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Swimming & diving preview: Rams return home to face Broncos

Jan. 24, 2013

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The Rams ready themselves for their first home dual meet since October when they face Boise State on Saturday (12:30 p.m. MT) The pool will be heated with fierce competition against the No. 1 team to beat in the conference, Boise State.

“It’ll be nice to be back in the confines of our own house, where we’re familiar with our pool, our blocks, our lanes,” Head Coach Christopher Woodard said. “Being in our pool, where we train every day, we should be able to take advantage of that. It should be something that we know. Having our crowd, our locker room, our beds to sleep in the night before, it should all be an advantage for us.”

2012 MW Champion Boise State Broncos
The Broncos are the top team to beat in the Mountain West. In one of the closest victories in Mountain West Championships history, Boise State toppled San Diego State, the reigning champs, by five points. The team also racked up two conference titles in the Western Athletic Conference, in 2010 and 2011.

Boise State is going after another winning season with two school records already broken and three athletes honored in the MW’s weekly awards. No MW opponent has beaten the Broncos in a dual meet this season.

“If you want to get better, you want to compete against the teams who are potentially better than you; they’re the No. 1 team in our conference, so we need to be aggressive,” Woodard said.

Diving at Air Force
While the swim team will host the Broncos, CSU’s diving team will travel south to Colorado Springs. There, CSU’s squad will compete against Air Force, Boise State, BYU, Colorado College, Idaho, New Mexico, Northern Arizona, San Diego State, UCLA, UNLV and Wyoming.

The 12-team competition will begin on Friday with the 1-meter prelims and finals, followed by the platform dives. On Saturday, the 3-meter jumps will take place.

The Road to the Championships
The 2013 MW Championships are just on the horizon for the Rams. With only three dual meets left before Championships, every opportunity to practice is being fully embraced. Between Saturday and Feb. 2, a three-day period, CSU will compete in three dual meets. The tough schedule should give the athletes an opportunity to practice fighting through fatigue, which will come in handy when the Championships roll around in February with day and night swims.

“We’ve had a lot of meets back to back, and that doesn’t bother me, especially during the home stretch,” Woodard said. “We have to get ready to race every three or four days and not race tired. It prepares us for Mountain West Championships.”

Backstroke Battle
Saturday’s meet will feature some of the Mountain West’s top backstroke competitors.  CSU’s Breann Fuller holds the top times in the conference this season for the 100 and 200 Backstroke. Boise State’s Devin Madsen has already broken school records, and is looking to continue her speed into Saturday’s showdown.

Fuller, who holds the school record in the 100 and 200 Backstroke events, is in strong position to break more records and earn some respect nationally. In fact, in a November swim, she came within eight-hundredths of a second from breaking her own mark. Head Coach Christopher Woodard says she’s just getting started.

“Breann is absolutely our anchor,” Woodard said. “She’s our best athlete, and I think our entire team is excited to watch her try to regain her Mountain West crown and compete in the NCAA Championships.”

Fuller, who is from Brighton, Colo., and redshirted a year ago, has been the MW champion in either the 100 or 200 Backstroke—or both—all three years of her career and holds several school records. She currently ranks in the top 25 nationally in both events. Fuller has also expanded her talents into the Sprint Freestyle events and currently holds the fastest times on the team in the 50, 100 and 200 Freestyle races.

Boise State freshman Devin Madsen will pose a challenge to Fuller’s unblemished record, however. Madsen claimed the school record at the Missouri Invitational in December in the 200 Backstroke with a time uncomfortably close to Fuller’s season best of 1:57.78. Madsen also holds the third-fastest time in Boise State history in the 100 Backstroke. The MW awarded Madsen with the swimmer of the week for her performance against Oregon State, where she breezed past her rivals into first place in the 100 and 200 Backstroke events.



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