Feb. 22, 2013
SAN ANTONIO, Texas--In Day 3 of the Mountain West Swimming & Diving Championships, the Rams snapped back in the final events of the night and moved up two positions into seventh place. The third day of competition brought the Rams their third school record on the weekend, as freshman Erica Stock broke the mark in the 400 IM with a two-second drop from her preliminary time.
"I'm learning very quickly not to underestimate Erica," Head Coach Christopher Woodard said. "We knew she was very talented when we recruited her, but her ability to shut everything out and rise to the occasion when the time comes was something we didn't quite anticipate. We're very happy for her to be able to put that record in her pocket."
Shaving off nearly nine seconds from her regular-season top time, Stock (4:21.23) snuck past Jennifer Muniz's school record of 4:21.91, which she had set at the 2009 Championships.
After falling into last place after the third event of the night, the Rams seemed to be fading until CSU claimed one-third of the scoring positions in the 100 Breaststroke. The Rams were led by Stock (1:02.75), who again shattered her previous top time (1:04.40), and set the second-fastest time in CSU history. The Phoenix, Ariz., native sailed into fifth place, earning 14 huge points for the Rams.
Senior Kelly Mathews (1:02.93) followed closely behind Stock, in ninth, setting a lifetime best and the third-fastest performance in CSU's record books. Tess Simpson (12th), Arianne Lujan (14th) and Cristina Bassani (16th) all cut their season bests and fought their way into scoring position. From these performances, the Rams made a resounding stand, and moved past Air Force and back into eighth place in the overall team standings.
The Rams continued their progress in the 100 Backstroke. Senior Breann Fuller earned an NCAA-B qualifying time with her performance in her strongest event. Fuller (53.62) fought for a close second against UNLV's Carmen Robb (53.59), and earned the Rams 17 valuable points. Fuller's name now sweeps the top-five performances of the school's record books for the 100 Backstroke.
"As much as she was disappointed not getting the win, I think her focus really is putting herself in the best position going into NCAAs," Woodard said.
Freshman Jessica Shepard also had a strong showing in the 100 Backstroke, and set her lifetime best with a 10th-place finish. From Fuller and Shepard's cumulative point earnings, the Rams moved into seventh, their highest team position at the Championships thus far.
"Today was a really good day," Woodard said. "The girls swam tough. We need 10-12 finalists tomorrow, good showings in the platforms and hopefully beat some people out in the relay. After the 400 IM we had slipped to ninth, but by the end of the night we had moved up to seventh. That was really a shot in the arm for us, and I hope it keeps us going for tomorrow."
The Rams (191 points) have now surpassed Fresno State (188) and Air Force (141), and are within reach of New Mexico (209) and University of Nevada (269). The final day at the Championships will again allow the Rams to flex some of their strongest events.
Fuller holds the fastest time in the conference for the 200 Backstroke, and will have a chance to break her school record in her final individual event at the Championships.
"Breann has always pegged herself as a sprinter, but I think she's trusted me to take her through a little bit more endurance. My hope for her is that she puts herself in a very good position in the 200, as well," Woodard said.
Stock will also have the opportunity for a repeat of her stellar breaststroke times in the 200 Breaststroke.
"The sky is the limit," Woodard said. "I don't know what to expect from Stock--top-three finish, finals, school record--I don't rule anything out at this point. Good things, that's all I expect."
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.
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