Swimming and diving enters the AAC Championships as a top seed 

Sophomore diver Ruska Lehtonen doing a flip as she dives into the pool. Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics.

Will Duval | Sports Director

The FIU swimming and diving team is traveling to Dallas, Texas to participate in the American Athletic Conference Championships, beginning on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024.

Going into the playoffs, the Panthers finished the regular season with six consecutive wins and secured a 6-1 record. In their previous matchup with the FGCU Eagles on Feb. 3, they took a 27-13 victory and dominated the dual-meet.

Sophomore diver Ruska Lehtonen displayed her prowess and claimed first place in the 1-meter dive with a score of 255.98. Due to her top placing in the 1-meter and second place finish in the 3-meter, she was named the AAC’s swimmer of the week on Feb. 13. 

Outside Lehtonen’s standout performance, graduate student diver Paige Burrell also made a significant contribution. She finished the 3-meter dive with a 280.88 overall score and came in first place.

Through the efforts of multiple divers, FIU was able to dominate the majority of the event and claim a 27-13 victory. Able to close out their regular season with a win streak, they look to carry their momentum into the AAC Championships.

Entering the tournament, the Panthers are seeded first in both the 800-yard freestyle and 200 medley relays. With high expectations from their regular season performance, they are favored to win and were ranked first in the pre-championship coaches poll.

Besides FIU, six other teams are participating in the AAC Championships, including East Carolina, FAU, North Texas, Rice, SMU and Tulane. 

SMU is hosting the four day tournament and came in second place in the pre-season championship poll. They hold the top seed in the 200-yard freestyle, 400-yard freestyle and 400 medley relays.

Sophomore swimmer Lucrezia Napoletano was named the Most Outstanding Swimmer in the 2023 AAC Championships. She won three individual titles for the Mustangs and finished first in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 48.51.

Looking to carry their regular season momentum into the playoffs, the FIU swimming and diving team is participating in the AAC Championships on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 in Dallas, Texas.

The first meet begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center and will be broadcasted on ESPN+.

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