Boise State and Nevada Selected As Favorites to Win 2016 Mountain West Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships Title
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A voting panel comprised of the 10 Mountain West head women’s swimming & diving coaches have selected Boise State and Nevada as the favorites to win the 2016 MW championship title. The Broncos and Wolf Pack each collected three first-place votes and 73¬ total points. San Diego State was a close third-place pick with 70 points and three first-place votes. Wyoming earned up the remaining first-place vote and 60 points for fourth. UNLV (43 points) claimed fifth place, while Air Force and New Mexico were sixth and seventh with 35 and 31 points, respectively. San José State (eighth, 28 points), Fresno State (ninth, 24 points) and Colorado State (10th, 13 points) round out the poll.
The 2016 Mountain West Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships will be held next week at the Texas A&M Natatorium in College Station, Texas. Competition will begin on Wednesday, February 17 at 12:30 p.m. CT with the 1-meter springboard preliminaries and run through Saturday, February 20. Each day will begin with preliminary heats in the morning, followed by finals sessions at 6:30 p.m. CT. Saturday’s finals session will begin at 6 p.m. CT with the annual Senior Recognition Ceremony.
Boise State and San Diego State have each won two titles since 2011-12. BSU earned the crown in 2012 and 2014, while the Aztecs claimed the 2013 and 2015 titles. Since becoming an MW member in 2012-13, Nevada has pushed its way into the favorites’ conversation with back-to-back third-place finishes in 2014 and 2015. Wyoming also is in contention, placing third or fourth in each of the last four meets.
Live video and results, team scores, event highlights and more from the meet is available on the MW Women’s Swimming & Diving Championship Central page at TheMW.com. All live broadcasts are free of charge.
In addition, fans can watch live video on their mobile devices for free with the MW mobile app. Real-time results are also available on mobile devices through the Meet Mobile app for a nominal fee of $1.99 per month. The Mountain West and Active Network applications can be downloaded from the Apple App Store for iPhones and iPads, and from Google Play for Android phones and tablets.
Fans also can follow the championships through the league’s social media channels on Twitter (@MW_OlySports), YouTube (MountainWestConf), Facebook (MountainWestConference), Snapchat https://www.snapchat.com/add/mountainwest and Instagram (MountainWestConference) for updates on each day’s events. Followers are encouraged to use the hashtag #MWSD16 when posting throughout the week.
50-yard freestyle – Six student-athletes have posted NCAA ‘B’ cut times in the event this season. San Diego State senior Taylor Johnson leads the group with a mark of 22.54, followed by Wyoming senior Emily Ridout with a 22.66. UNLV senior Julia Fehervari and Wyoming’s Isobel Ryan (Fr.) posted season-highs of 22.70 and 22.87, respectively. Boise State junior Katelyn Martin (22.92) and Fresno State senior Leah Hatayama (22.98) round out the swimmers earning the ‘B’-cut times.
100-yard freestyle – San Diego State senior Savannah Miller and Boise State senior Brittany Aoyama lead the list of four MW swimmers with NCAA ‘B’ cut times in the 100-free at 49.85 and 49.86, respectively. Emily Ridout (49.92) also added the 100 to her list of ‘B’-cuts. SDSU’s Whitney Weisz (Sr.) joins the group with a time of 49.95.
200-yard freestyle – Boise State sophomore Emma Chard holds the top spot in the 200-free with an NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 1:46.52. Chard is the only MW swimmer with an NCAA-qualifying mark in the event heading into the MW Championships. Nevada duo Teresa Baerens (1:48.62) and Rebecca Murray (1:48.89) posted the second and third-best times in the league this season.
500-yard freestyle – Air Force junior Genevieve Miller maintains the league’s top spot in the distance races. Miller has an NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 4:43.77 in the 500 freestyle. Emma Chard also posted a ‘B’ time in the 500 of 4:44.55 set earlier this season at the Texas A&M Natatorium. San José State senior Riley Spitser holds the third-fastest time this season with a ‘B’ mark of 4:46.64, followed by Boise State junior Felicity Cann with a qualifying time of 4:47.57.
1,650-yard freestyle – Genevieve Miller also posted an NCAA ‘B’ cut time in the 1,650-free with a 16:16.13, the second-fastest mark in MW history. Her 1,000-yard freestyle split time of 9:53.33 is also the fastest in the MW this year. Boise State sophomore Amelia Draney posted the second-best time in the league this season at 16:38.81, followed closely by Riley Spitser who clocked a time of 16:39.07.
