Feb. 22, 2012
By Sarah Thomsen
Athletic Media Relations
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.—The Rams opened the four-day Mountain West championships, Wednesday, with season bests in the pool and a solid showing on boards in Oklahoma City, Okla., at the Oklahoma City Community College Aquatic Center. CSU finished the day in sixth place out of their eight conference rivals with 64 points.
The Rams (5-7 overall, 2-3 Mountain West) took sixth place and their fastest swims of the season in the 200 Medley relay and the 800 Freestyle Relay with times of one minute, 42.55 seconds and 2:58.95 respectively.
“The relays, at this point, are not our strong suit,” Head Coach Chris Woodard said. “We had to focus on the individual events rather than relays this season. But overall it was a strong start. We’ve been training to handle the whole weekend not just the first day.”
In the 200 Medley Relay, Yana Garvey, Kelly Mathews, Arianne Lujan and Kim Schemahorn added their names to the record books with lifetime bests in each leg for all four of the athletes and a cumulative time that was fourth-fastest in CSU history. Just a hundredth of a second from fifth place, the Rams were out touched by New Mexico (7-5-1 overall, 1-4 MW) who finished fifth with a time of 1:42.54.
“It was a little disappointing to get out touched by New Mexico,” Woodard said. “It’s definitely a clear message you absolutely cannot let up, every hundredth of a second counts.”
The rest of CSU’s points earned Wednesday came from Senior Shayna Solomon’s effort in the 1-meter springboard competition. Solomon came back from the prelims to move up a spot and finished in the finals in seventh place out of 16 divers with a score of 258.95.
“I thought she did a good job,” diving coach Kevin Witt said. “She came back tonight and made the finals. She had a better list of dives in the finals and moved up a spot. So I though she did really well.”
Boise State (4-1 overall, 2-0 MW) brought the heat at their first MW championships, finishing the day in first place with 108 points followed closely by San Diego State University (16-0 overall, 4-0 MW) with 101 points. SDSU and BSU stand as intimidating opponents. Both came into the championships with 2011 championship victories. SDSU took the MW championships in 2011 and have had an undefeated dual-meet record for the past two seasons. The Broncos took the 2010 and 2011 Western Athletic Conference championships and brought back 16 of their 2011 letterwinners.
“Boise is going to be tough all weekend long,” Woodard said. “They expect to win.”
Thursday should prove to be one of the biggest days for the Rams of the championships. Senior Jennifer Lamb will be fighting for first in the 500 Freestyle, an event that she has already broken the school record in this season.
“Jennifer is aiming to make top 8 and the other 500 Freestyle girls are working hard and coming down in time,” Woodard said. “I expect they’ll get the job done.”
Solomon will return to the boards Thursday for the 3-meter event with teammates: Mary Kate Hardy, Chelea Kelly and Madeline Mitchell.
“I think all of our girls have a good chance of adding points tomorrow,” Witt said. “We just need consistency; that’s the biggest thing at a meet like this.”
Thursday’s competition will also race the 200 IM, 50 Freestyle and the 400 Medley Relay. Preliminary competition will begin at 10 a.m. MT and the finals will be held at 5:15 p.m. MT.
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