COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-Boise State women's swimming and diving was picked to finish second in the Mountain West by a vote of the conference coaches, the MW announced Tuesday. The Broncos led the way with five first-place votes and totaled 59 points, but finished one point behind San Diego State (60) in the preseason projections.
Boise State is the defending champion, topping the Aztecs by five points at the 2012 MW Championships in the closest team race in meet history. SDSU won the 2011 crown. The Broncos were also picked to finish second behind the Aztecs in the 2011-12 preseason poll.
Head coach Kristin Hill and the Broncos return 18 letterwinners from the championship team, including nine All-MW performers and two individual champions. Senior Christine Raininger (400-yard individual medley) and sophomore Sydney Johansen (200-yard individual medley) took home gold at the 2012 meet.
Johansen and senior Stevie Hughey also return for the 2012-13 season as All-Americans. The duo helped Boise State's 200-yard freestyle relay to a 16th-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Championships after becoming the first relay to be invited to the national meet from a MW school in conference history. Johansen also competed in three individual events at the championships while Hughey swam in two.
Boise State opens its seventh season of swimming and diving Saturday, Oct. 6, in Moscow, Idaho, against in-state rival Idaho. Through the first six years of the program's history, all under Hill, the Broncos have already won three-consecutive conference titles after taking the Western Athletic Conference in their final two seasons as a member of the league.
The Broncos will compete against two conference opponents before trying to defend their crown at the 2013 MW Championships. Boise State hosts Wyoming Jan. 19, at the West YMCA and faces Colorado State Jan. 26, in Fort Collins, Colo. The conference meet will take place Feb. 20-23, at Palo Alto Natatorium in San Antonio.
2012-13 Preseason Women's Swimming and Diving Coaches' Poll
Place Team (first-place votes) Points
1. San Diego State (4) 60
2. Boise State (5) 59
3. UNLV 48
4. Wyoming 47
5. Colorado State 34
6. New Mexico 26
7. Fresno State 22
8. Nevada 17
9. Air Force 11