Feb. 4, 2012
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By Sarah Thomsen
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo.—The Rams owned their pool, adding a win against Air Force to their record, Saturday at Moby Pool 175-125.
Coming back from a rough loss against Wyoming Friday, CSU (5-7 overall, 2-3 Mountain West) made a big statement against its conference rival Air Force (15-3, 0-3 MW).
“It felt pretty darn good [to get this win],” Head Coach Chris Woodard said. “I expected the kids who swam tough in Wyoming to swim tough again and some people to turn it around, and that’s pretty much the way it turned out.”
The seniors, Kristen Gropp, Jennifer Lamb, Fran Mathias, Kim Schemahorn and Shayna Solomon, celebrated their final dual meet of their collegiate career by wiping out their opponents. The seniors began racking in points from the beginning and did not back down through the end. Lamb took first in the 1000 Free and second in the 500 Free, Mathias was a part of the winning 400 Medley Relay team, Schemahorn placed first in both the 50 and 100 Free, and Solomon placed first in the 1-meter diving event and second in the 3-meter event.
The night culminated in the final event, the 400 Freestyle Relay. In the anchor position, with 50 yards left in the event, Schemahorn fought her way from behind Air Force’s Cassie Fletcher and finished milliseconds ahead. The pair was separated by only .21 seconds.
“Even though it was Kim’s, I think it was indicative of all our seniors,” Woodard said. “Kim’s anchor in the 400 Free Relay spoke volumes about their toughness in a race that they could have easily given up in because it didn’t matter. The outcome was already known. It’s just that pride that we’re not going to lose this one either.”
Junior Chelea Kelly stole the boards with a set of dives that combined to be her lifetime-best performance on the 3-meter boards and a first-place finish with a score of 263.93.
“She’s always had the ability to do some things,” head diving coach Kevin Witt said, “but I think over the last maybe month, month and a half, she’s really started to be a little more aggressive with her more difficult dives and it’s starting to pay off. She still has a way to go to get really comfortable with them, but I think we got a glimpse of what she’s capable of.”
The Rams now head into a two week break before they head down to Oklahoma City, Okla. for the MW championships.
“Now we’re going to be in a taper phase so there will be a whole lot of rest,” Woodard said. “We’ll try to maintain the aerobic pace that they’ve built, but now it’s a lot more specialty work. I’ve seen what our team can do with a little rest, so I’m hoping with a lot of rest we’ll be dangerous.”