In a tight dual meet that came down to the last two events, Boise State defeated the University of Utah, 156.6-143.5, tonight at the Boise West YMCA.
Boise State’s NCAA Championship veterans, Sam Wicks, Jessica Bottelberghe, Katelyn Martin, and Brittany Aoyama, played a key role in Boise’s win, especially in the last two events, the 200 I.M. and 200 Freestyle Relay, which Boise would take to seal the deal.
Amanda Casillas lead the Utes to an 11-8 lead over the Broncos, starting the meet with the 3 Meter Diving event. Boise State did not waste any time overcoming their deficit, as they took first (1:42.46) and third place (1:45.13) in the 200 Medley Relay, with the Utes coming in second (1:45.00). Boise State freshman, Emma Chard, split a 22.84 to anchor the winning relay.
Utah freshman, Maddie Meisel easily won the 1000 Free (10:18.99), with fellow freshman Kat Wickam picking up a fourth place finish (10:30.57) for a few points. The Broncos would answer with a sweep in the 200 Free. Emma Chard won in 1:49.99, followed by her teammates Felicity Cann (1:50.28) and freshman Monica Bottelberghe (1:53.69).
Boise’s Sam Wicks won the 100 Back in 55.87 to extend her team’s lead, as Utah’s Stina Colleou limited the damage by winning the 100 Breast in 1:04.54. The 200 Fly proved to be a close race, with Utah’s Petra Soininen winning in 2:04.29, followed by Boise’s Jessica Bottelberghe (2:04.80) and Utah’s Isabella Kearns (2:05.12). Boise continued to put the Utes away in the 50 Free, with Brittany Aoyama (23.24) and Katelyn Martin (23.76) finishing first and second.
Utah outscored Boise in the second diving event (1 Meter) as well, with Jasmine Matkovic leading the way. Boise’s Sam Wicks battled Utah freshman Dorien Butter in the 100 Free, winning in 51.42 to Butter’s 51.81. Picking up third was Emma Chard (52.25). Utah had a sweep of their own in the 200 Back, with Amanda Barrett (2:02.34), Megan Kawaguchi (2:04.63), and Hailey Pabst (2:06.43).
Utah continued their comeback with a one-two finish in the 200 Breast by Stina Colleou (2:17.65) and Brianna Francis (2:21.41). The 500 Free would be the last event the Utes would win, with Maddie Meisel (4:58.43) edging out Boise’s Felicity Cann (4:59.59). Boise’s Brittany Aoyama ended Utah’s momentum, winning the 100 Fly in 54.94 to Utah’s Petra Soininen (55.83).
Utah was close to coming away with the win tonight, but Boise took control of the meet in the last two events, using their depth and relay speed. Sam Wicks won her third event of the night in the 200 I.M., with a 2:04.69 against teammate and freshman Morgan McClure (2:07.81). Boise would also take first place in the 200 Freestyle Relay in 1:33.39 to Utah’s 1:34.11, to secure their meet victory.
Boise State’s Head Coach, Kristin Hill, believed that her team was able to use their level of experience to come away with the win in a close meet. “Utah’s a great team and to come away with a win in a head-to-head competition against a team with their strength is very exciting,” said Hill. “Our relays were outstanding and this was definitely the highest-level opening-season meet that we’ve ever had. And I have to thank our great fans for coming out in such numbers to support us tonight, it made for a great atmosphere.”
Utah Head Coach, Joe Dykstra, was pleased with the performance of his swimmers. “I am proud of how hard we fought today,” said Dykstra. “We went down early in the meet, really fought back over the back-half and nearly pulled it out on the last relay. Boise swam exceptionally well and we really struggled adapting to a very tough facility to get accustomed to.”