April 21, 2014
2013-14 Top Performers
Colorado State opened the 2013-14 swimming & diving season with one of the youngest teams ever to jump in the water. Fifteen newcomers put on the Green and Gold for the first time at the Intermountain Shootout on Oct. 11, 2013, matching evenly in numbers with seven sophomores, five juniors and three seniors.
Although the team was young, it were not lacking for talent. CSU posted its best dual-meet record in four years (6-5), and Head Coach Christopher Woodard's first winning season since his arrival in 2011-12.
"I'm very happy with how we did during the dual-meet portion of the season," Woodard said. "I think our kids responded very well to head-to-head competition. Honestly, we needed that after my first two years where we struggled to win some dual meets. It was big for us to have vindication in our meets with Northern Arizona and New Mexico."
Despite a strong dual-meet season, CSU finished 10th at the Mountain West Championships in San Antonio, Texas. While the finish wasn't what the Rams were hoping for, they did record some of the top times in CSU history in the 100 Breaststroke (Tess Simpson), 200 Breaststroke (Megan Lloyd), Platform Diving (Maxelise Thorn) and 200 Medley Relay.
Three athletes earned All-Mountain West recognition for their top-eight finishes at the Championships. Sophomore Jessica Shepard finished fifth in the 100 Backstroke, while divers Ariana Milone (fifth) and Melissa Bollig (eighth) were honored in 1-Meter Diving. All three athletes return to the pool next season.
The most consistent area throughout the year for the Rams was diving. Milone led the group with the team's top times in 1-Meter and 3-Meter (tied with Paige Greely), and received the Mountain West Diver of the Week award twice. CSU sent four athletes to NCAA Diving Zones - Bollig, Greely, Mary Kate Hardy and Milone - the most represented by the Rams since 2005, and tied for the most in the Mountain West this season. At Zones, Hardy had the Rams' highest finish in 1-Meter Diving (29th, 243.24 points), while Milone took 3-Meter's top score (23rd, 269.79).
The Rams will graduate just four seniors, and are poised for another strong season in 2014-15.
"Looking forward we have eight recruits, and there is some great talent coming in," Woodard said. "All of them are going to be able to help us in many ways. It will be hard to say goodbye to our seniors - they all put up points for us - but I'm pretty confident that with another year under our belt and these freshmen coming in to an already-hungry team that we will be in a much better position next year."
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