Feb. 20, 2013
Day 1 Results | MW Championships Central | Live Video Stream/Results | Photo Gallery
SAN ANTONIO, Texas—In the first night swim of the 2013 Mountain West Swimming & Diving Championships, taking place at the Palo Alto Aquatic Center, the Colorado State Rams set a school record in the 200 Medley Relay that had been untouched since 2011. CSU concluded the night with several season bests and in eighth place with 51 points.
"We had a good start with quality racing across the board," Head Coach Christopher Woodard said. "There were even some NCAA-automatic cuts in the pool. Stakes are always high at this meet, but I hope it really charges the team up to be racing in such a fast pool with fast teams, and we're going to be one of them."
The 200 Medley Relay brought together CSU's fastest athletes in the backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle events. Freshman Jessica Shepard led off the race with the backstroke sprint, and was followed by Kelly Mathews in the breaststroke, Arianne Lujan in the butterfly and Breann Fuller in the freestyle. Fuller, a senior, hit the pool with a ferocity that led to the fastest freestyle sprint of her career.
The team finished sixth in the event, and broke the school record. Fuller was part of the previous fastest time (1:41.25)—as were graduates Nicole Lynch, Kim Schemahorn and Sam Dole—which was set at the 2011 MW Championships.
"It was a good start," Woodard said. "We made some changes and felt pretty confident with Jess in the front, and then we could move Breann to the back. They swam well and got the school record. I think all four of them had their best relay splits ever."
Freshman Ariana Milone had a solid first appearance at the Championships in the 1-meter diving event. The San Diego, Calif., native had strong dives in the morning prelims to qualify for the finals where she improved her score and finished 10th in the event with a score of 265.98.
"Milone had a strong performance in the 1-meter event,” Woodard said. “I hope that the diving team follows up with a very strong showing on the 3-meter boards and platform."
The 800 Freestyle Relay ended the night with Tess Simpson, Lujan, Yana Garvey and Mary Foster making up the team. The Rams recorded their fastest time of the season (7:34.83), but faced tough competition and finished in ninth.
Finishing Day 1 in eighth place, with 51 points, the Rams now face a challenge in order to fulfill their season-long goal to prove they are a top-five team in the conference. CSU will have to make up a 30-point gap, but with just three events under their belt, the Rams will have many opportunities to make significant gains on their opponents in the next three days of the Championships.
The team will have a full day of competition Thursday. Events will include the 500 Freestyle, 200 Individual Medley, 50 Freestyle, 3-meter diving and the 400 Medley Relay.
The highlight for the team should be Fuller in the 50 Freestyle. The senior backstroker stepped into the sprint freestyle events this season and has excelled. The senior holds the top times on the team this season in the 50, 100 and 200 Freestyle events.
Her best performance in the 50 Freestyle sets her at No. 24 in the conference, but Woodard is confident Fuller has the ability to be a top contender.
"Out of her events, it's hard to say it's the weakest, because it's a very strong third event," the second-year coach said. "I think it's nice for her to swim freestyle, because sometimes it's good to get a break from backstroke and just sprint really fast across the pool. I expect she'll show up and be in strong competition for a top-eight finish."
As it will be all weekend, live video streaming will be available for the night swims, beginning approximately at 5:30 p.m. MT. View the MW Championships Central page for live video streaming, results, team scores, photo galleries and more.
Fans can also monitor results through the Meet Mobile application on their handheld devices. The Active Network application can be downloaded from the Apple App Store for iPhones and iPads, and from Google Play for Android phones and tablets. Fans also can follow #MWSD13 or @TheMWCOlySports on Twitter for updates throughout the week. @CSUswimming will also be tweeting results and updates from San Antonio.