Swimming & diving gears up for 2012-13 season

Oct. 15, 2012

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The Colorado State Rams open the 2012-13 swimming & diving season with a pool overflowing with new and returning talent. CSU begins its dual-meet season with confidence, high expectations and the capacity to achieve its ambitious goals.

“I want to move up in the conference this season,” Head Coach Christopher Woodard said, “without a doubt that has to happen. I expect us to be at .500 or above in our dual meets. I expect that we’re going to the NCAA Championships. I don’t know who or how many, but our expectation is CSU will be there.”

With 10 returning seniors, five schoolrecord-holders, three 2012 all-conference athletes and one 2012 conference champion, the Rams are positioned for an electrifying season. Seniors—Tara DeMuth, Tasia DeMuth, Breann Fuller, Mary Foster, Chelea Kelley, Arianne Lujan, Madeline Mitchell, Kelly Mathews, Shelley Perkins and Lydia Templin—collectively bring back the experience of school record holders, MW champions and all-conference athletes.

Fuller, a captain, NCAA qualifier and four-time Mountain West champion, jumps back in the competition pool after redshirting during the 2011-12 season. Fuller has been heavily relied on in the backstroke and sprint freestyle events throughout her collegiate career and holds four individual and relay school records. CSU’s intimidating backstroke duo is completed with all-conference junior Yana Garvey, who finished eighth in the 100 Backstroke at the 2012 MW Championships. 

“As long as Breann remains healthy,” Woodard said, “she should be the shot in the arm that we really need. She trains as hard as she races, so we’re expecting a lot out of her this season.”

Joining Fuller as captains are Kelly Mathews, a school record-holder in the breaststroke, and Arianne Lujan, who placed second in the 200 IM.

CSU returns sophomore Tovè Törnström, the unexpected MW champion in the 200 Butterfly, for her first full year of competition. Törnström, a native of Linköpling, Sweden, with only six weeks of preparation in America, took all-conference honors for her first-place finish in the 200 Fly. Törnström shortened her time from the prelims by over a second in the finals to finish at 1:58.08. With her time, Törnström set a school record that had been untouched since Kerry Gillespie’s effort in 1985.

“I’m hoping the full season at altitude will help to build her endurance for the 500 Freestyle and fly events,” Woodard said.

The impressive lineup of veterans is amplified by a talented freshman class with Olympic Trials qualifier, Erica Stock; Texas state champion, Jessica Shepard; Senior National diver Ariana Milone; and eight others who look to help the Rams move up in the conference standings.
Transfer Erin Foster joins the Rams and her older sister Mary, with her sights set on recapturing her Olympic Trials form from two years ago.

“Erin brings a wealth of national-level talent that is hard to overlook,” Woodard said. “She will need some time to recapture her prior form, but once she does, she will be a major competitor for the Rams within the conference and on the national stage.”

Woodard opens his second year as head coach with a dual meet against the Denver Pioneers at the El Pomar Natatorium on Oct. 20. The Rams will then face Wyoming the following week (Oct. 27 at Moby Pool) in the first of three home meets. The meet is an Orange Out, with the first 100 fans receiving a free orange T-shirt.

“My hope is to be strong right out of the gate,” Woodard said. “That’s why we scheduled Denver and Wyoming early in the season, so we can test ourselves. My expectation for this season is to be above a .500 in dual meets and to improve in conference standings.”