Feb. 16, 2017
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Two more titles made their way to the Bronco camp Thursday night at the Mountain West Swimming and Diving Championships as Boise State captured the 200 free relay and senior Katelyn Martin claimed the 50 free crown. The performances helped Boise State up its team score to 605.5 and extend its lead in the team standings to 105.5 points over second-place Nevada.
Nevada, with 490 points, is ahead of third-place San Diego State (437) and Wyoming (400). Day Three of the championship meet begins Friday at 10 a.m. MT with prelims. The event schedule for Friday is the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast and 100 back, with the 400 medley relay in the evening.
"It was a party-like atmosphere here on the sideline. When you sweep an event at conference like this, its tough to do and the 50 free is a fun event," said Boise State head coach Jeremy Kipp. "They were all best times. If you look in the earlier finals, Cody Evans went with a lifetime best and Emmie Jennings won the C Final. You just get these swims going 'boom boom boom' and its a lot of fun."
The highlight of the night for the Broncos, in a night full of them, was the team's dominance of the 50 free. Boise State posted four of the top-five times in prelims, and had its school record in the event established twice. Brittany Aoyama set the school record with a 22.21 in prelims, eclipsing the six-year-old mark of 22.30 set by Amber Boucher at the 2011 WAC Championships, and Martin lowered it further to 22.11 with her victory in the final. Martin led a top-three sweep of the podium in the event, with Aoyama (22.38) and Abbey Sorensen (22.57) rounding it out. Ally Kleinsorgen finished fifth at 22.73.
"Katelyn's been chasing after that for four years, it's the culmination of a lot of hard work, a lot of weights lifted. It's one of those special moments in swimming where you just watch a kid in their senior year have a big breakthrough," Kipp said about Martin's win.
Cody Evans fought to a second-place finish in the B Final with a time of 23.01, while in the C Final, Emmie Jennings topped the field at 22.97 with Monica Bottelberghe in fifth at 23.47.
The night opened with the Broncos remaining perfect in their relay performance this week as the sprint foursome of Aoyama, Martin, Sorensen and Kleinsorgen took the 200 free relay in 1:28.43, setting another Mountain West and Boise State record. The mark, which also qualifies the relay for the NCAA Championships, eclipsed San Diego State's conference record of 1:28.65 set two years ago, as well as Boise State's school mark of 1:28.93 set at last year's championship meet.
"More importantly the win was an A cut at the NCAAs and those things are hard to come by. When you get one or two of those it makes a big team statement," Kipp said. "Its huge, its momentum. This is a grind. We have four more sessions and there's a lot more swimming and diving left. We still have a lot of work to do."
Up next was the 500 free finals, which featured the Bronco trio of Felicity Cann, Emma Chard and Amelia Draney. For the second-straight year, Chard dueled three-time champion Genevieve Miller from Air Force, but for the second year in a row Miller held off Chard's final charge, as the Bronco junior came up 0.24 of a second short, taking second but besting her own Boise State record with a time of 4:39.22. Draney took sixth in 4:49.93 and Cann seventh in 4:50.03.
"Emma battled a seasoned veteran. Going under 4:40 in the 500 is a milestone and another school record that gives her a lot of confidence heading into the 200 tomorrow," Kipp noted.
Boise State picked up additional points from the event's B Final, as Alyssa Schultz took second in 4:51.81 for an overall 10th-place finish, and Mandy Barnes posted a seventh-place finish in 4:56.02 to take 15th overall.
The final swimming event of the night, the 200 IM, featured Robin Pinger and Emily Mathis in the A Final. Pinger put up a game effort, taking second in 2:00.27 while Mathis clocked 2:01.39 to finish sixth.
In the B Final, Laura Williams clocked a 2:02.58 to take third (11th overall) and earn key points for the Broncos.
The divers were in action on 3-meter springboard, and for the second-straight night junior Kacee Olson came up big on her final dive of prelims to nab a spot in the A Final. Olson scored 51.00 on her final dive of prelims to finish with an overall score of 273.50 and clinch a spot in the night's championship final. There, she scored 287.40 to take eighth overall, her second top-eight performance of the weekend.