Oct. 20, 2012
DENVER, Colo.—Colorado State Head Coach Christopher Woodard stated during the offseason that he purposely wanted to schedule a tough early schedule to prepare his team for the conference season. The season opener proved to be too tough, however, as the Rams fell to the Denver Pioneers, 181-117, Saturday afternoon at El Pomar Natorium.
“I’m disappointed in our team’s performance today,” Woodard said. “I thought we were better prepared than what we showed. I thought we had some great swims and some great performances on the board, but overall, I’m disappointed. We needed more depth, more strength, more fight.”
The bright spot on the day was senior Breann Fuller. Fuller, who redshirted a year ago, won both the 200 Backstroke (2:02.95) and the 50 Freestyle (24.32). She also finished second in the 100 Backstroke and 400 Freestyle Relay. Fuller’s 200 Backstroke time was quicker than all but one CSU time from a year ago.
“Bre did not disappoint,” Woodard said of Fuller. “We came into the season knowing we would have to throw her into a little sprint freestyle, which isn’t necessarily her primary event, but she showed up in that. I was even more impressed with her backstrokes. I don’t think she has swam that fast in season ever.”
In addition to Fuller’s two first-place finishes, fellow senior Kelly Mathews won the 100 Breaststroke with a time of 1:05.29.
Another positive from the day was CSU’s performance on the boards. Freshman Ariana Milone was CSU’s top diver, scoring a combined 594.46 (316.73 on the 3-meter board, 277.73 on the 1-meter). Her score on the 3-meter boards was more than 30 points higher than any CSU diver from a year ago.
Junior Maxelise Thorn, who also redshirted last season, returned to competition with a second-place finish on the boards. Both were career highs. Overall, all five of CSU’s divers had a higher score than Denver’s lone diver.
CSU will host its home opener Saturday at noon MT at Moby Pool. The Rams will face conference foe Wyoming in the team’s annual Orange Out. The first 100 students will receive a free orange T-shirt.
“We need to focus on details,” Woodard said. “I think some girls swam differently today than they normally have, so we need to focus on race strategy and tuning up our starts and turns. We’ll be in our own home, so we need to come out fired up and ready to compete.”