February 18, 2012

Moldenhauer's platform record Bears' top story as MPSF Championships close

MONTERREY PARK, Calif. and USAFA, Colo. -- Sara Moldenhauer broke Northern Colorado's platform diving record Saturday on the final day of the 2012 MPSF Swimming and Diving Championships at East Los Angeles College (swimming) and at the Air Force Academy (diving).

Moldenhauer, a junior from Colorado Springs, scored 191.2 points in the event finals to break Sarah Cook's mark of 181.20, set on the platform in 2010.

Moldenhauer finished third in the event Saturday and scored 16 points for the Bears, who totaled 57 points on the day for their best single-day scoring during this year's Championships.

They ended in a tie for eighth place with Loyola Marymount in the final team standings.

The Bears' foursome of Brenna Boese, Jessica Reed-Baum, Kira Alger and Gina Riggle aided that push by adding 18 points with a ninth-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

"The team finished great on the last day," Northern Colorado coach Kelly McClanahan said. "We were able to make up enough points to finish with a tie with LMU, who beat us last year. We had a lot of night swims, and the girls did their absolute best to swim as well or faster than they did during their morning swims.

"I am thrilled with how Sara performed on platform today. She's only had the opportunity to get on platform to train three times this year, so to finish third and to break the school record is simply amazing."

Sophomore Courtney Van Oost finished her strong showing at the Championships with an eighth-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke. Her time of two minutes, 2.23 seconds in the preliminaries is the third-best time in school history.

She slowed a bit in the final, timing a 2:03.46, but that was still the fifth-fastest time in school history and good enough for 11 points for the Bears.

Sophomore Gina Riggle also earned points for Northern Colorado, claiming four with a 13th-place finish in the 200 back (2:20.22).

"I only saw good things from this team and their performances this weekend," McClanahan said. "Most of our relay teams were comprised of sophomores and freshmen, so those groups will continue to get even stronger.

"We didn't get a lot of scoring heat swims, but to have freshmen making it in any heat at night shows they are not afraid to compete at this level. These girls had a great meet, performed great times and scored good points. They have earned this time to celebrate the season."