100-yard backstroke – Swimmers from three different MW teams have posted an NCAA ‘B’ cut in the 100 backstroke in 2015-16. Boise State senior Sam Wicks swam a league-best 53.53, while Bronco rookie Ally Kleinsorgen posted a 54.98. Fresno State freshman Ugne Mazutaityte (54.04) and San José State sophomore Colleen Humel (54.27) have the second and third-best times in the Conference.
200-yard backstroke – Five student-athletes posted NCAA ‘B’ cut times during the regular season, led by Sam Wicks’ 1:54.24, the second-best mark in Conference history. Ugne Mazutaityte posted the seventh-best time in league history with a 1:55.47. Colleen Humel swam a 1:57.53, followed by San Diego State senior Natilee Ruiz with a 1:59.02 and Wyoming sophomore Connor Tarver in 1:59.06.
100-yard breaststroke – UNLV junior Lina Rathsack holds the top time in the MW this year, and fifth-best all-time, with a 1:01.14 to lead the group of four swimmers with NCAA ‘B’ times this season. Wyoming sophomore Maria Harutjunjan (1:01.39) and San Diego State sophomore Taylor Young (1:01.41) join Rathsack in the top spots, while Nevada junior Ary Medina made the cut with a time of 1:02.26.
200-yard breaststroke – Lina Rathsack also holds the top spot in the 200-breast this season with a time of 2:11.83, followed by Taylor Young with a 2:12.58. Also swimming NCAA ‘B’ cut times this year were Maria Harutjunjan (2:14.03) and Colorado State junior Jenna Beaury (2:15.16).
100-yard butterfly – Brittany Aoyama (52.99), SDSU sophomore Summer Harrison (53.25) and Wyoming senior Molly Coonce (53.75) enter this year’s Championship with three of the top times in the Conference for the second year in a row. Sophomore Maria Schroeder of Air Force also swam an NCAA ‘B’ cut time this season (54.43).
200-yard butterfly – Summer Harrison has the MW’s only NCAA ‘B’ cut time in the event this season with a 1:58.01. New Mexico freshman Emily Huffer holds the second-fastest time with a 2:00.22.
200-yard individual medley – Ary Medina leads the group of four MW swimmers with NCAA ‘B’ cut times in the 200-IM with a 1:59.44. Veterans Sam Wicks (2:00.05), Teresa Baerens (2:00.28) and Lina Rathsack (2:00.93) round out the top four.
400-yard individual medley – San Diego State rookie Rachael Kelch is the lone MW swimmer with an NCAA ‘B’ cut time in the 400-IM heading into the MW Championships. Kelch has a time of 4:19.30. Nevada senior Yawen Li holds the second-fastest time in the league this season (4:21.35).
Relays – Boise State boasts four of the top relay times in the MW in 2015-16 – 400-yard freestyle (3:17.41), 800-yard freestyle (7:12.08), 200-yard medley (1:39.79) and 400-yard medley (3:38.11). The Broncos 400-FR relay time meets the provisional standard for the 2016 NCAA Championships. San Diego State paced the league in the 200-yard freestyle at 1:30.32.
1-meter diving – Nevada senior Krysta Palmer leads the group of 19 Mountain West divers who have posted NCAA-qualifying marks in the event. Palmer set a Mountain West record on the 1-meter springboard with a score of 364.12 in Davis, California on October 30, 2015. The Wolf Pack have five divers in the top 11 scores in the league this season. Joining Palmer are freshmen Sharae Zheng (2nd; 360.45), Tamara Shmitova (4th; 308.63), Zoe Lei (6th; 301.06) and Rebekah Dominik (11th; 284.93).
3-meter diving – Krysta Palmer also holds the top mark in the MW this season on the 3-meter springboard with a 381.01. Sharae Zheng (2nd; 364.90) and Zoe Lei (5th; 322.65) are also among the 16 divers with NCAA Zone-qualifying scores. Sophomore Alexandra Caplan of San Diego State and Colorado State senior Ariana Milone round out the top five in the event with scores of 342.38 and 336.75, respectively.
Platform diving – Two MW divers have qualified for NCAA Zones thus far in 2015-16 – Krysta Palmer with a score of 331.35 and Wyoming senior Kari Campbell at 235.15.