Nov. 16, 2012
By Sarah Thomsen
Athletic Media Relations
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Swimming & diving team found its rhythm during the second day of the three-day Tennessee Invitational, and moved up from fourth place to third on Friday. The teams stand with tight competition for second place as Tennessee (868) has already locked in first place, followed by Kentucky (565), Colorado State (519.5) and Duke (407.5).
“The middle night is crucial,” Head Coach Christopher Woodard said. “There are so many events that it can be a day where a team moves up in rankings.”
The Rams began the finals with their best 200 Medley Relay time of the season, at 1:42.42. The relay team of Breann Fuller, Kelly Mathews, Arianne Lujan and Tess Simpson was able to stay just ahead of Duke for the race, winning second place by 0.24 seconds.
“They had really good exchanges,” Woodard said. “The girls swam really well . . . Both A and B teams performed well.”
CSU continued its success into the 400 IM finals, where Arianne Lujan claimed sixth, at 4:30.04. Lujan shortened her time by four seconds from the preliminary competitions held in the morning. Freshman Erica Stock followed close behind Lujan, in eighth place.
Fuller took CSU’s single first-place finish of the night in the 100 Backstroke. The senior sped through the pool in the prelims (53.34) with her fastest time of the season, brushing within a half-second of her school record (52.92).
The Rams raked in the points from the performances of Mathews, Stock, Simpson and Lujan in the 100 Breaststroke. Mathews took third with a finals time just shy of her lifetime best at 1:03.69. Stock came in fifth for her season best. Simpson placed sixth, only a fraction of a second behind Stock, and Lujan placed eighth. The combined effort boosted the Rams forward by 54 points.
“All four of the girls had very strong technical swims. That event was a big splash of points for us,” Woodard said.
On the 1-meter boards, Mary Kate Hardy had the teams’ highest placement, in sixth, and was followed by Maxelise Thorn in seventh.
With only 45.5 points separating CSU from Kentucky, the Rams are within reach of a second-place finish. The final day of the invitational will include the 1650 Freestyle, 200 Backstroke, 100 Freestyle, 200 Breaststroke, 200 Butterfly, 400 Freestyle Relay and Platform diving.
“The last day is where fatigue cuts in and let things slip away, but we’ll get rested up and refocused and push through the last two sessions, and then they will get some much deserved rest with Thanksgiving break,” Woodard said.
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