Nov. 2, 2012
By Sarah Thomsen
Athletic Media Relations
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—The Rams began the Albuquerque Invitational at the Seidler Natatorium with a slow start, and trail their three opponents after the first day of competition: San Diego State (34-114), New Mexico (59-89) and New Mexico State (54.5-93.5).
“We had one of our worst showings,” Head Coach Christopher Woodard said. “We’ve racked up our share of injuries, before the invitational and during, but that’s no excuse by any means. We’ve got to rally tomorrow.”
CSU began the invitational with a fifth-place finish in the 200 Freestyle Relay, beating New Mexico State by more than two seconds. However, the Rams were not able to gain a lead over any of their opponents from that point on.
Senior captain Breann Fuller emerged as the star Ram of the day with her performance in the 200 Backstroke. Fuller took the lone first-place finish for CSU at 2:03.55. CSU was able to slip by San Diego State’s Melanie Garibaldi, who finished just behind Fuller at 2:03.64.
Fellow senior captain Kelly Mathews earned her season-best time in the 200 Breaststroke for a third-place finish. Mathews shortened her previous season-best time by more than two seconds, from 2:36.86 to 2:24.84. Freshman Erica Stock followed Mathews in fourth place, at 2:26.35.
“Kelly swam a much smarter race in the 200 than she has thus far," Woodard said. "It was more her typical race strategy that I haven’t seen before. Breann was getting reeled in during the last 25 meters and she fought (Garibaldi) off in the last 10 meters to get the touch. It just speaks to her determination and professionalism. They both really performed well.”
The Rams hope to rack up points and wins Saturday during the final day of the invitational. Saturday’s events will begin at 10 a.m. MT, and will include the 200 Medley Relay, 1000 Freestyle, 200 Freestyle, 100 Backstroke, 100 Breaststroke, 200 Butterfly, 50 Freestyle, 400 Freestyle Relay and 1-meter diving.
“We’ve got ourselves a bit of a hole, so we have to perform well across the board,” Woodard said. “There’s no way we have any event where we can let it go. We need to swim the way we did against Wyoming.”