Panthers dominate Ospreys at home

Reinaldo Llerena // Staff Writer

A trio of FIU swimmers battled fatigue and dominated the University of North Florida Ospreys during a Nov. 5 meet at the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Center.

Junior Kyna Pereira, freshman Taylor Grabenhorst and junior Skye Carey were the Panther standouts in the meeting versus the Ospreys. Pereira and Carey each finished with 22 points for the meet and Grabenhorst finished with 18 total points on the day.

“North Florida is rebuilding right now and they’ve got a solid nucleus of freshman,” head coach Randy Horner said after the meet. “They will come back stronger next year. It wasn’t really a big challenge for us as a team. It was an opportunity for us to challenge ourselves with our own goals.”

A few days before the meet versus the Ospreys, Athletic Director Pete Garcia announced a contract extension for Horner. Horner has been with the team since 2010 and has led the team to back-to-back Conference USA titles.

The win versus the Ospreys marks the Panthers’ sixth consecutive win since losing the season opener versus the University of Miami Hurricanes in early October. The Panthers improved to 3-0 at home with the win.

Horner said after the meet that the meet versus the Ospreys will allow the team to rest and recover from a strenuous stretch of meets. The Panthers have faced six different opponents since facing the Hurricanes on Oct. 1.

“We’re pretty tired and beat up right now,” Horner said. “We’re two weeks away from getting a little bit of rest and seeing what we can do in the Louisville meet. They looked pretty tired during the meet.”

Carey was dominant throughout all of her three events versus the Ospreys. The junior won both the 200-yard freestyle and the 200-yard individual medley. Carey placed second to Pereira in the 500-yard free.

“Overall, I was pretty tired and my times weren’t exactly where I wanted them to be,” Carey said.

The Panthers will have a couple of weeks off before the team heads to Louisville, Kentucky, for the Louisville Invitational. The invitational will mark the first time this season the Panthers will use the speed suits, which can add three or four seconds to a swimmer’s time, Horner said.

“I’m really excited to suit up,” Carey said. “We’re really excited for the rest that leads into the [Louisville Invitational] and my teammates are excited to put the suits on and go fast. After all of the training the team has done over the past month, everyone is ready to feel fast again.”

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