November 20, 2010

Swimming & Diving improves to 7-1 with big win over CSU

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Northern Colorado swimming & diving team had arguably its best win since moving to Division I on Saturday, defeating Colorado State at the CSU Invitational, 925-813. The Bears won nine of the 17 events and had two top-10 times in school history in leading them to the 112 point victory.

"We had an amazing day today," said head coach Kelly McClanahan. "To beat CSU by 100 points blows me away. Everyone swam in eight events today. They almost tripled the amount they usually swim and they all swam fast. They swam with the Bear Pride I've been looking for and it was a great meet."

The Bears started things off in the 200 freestyle relay as Kira Alger, Gina Riggle, Courtney Van Oost and Jennifer Smith posted the ninth-fastest time in school history, swimming a 1:39.41.

In the 200 IM, the Bears swept three of the top four spots, led by senior Tori Gutt who won the event with a time of 2:12.50. Gutt also won the 200 breaststroke after clocking a 2:26.99. For her third victory of the afternoon, Gutt posted a time of 4:37.28 in the 400 IM, while Van Oost was right behind her in 4:42.13. Gutt also placed second in the 100 breaststroke after swimming a 1:08.53, losing by just 0.04 of a second.

Smith and Riggle finished first and second in the 50 free with times of 24.55 and 24.84, respectively, both season best times. Smith narrowly missed her career-best time of 24.44 from last year's conference championship. Smith came back to finish second in the 100 free in 54.40, while Alger was right behind her in third in 54.62.

"JJ Smith posted great times, not many people know but she's been swimming injured and she swam times today that were faster than last year at conference. She hasn't been able to swim much but she's in the pool every day kicking and that's made her a better swimmer."

In the 100 backstroke, Van Oost and Sammy Leonard swept the top two spots after touching the wall in 1:00.74 and 1:01.36, respectively. Van Oost also was victorious in the 200 backstroke, clocking a 2:09.61 to win by over three seconds.

Leonard, Donegan, Riggle and Smith combined to win the 200 yard medley relay in 1:49.96, posting the ninth-fastest time in Northern Colorado history, the third time this season the 200 medley team has improved its time.

The 400 freestyle relay also won, as Alger, Gutt, Van Oost and Smith swam a 3:39.86, winning by over five seconds.

Donegan took second in the 1650 free after timing an 18:34.00. Senior Alisha Dauman and Hannah Halstrom finished second and third, respectively in the 200 butterfly and Halstrom also finished third in the 500 free with a time of 5:21.84.

The 400 medley relay quartet of Leonard, Gutt, Van Oost and Smith finished second in 4:01.16, while the 'B' team of Jamie Byrne, Donegan, Riggle and Alger was third in 4:09.15.

"It's a win for us in many ways," McClanahan said. "Morally and confidence wise and of course, improving our record to 7-1. To win two big and hard meets on back-to-back weeks like this is great."

"We're really coming together as a team and I couldn't be any more happy with how they swam," McClanahan concluded. "I'm amazed at how they attacked the meet. It's nice to go into Thanksgiving Break with this win under our belt."