DENVER-Boise State took eight of the 11 swimming events in a dual meet against Denver Friday, at El Pomar Natatorium. Jessica Bottelberghe won the 100- and 200-yard freestyle events while also helping the Broncos to a win in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The final score was 158-83, after adding scores from the preliminary springboard events at the Air Force Diving Invitational.
Despite competing at an elevation of more than 5300 feet, the Broncos posted fast times in multiple events. The winning times in the 50-, 100- and 1000-yard freestyle races were Boise State's fastest since the Missouri Invitational (Nov. 29-Dec. 1).
Sam Wicks collected her first-career individual win with a 23.63 in the 50 freestyle. Wicks also anchored the Broncos' winning 400-yard medley relay. The freshman completed the freestyle leg in 50.49 to overcome an eight-tenths-of-a-second deficit and touch the wall five one-hundredths of a second in front of the Pioneers. The team of Devin Madsen, Sydney Johansen, Stevie Hughey and Wicks stopped the clock at 3:48.59.
The Broncos soon took the drama out of the meet by winning the first three individual events and claiming three of the five scoring positions in each of them.
Jennifer Cahill set the pace with a win in the 1000-yard freestyle, clocking a 10:24.26. The win is Cahill's 25th individual victory of her career. Emri Moore (10:34.59) and Megan Myers (10:43.75) finished third and fourth, respectively.
Bottelberghe followed with her first win of the day in the 200 freestyle. She finished in 1:52.16, ahead of teammate Blake Balogh whose 1:54.02 was good for second place. Brooke Balogh clocked a 1:54.55 to take fourth.
Wicks broke through in the 50 freestyle, with Hughey taking third (23.91), to give the Broncos a sizeable lead in the team race. Wicks out-touched Denver's Sam Corea (23.70), who ranks 65th in the country in the event. Wicks' mark of 23.63 is the fastest by a Bronco in a dual meet this season and the fastest by a freshman in a dual meet in school history.
Bottelberghe's win in the 100 freestyle came in 51.30 and gave her eight individual victories on the season, tied with Madsen for the team lead. In Boise State's last four meets Bottelberghe has swept the 100- and 200-yard freestyle races three times, only finishing behind a trio of 2012 All-Americans during the stretch.
Rachel Heaney continued to dominate the 200-yard butterfly, winning by more than three seconds. Heaney swam a 2:02.15 for her sixth win of the season in the event. She has won the 200 butterfly 14 times in her career and now owns the top 10 dual-meet times in the event in school history.
Chelsea Miller rounded out the individual winners for Boise State, claiming the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:19.40. Miller has won the last three 200 breaststroke races.
The meet finished with a Boise State win in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Hughey, Bottelberghe, Madsen and Johansen finished in 3:27.96, nearly four seconds ahead of Denver.
Boise State posted a handful of runner-up finishes in addition to Blake Balogh's 200 freestyle. Wicks took second in the 100 freestyle, Cahill was second in the 500-yard freestyle, Madsen touched second in the 200-yard backstroke, Johansen finished runner up in the 200-yard individual medley, Brooke Balogh rounded out a 1-2 finish in the 200 butterfly as did Emily Campbell in the 200 breaststroke.
The Broncos also scored a 1-2 finish in one-meter diving. Ciera Cortney and Lexi Pfeiffer finished first and second among Boise State and Denver divers during prelims of the Air Force Diving Invitational. Cortney finished third overall in the one-meter competition with a score of 276.95 in the finals, the second-highest score on one-meter at a championship-style meet in school history. The Las Vegas native was also Boise State's highest finisher in the platform event, placing eighth with a score of 198.95.
Cortney qualified sixth during prelims, with a score of 269.55. That score is good for sixth all-time at a championship-style meet. Of the eight finalists, four represented Mountain West schools. Cortney finished first among the conference competitors. She was third among Mountain West divers in the platform event.
Pfeiffer narrowly missed making finals of the one-meter event. Pfeiffer scored 259.00 in prelims, 4.45 points away from the eighth and final qualifying spot. Still, her score is a career best for a championship-style meet. Pfeiffer also finished 13th on platform with a 182.10.
The Bronco swimmers will return to action Saturday, against Colorado State. The meet begins at noon (MT) in Fort Collins, Colo. The divers will take part in the three-meter competition Saturday, to complete their stay at the Air Force Diving Invitational.
NOTE: The swimming times listed above DO NOT reflect altitude adjustments. According the NCAA Handbook the following adjustments may be made to times achieved at altitudes between 4251-6500 feet (El Pomar Natatorium is 5330 feet above sea level): 100-yard events may subtract 0.10 seconds; 200-yard events may subtract 1.20 seconds; 400 and 500-yard events may subtract 5.0 seconds; 1000-yard events may subtract 11.4 seconds. These alterations were not made because altitude-adjusted times do not qualify for records.