Oct. 27, 2012
By Sarah Thomsen
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Colorado State Rams (0-2, 0-1 Mountain West) fell to their border rival, Wyoming (1-0, 1-0 MW), in their home opener and first conference meet of the 2012-13 season, 132.5-167.5, Saturday afternoon at Moby Pool.
The Rams knew this would not be an easy meet coming up against Wyoming, a team they now hold a four-season losing streak against. Even though the Rams did not win the meet, the medium gap in final team scores shows steady improvement from last season. The Rams fell to Wyoming 106-189 a year ago.
“It is a big jump,” Head Coach Christopher Woodard said. “I don’t take any moral victories, but it does indicate that the arrow is pointing up for the team. I’d be more encouraged if we had healthier kids and more people performing at the level we expect them to early in the season. So that’s disappointing, but overall I think when those kids do come back we’ve got a pretty good looking team.”
Although the Rams lost overall, on the boards CSU blew away Wyoming. The Rams took first and third in the 3-meter and swept through fourth place in the 1-meter. Freshman Ariana Milone, the reigning Mountain West Diver of the Week, continued her unbeaten streak, placing first in the 3-meter with a score of 293.18.
Before the 1-meter diving event, Paige Greely had to step in for Milone after the freshman was injured during the 1-meter warmups. Greely came off the bench for her first competition dives in the 1-meter and placed second with a score of 236.55. One-meter diving was won by Mary Kate Hardy (260.55), with senior Chelea Kelly placing third (233.33).
“Mary Kate has been doing great,” diving coach Kevin Witt said. “She’s been working hard. She’s so close to a NCAA Zone score, but just keeps missing it by a couple points, and that happened again today. So she’s right on the cusp of it.”
Breann Fuller was not in her regular spot of leading the pool in the backstroke events. Instead the senior stepped in to add muscle to the sprint freestyle events and swam the 100 and 200 Freestyle for the first time this season. Fuller did not disappoint, improving as the meet went on with third in the 200 Freestyle (1:54.28), second in the 50 Freestyle (24.25) and first in the 100 Freestyle (52.88). Each of these times was the fastest for CSU of the season so far.
Fuller’s teammates Jessica Shepard (56.78) and Yana Garvey (56.80) excelled with the backstroke, filling the gap left in Fuller’s absence. They placed a close first and second, respectively, in the 100 Backstroke.
“We had to kill them with our depth,” Woodard said. “Unfortunately, with a couple people on the sidelines, depth was a little thin. But our backstrokers absolutely responded and they swam phenomenally. Breann had to switch it up and swim all freestyles because that’s where I needed her, and she did a fantastic job. Overall, I can’t be too disappointed at the lack of wins; I’m more disappointed just with the overall loss, but I’m impressed with the fact that they fought.”
In less than a week, the Rams will face three teams during the Albuquerque Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M. CSU will face two of their conference opponents—
New Mexico and San Diego State—as well as New Mexico State. Competition will begin at 3 p.m. MT on Friday, Nov. 2 and continue through Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. MT.
“It’s going to be tough,” Woodard said. “It’s a two-day meet, so it’s a little bit of a different format and gives us a chance to do multiple strokes and see what our kids might look like going into an invitational or conference meet. I think it’s a great opportunity for us to get multiple events and get a little bit more race strategy. But that aside, there’s three teams waiting down there to try to beat us.”