Jan. 30, 2013
By Sarah Thomsen
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo.—The Rams rumbled Moby Pool Wednesday with cheers over their first win of the 2012-13 season, as Colorado State defeated Northern Colorado, 145-98, on Senior Night.
CSU’s 10 graduating seniors were honored during the meet for their outstanding achievements during their careers as Rams.
From the first splash in the pool, the Rams were ready to bring the heat. Anchored by senior Breann Fuller, the Rams easily took first place in the 200 Medley Relay. Senior Mary Foster then continued the Rams’ momentum with a win in the 100 Freestyle. Yana Garvey then cinched the third straight first-place finish, edging UNC’s Erika Etz by 12-hundredths of a second in the 200 Freestyle.
“Considering the point in the season we’re at—the heavy training and weight lifting—I was pretty impressed with some of the swims,” Head Coach Christopher Woodard said. “We’re not where we want to be time wise, but there was definitely a lot of fight, so it was good.”
Powered by senior Arianne Lujan—who was unbeatable in the three events she swam in—CSU remained out in front the entire meet. After winning the 200 Medley Relay, Lujan claimed first in the 200 IM and the 200 Butterfly.
The Rams were especially impressive on the boards. Ariana Milone proved she’s back from the hand injury that took her away from competition for 11 weeks with a convincing win in 3-Meter Diving. Milone climbed 15.53 points ahead of UNC’s second-place finisher Sara Moldenhauer.
Mary Kate Hardy punctuated CSU’s sweep of the diving events with her win on the 1-Meter boards. Milone followed Hardy into second place with 248.50 points.
Fuller broadened the lead with her wins in the 200 Backstroke and 200 Freestyle Relay. In her five years as a Ram, Fuller has made huge contributions to the swimming team as a talented athlete, record holder and humble leader. In her final night competing in Moby Pool, Fuller continued to prove why she is CSU’s top athlete.
“Tonight was an exciting night for all of us,” Fuller said. “It was good to get the win, but it felt especially good for the seniors. Hopefully this will give us some momentum for the final couple weeks of the season. These last five years at CSU have been incredible. I can’t say enough about my experience.”
CSU’s 10 seniors who were recognized on Wednesday include: Tara DeMuth, Tasia DeMuth, Foster, Fuller, Chelea Kelly, Lujan, Kelly Mathews, Madeline Mitchell, Shelley Perkins and Lydia Templin.
“Even though I’ve only had them for a year-and-a-half, I’ve grown pretty attached to them pretty quickly,” Woodard said. “They had to come in halfway through their collegiate careers and basically everything was really turned upside down. We asked them to buy in and do a bunch of things that they might not have been comfortable doing, and they responded really well. I hope to have a bond with them long after graduation.”
The seniors still have one more opportunity to swim in a dual meet before the season is complete. The Rams have a quick turnaround for their final meet, as they take on the Air Force Falcons Saturday in Colorado Springs. The meet begins at 1 p.m. MT at Cadet Natatorium.
“It’s always tough to go down to the Springs and swim at 7,200 feet,” Woodard said. “That being said, it doesn’t really matter. It’s a 16-event format, so we’re going to have all of our kids having every opportunity to swim those last prep sessions before we go to Conference. I’m looking forward to it.”
While the Rams are facing the Falcons on Saturday, they have their ultimate challenge of the season in the horizon. The Mountain West Championship will be the final test of this season’s talent. In San Antonio, Texas, the Rams will battle their most fierce conference rivals from Feb. 20-23. CSU has proven itself to be a strong taper team this season, and with the adequate time to train and recover, the Rams should offer a few pleasant surprises
“Our goal early in the year was to be in the top five, and we’ve lost a lot of kids along the way to injury, illness or other factors,” Woodard said. “It’s definitely depleted the top end and our depth, but I’m confident enough in what I’ve got that I still think we can challenge for the top five. I’m eager to fly out to San Antonio.”