The Colorado State Rams will head to College Station, Texas, along with the other nine Mountain West programs for the 2017 MW Swimming & Diving Championship at the Texas A&M Natatorium. The four-day event begins Wednesday.
The Rams will be looking to improve upon their eighth-place finish from a year ago. CSU broke a pair of school records at the event last season, setting new all-time marks in both the 200 and 400 medley relays. Multiple school records will like again in jeopardy this week.
Junior transfer Rowan Hauber and sophomore Tonicia Thomas will look to produce in both the 100 and 200 backstroke events, and senior Jenna Beaury will aim for the record books in both breaststroke events. The 400 IM will also likely be a productive event for the Rams, with the entire unit capable of scoring points in the new 24-place scoring format.
Sophomore Haley Rowley has been a standout for the Rams this season, already setting four school records and collecting a pair of NCAA ‘B’ cut times. Rowley will look to pace the Rams crew in the 400 IM, as well as the distance swims.
The Rams finished 3-2 in dual meets this season, including a 3-1 mark at home. The Rams won their final dual meet of the season against Northern Colorado on Feb. 1 at Moby Pool. Seniors Emily Williams (diving) and Meg Lloyd each won a pair of events in their last career home dual.
Nevada won the 2016 MW title, narrowly beating out Boise State, 664-651. San Diego State won the title in 2015, and the Broncos topped the conference in 2014. That trio of schools has combined for every league title since 2012. The Rams totaled 223 points last year.
(On the team’s attitude entering the MW Championship)
“I think they feel optimistic and they feel that they accomplished quite a bit during the season in terms of their training and time standards that they laid down. I think they are all very excited and have confidence in each other and are all ready to go.”
(On how the team stacks up against the MW competition)
“It’s hard to say because there was over half of the conference we didn’t see, and even the teams that we do see it’s so different. There could be personnel changes from week to week that changes things. For us the goal is to make moves on the teams that are traditionally around us in the rankings. When it comes to stacking up against them, I feel good because we have some top end kids and we have great depth especially in some key events like the 400IM. I feel good with our chances to move up the rankings.”
(On competing in a traditionally fast pool in College Station)
“We like to say it doesn’t matter, and we like swimming at home because it’s our environment, but when you go somewhere like that, the energy level just automatically increases. We are really excited to be back in College Station and to perform at the Texas A&M Natatorium.”
HOW RAMS RANK IN MW
The Rams have seven athletes who rank in the top 10 in the Mountain West across 10 different events. Haley Rowley ranks well in four events, including a No. 3 ranking in the 400 IM and both the 1000 and 1650 freestyle events. She also ranks sixth in the 500 freestyle. Rowan Hauber is top five in the 100 and 200 backstroke, including third in the 200. Tonicia Thomas ranks fifth in the 200 back, as well. Jenna Beaury owns two top-five marks in the 100 and 200 breaststroke, including the second-best mark in the 200 breast. Allie Jacobs joins Rowley on the 400 IM leaderboard, ranking fifth.
B’s IN THE POOL, A’s IN THE CLASSROOM
CSU has produced strong efforts in and out of the pool this year. Four Rams have combined for six NCAA ‘B’ cut times. Sophomore Haley Rowley (400 IM, 1650 free) and junior Rowan Hauber (100 & 200 back) each lead with two ‘B’ times, while Tonicia Thomas (200 back) and Jenna Beaury (200 breast) also reached the plateau. Three Rams (Elizabeth Prasse, Emily Williams and Katie Kicklighter) posted straight A’s to help lead the Rams to a highly successful fall semester in the classroom, posting 4.0 GPAs and boosting the team’s GPA to a 3.241.
The Rams 2016-17 roster will feature three athletes who earned all-conference recognition at the 2016 Mountain West Championships. Senior Jenna Beaury will have high expectations entering 2016-17 as she earned an NCAA B Cut time in the 200 breast last season, and earned All-MW honors in both the 100 and 200 breast. Two sophomores on the roster earned All-MW honors as freshmen a year ago – Mackenzie Halligan (400 IM) and Ida Donohue (1,650 free).
NUMEROUS RAMS RECEIVE SCHOLAR-ATHLETE RECOGNITION
Nine members of the 2015-16 CSU swimming & diving squad received Scholar-Athlete recognition from the Mountain West over the summer.
Cristina Bassani, Katie Kicklighter, Kelsey Lawton, Megan Lloyd, Carmen Mand, Elizabeth Prasse, Gianna Salanitro, Nina Stitt and Emily Williams all received the honor. The nine student-athletes represented seven different majors. Swimming & diving had the most athletes honored aside from the track & field and cross country programs.
News courtesy of Colorado State Athletics.