January 18, 2014

Swimming & diving again wins two duals at the Academy

By HEATHER KENNEDY
UNCBears.com

USAFA, Colo. – The Northern Colorado swimming & diving team won another two duals at the Air Force Quadrangular on Saturday, ending the weekend with a 4-2 overall record after a pair of victories over North Dakota and Seattle.

On Saturday, the Bears defeated UND 129-95 and Seattle 152-69 and got closer to the host Falcons, losing 123-99.

"We had just as good of a day today as we did yesterday," Head Coach Kelly McClanahan said. "Air Force is a very intimidating place to swim at 7200 feet. The girls tackled that with ease both days. Going 4-0 against Seattle and UND for the weekend bodes well for our conference placing against them. We kept it much closer with AFA today. All we needed was two more wins and we would've had them. We scored high against Seattle, taking 9 of the 12, and 8 of the 12 with UND."

The 200 yard medley relay team consisting of senior Courtney Van Oost (Elgin, Ill.), senior Renee Stephens (Loveland, Colo.), freshman Kimberly Kuni (Littlerock, Calif.) and senior Gina Riggle (Eaton, Colo.) got things started for the Bears with a second-place finish in 1:49.07.

Riggle then won the 50 free in 24.29 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.00. Van Oost won the 200 IM in 2:12.21 and clocked a 59.18 in the 100 back for second place. Fellow senior Kira Alger (Monument, Colo.) finished second in the 100 free after timing a 54.39.

"By far Gina, Kira, Melissa and Courtney were big standouts in both meets," McClanahan said. "They put up some excellent times along with big points. However, all the girls performed as good, if not better, in-season times in most their events."

Freshman Carleigh Barrett (Oshawa, Ontario) touched the wall second in the 1000 free after swimming a 10:56.52 and she later swam a 5:23.24 in the 500 free for fifth place. Kuni clocked a 59.61 in the 100 fly for third place.

The quartet of junior Melissa Tillman (Superior, Colo.), junior Kellie Burke (Carlsbad, Calif.), junior Brenna Boese (Billings, Mont.) and Alger capped off the stellar weekend by winning the 400 free relay in 3:36.70, winning by over two seconds.

"I am extremely proud of this team," McClanahan concluded. "They came down here to fight for every point and show no mercy to their opponents.  They are still in the peak of their toughest training for the year, so what they did this weekend is a testament to their sheer will to perform.  I can't wait to see them against CSU in two weeks. We hope to have home pool advantage with a big crowd to make a lot of noise."