Feb. 21, 2014
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Behind Jessica Shepard's standout performance in the 100 Backstroke, Colorado State moved ahead of Fresno State during Day 3 of the Mountain West Championships.
“This morning was definitely disappointing,” Head Coach Christopher Woodard said. “That should have been an area where we took a firm grasp of the meet, but there were just missed opportunities down the line. It was pretty disheartening for all the girls, but they rallied this evening. Their energy on deck was much better, and we moved up in the standings. That’s what it’s all about.”
With the first event of the night , the 400 Medley Relay, the team of Shepard, Cristina Bassani, Felicia Gilson and Karin Roh gained a lead on Fresno State with a ninth-place finish at 3:45.79. However the next three events locked the Rams out of scoring position, and they fell to 10th.
The tide began to turn for CSU in the 100 Breaststroke. Tess Simpson took full advantage of her opportunity to score and landed in third of the consolation finals and 10th overall. Her finals time of 1:03.36 was a life-time best and earned CSU 6.5 valuable points.
In the final event of the night Shepard had a breakout performance in the 100 Backstroke. After finishing seventh in the prelims at 55.19, the sophomore then dropped more time in the finals, gaining two positions for a fifth-place finish at 55.17. Her performance launched the Rams above Fresno State in the standings to finish out the night at 131..
“She was disappointed that she didn’t get a 54 (seconds) or better,” Woodard said. “I think she prepped very well and just made a few small mistakes that lost her the 54. But she fought tough and moved up in the rankings, and that’s what’s most important to the team right now.”
The Rams have their most challenging day ahead. Saturday will be the defining day of the Championships for the Rams. The team will face the 1650 Freestyle, 200 Backstroke, 100 Freestyle, 200 Breaststroke, 200 Butterfly, 400 Freestyle Relay, and platform diving.
“I think tonight was shot in the arm for us and we’ll see if they can rally tomorrow,” Woodard said. “Saturday is the day where fatigue really starts to set in. It will be a good barometer of who is tough and who is not up to par.”
For every event – both prelims and finals – live streaming will be available, free of charge, through the Mountain West Network. Additional information – including heat sheets, records, highlight video and more – can be found through the Mountain West Championships Central.
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