Feb. 23, 2012
By Sarah Thomsen
Athletic Media Relations
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.—The Rams finished their second day of competition in sixth with 121 points at the Mountain West championships at the Oklahoma City Community College Aquatic Center Thursday.
CSU added its first school record earned at the championships, in the 400 Medley Relay through the efforts of Yana Garvey, Kelly Mathews, Fran Mathias and Kim Schemahorn. Their time of three minutes, 42.46 seconds was fast enough to make the NCAA-B qualifying cut and polish off the previous record earned at the 2011 championships. On Wednesday the Rams finished sixth in both their relays, but Thursday they came back from behind to a fifth-place finish in the 400 Medley Relay.
“It was what we had talked about just prior to the race,” Head Coach Chris Woodard said. “We talked about just focusing on what each one of them had to do to break the record. It was a big deal to beat last year’s record that was made with Breann [Fuller] in the backstroke leg. All the girls had great legs and great turn exchanges. They had just some really solid swims.”
Senior Shayna Solomon had one of the greatest comebacks of the 3-meter diving competition. In the prelims, Solomon had finished 15th with a score of 232.02. But in the finals, Solomon made one of the biggest score jumps of the night, earning 272.40 and moving up three positions to 12th place. Solomon was followed closely by Madeline Mitchell, who finished in 17th place.
“She made it into the finals and did a whole lot better there, so I think she did really well in the consolation finals,” head diving coach Kevin Witt said. “She dove very well, so that’s a big reason why she moved up”
Senior Jennifer Lamb fought for the team’s highest finish in individual events in the 500 Freestyle, finishing seventh with a time of 4:53.71. Her preliminary time of 4:52.96 was just shy of the school record she broke in November. The other two Rams in the 500 Free, Kristin Gropp and Maddie Mastrup, added lifetime bests. Mastrup cut over a second off of her preliminary time for a finals time of 4:59.93 and 22nd place.
Schemahorn continued her momentum from the record-breaking 400 Medley relay and took eighth in the 50 Freestyle, earning a lifetime best of 22.93 in the prelims. Tess Simpson followed Schemahorn to a 16th-place finish in the 50 Free with a time of 23.75. Arianne Lujan was just short of adding points to the team total in the 200 IM, but continued in the theme of the night and set a lifetime best. Lujan placed 17th after cutting over two seconds from her preliminary time.
“It was big for us to get Kim, Tess and Jennifer into scoring position,” Woodard said. “Those were big swims for us.”
Reigning champion San Diego State (16-0 overall, 4-0 MW) overcame MW newcomer Boise State (4-1 overall, 2-0 MW) and finished the night in first with 299 points. BSU follows closely with 295 points.
“Tonight we were a little disappointed we didn’t get more into the finals,” Woodard said. “So we talked a lot about seizing opportunities. We have the bulk of our swims tomorrow with multiple athletes doubling up in events. That’s an opportunity that they need to seize to start climbing up in the standings. So I’m looking forward to it.”
On Friday the Rams will continue with the 400 IM, 100 Butterfly, 200 Freestyle, 100 Breaststroke, 100 Backstroke and 200 Freestyle Relay. Preliminary competition will begin at 10 a.m. MT and the finals will be held at 5 p.m. MT.
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