Feb. 19, 2015
SAN ANTONIO - Boise State got a runner-up finish from Sam Wicks in the 200 IM and a third-place effort from diver Erin Kohlbeck to highlight Thursday night's action at the Mountain West Swimming & Diving Championships. Their performances helped the Broncos hold on to its slim edge on the team scoreboard, as Boise State's total of 275 remained seven points ahead of second-place San Diego State (268).
Action will continue Friday at Palo Alto College Aquatic Center in San Antonio, with prelims beginning at 11 a.m. Friday's event card features the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, with finals for those events as well as the 400 medley relay taking place in the night session at 6:30 p.m.
"I think we had a great night, a lot of highlights. We had some swimmers who weren't able to go as fast in the morning but they did the rights things to get into their finals," said Boise State head coach Kristin Hill.
Wicks, who entered the weekend as owner of Boise State's 200 IM record (1:58.83), twice broke that mark Thursday night. The Anchorage, Alaska native swam a 1:58.44 to top the qualifying field in the afternoon then dropped the record to 1:58.06 in the A final. Despite the record swim, however, Wicks was clipped by Nevada's Yawen Li (1:57.59) just past the halfway point of the final and had to settle for second place.
"If you'd have told me that it would've taken a one-fifty-seven-five to win this year I wouldn't have believed you, so it was great to see [Wicks and Li] feed off of each other and race well," Hill said about the 200 IM final. "Sam beat her entry times by eight-tenths by the end of the night, which was phenomenal, and her time should be good enough to get her invited to the NCAAs as an individual. It would've been great for her to win but when someone beats you going that fast there's not a lot you can do."
Senior Sydney Johansen clocked a 2:01.11 in the final, which along with her 2:00.92 in the prelims stood as NCAA B Standards. Jessica Bottelberghe would also score in the event with an 11th-place finish.
Another record was set Thursday as Kohlbeck's 3-meter springboard score of 337.40 eclipsed Ciera Cortney's championship-record total of 321.25 set on Dec. 7, 2013. Kohlbeck ended up third in the event, missing out on second place by just seven-tenths of a point behind Colorado State's Ariana Milone (338.10). Nevada's Krysta Palmer captured the title with a core of 359.40.
The Broncos earned eight points from the 3-meter springboard consolation final as sophomores Karli Kriewall and Jordan Marthens finished 11th and 15th overall, respectively. Kriewall scored 271.75 in the six-round consolation while Marthens posted a 217.45.
Freshman Kiley Carlson was 19th in the prelims with a score of 228.30.
"It was another good day for the divers. We struggled a bit but still managed to bring three back [to the finals]," said Boise State diving coach John Lynch. "I'm really proud of Erin for stepping up tonight in the final, taking third and setting a new school record."
The Broncos made a move on the team scoreboard in the 500 free, qualifying three swimmers, Felicity Cann, Amelia Draney, Emri Moore into the 500 free A final with two more in the B final (Emma Chard, Blake Balogh). Draney (4:50.39), Moore (4:52.38) and Cann (4:53.98) would finish sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively, while Chard would top the B final in 4:47.40 with Blake Balogh (4:52.72) finishing fourth for an overall 12th-place finish.
Although the Broncos got strong efforts in the finals of the 50 free, San Diego State was able to make up its lost ground and get back to seven points behind with three of the top four finishes. Katelyn Martin (22.88) and Brittany Aoyama (23.09) took fifth and seventh, respectively, but the Aztecs finished 1-2 with Anika Apostalon (21.82) and Chelsea Bailey (22.47) with Taylor Johnson (22.81) getting fourth.
Martin's 50-free time of 22.88 gave her an NCAA B Standard in the event for the first time this season.
Also hurting the Broncos in the 50 free was no representation in the B final, while San Diego State finished 11th and 15th overall to pick up eight more points.
While the Broncos, with 275 points, and the Aztecs, with 268, are almost neck-and-neck atop the scoreboard, Nevada is third with 216 points, UNLV (140) is fourth and Wyoming rounds out the top five with 122.5 points.