Feb. 22, 2014
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The Colorado State Rams closed a strong season with a disappointing 10th-place finish Saturday at the Mountain West Championships.
With its best dual-meet record since 2009-10, CSU had high hopes for the four-day Championships.
“It’s obviously hard to look at the scoreboard and not be disappointed, considering everything we achieved this year,” Head Coach Christopher Woodard said. "It’s a big disappointment, but hopefully our new recruits will add some punch to our lineup. We’ll get a little downtime, reflect on it and focus on building up a very young and inexperienced, but talented, team. They’ve got one under their belt now, so I’m looking forward to the future.”
The highlights of the day were earned by the three seniors who closed out their collegiate careers at the Championships. Madeline Mastrup opened the evening swims with her strongest performance at the Championships, in the 1650 Freestyle, where she finished ninth at 16:48.52, CSU’s highest place of the day. Freshman Allison Arnold also held her own and finished just shy of earning points in 17th at 17:03.78.
“I was really impressed with our milers,” Woodard said. “Just about every single one of them has been hurt or sick in the past few weeks. We didn’t know what to expect, but considering the situation of the last couple of days, I was impressed with what they were able to accomplish.”
Senior Yana Garvey followed Mastrup’s suit in the 200 Backstroke with her highest finish of the Championships, in 15th at 2:01.58. Jessica Shepard (2:01.99) and Michelle Hawkins (2:03.81) also had stellar times in the 200 Backstroke, finishing 16th and 19th, respectively.
Senior Maxelise Thorn had the Rams’ highest finish in platform diving. The Loveland, Colo., native finished 15th (186.96) after earning her season-best score in the prelims (194.52).
“I think it was very fitting tonight that all three seniors did so well in the final event of their careers,” Woodard said. “All of them scored points. While they all were not personal bests, it was a fitting way to end their careers.”
Megan Lloyd also made big strides in the 200 Breaststroke. The freshman finished in 11th with a life-time best of 2:16.90. Jenna Beaury also had a life-time best, following her teammate into 17th at 2:17.62.
Overall Boise State (735) claimed a big win over reigning champion San Diego State (633.5). The standings followed with Nevada (507), Wyoming (455), New Mexico (303), Air Force (292), UNLV (282.5), San Jose State (270), Fresno State (177) and CSU (165).
CSU will graduate just four seniors, returning a solid group of swimmers and divers, which earned the most victories in four years (six).
The Championships will not mark the end of the season for the diving squad. Ariana Milone, Paige Greely, Melissa Bollig and Mary Kate Hardy have each qualified for NCAA Diving Zones. In 2012-13, three divers qualified for NCAA Zones, the most by the Rams since 2005 and tied for the second-most in the Mountain West. Diving Zones will take place March 13-15 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
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