with mixed results.
The women’s team shone, finishing third place with 103 points behind North Texas as well host and eventual champion Arkansas State University.
LaShae White, Lakeisha Kelley, Nia Anderson and T’Keyah Dumoy captured the women’s 4×400 championship with a combined time of 3:44:59, defeating North Texas. It was 0.29 off FIU’s record in the event set in 2001 and 0.65 off the Sun Belt Conference record ran in 1999.
The women’s team also finished in third place in last year’s championships with 102 points.
Dumoy placed second in a couple of events. In the 55-meter, she had a time of 7.03, and a 24.15 time in the 200-meter.
The men’s team didn’t fare as well as the women.
They scored a paltry 34 points, finishing eighth in the tournament. Western Kentucky took home the championship. Despite the low score of 34 points, that’s almost three times the amount they had last year when they scored 12.
One bright spot, however, was Marcus Ghent, who won Most Outstanding Freshman with a 15.24m in the triple jump, landing him second in the event.
SWIMMING FOR GOLD
The SBC swimming and diving championships are underway in Rockwall, Texas, starting yesterday, Feb. 27, all through March 2.
Last year, the Panthers finished in fourth place but took home all the conference awards. Sabrina Beaupre won Diver of the Year while winning the 1-meter and 3-meter dives. Johanna Gustafsdottir won Swimmer of the Year after dominating the 200 IM, 200 Free and 200 Back events.
“The team is focused and ready to go,” FIU Head Coach Randy Horner said in a press release on Wednesday. “It’s been a long season of training all pointing to this weekend. We expect to do well as a team.”
SPRING GOLF KICKS OFF
The FIU golf team wrapped up its first spring tournament with a solid second-place finish in the Sir Pizza Terrapin Challenge in the Shula’s Golf Club in Miami Lakes.
FIU finished with 22-over 886, behind No.18 NC State, who won the event with a 10-over 874.
It’s a vast improvement over their 2012 11th-place in the same event.
Freshman standout Meghan McLaren led FIU with a fifth-place finish with a three-round two-over, 218 (70-74-74).
Senior Yolecci Jimenez was the only other Panther in the top 10, finishing eighth with a seven-over, 223 mark, a career best.
FIU has been superb this season, with three first-place finishes, a second place finish, and a fourth-place finish.
They now travel to Mesa, Ariz., for the Second Annual Clover Cup from March 8 to March 10.