Colorado State Tops Rival Northern Colorado on the Road


  • February 7, 2020
  • Hosted by Northern Colorado
  • Short Course Yards
  • Full Results




GREELEY, Colo. – What an awful time to swim.

Not by the clock on the wall, but for the season. The swimmers have hit the point where the sets haven’t backed off and their muscles are barking. It’s a struggle to keep the form perfect and finishing a race takes real heart.

Just around the corner, taper will start to prepare Colorado State’s women’s swimmers for the Mountain West Championships in Minneapolis, Minn., but that day had not come by Friday, when the Rams were scheduled to take on Northern Colorado to put a cap on the regular season.

Yet it was in such an undesirable moment when the team, almost across the board, found the heart and grit to push through to post a 146.5-114.5 dual victory, complete with swims which will head them into rest in a confident and assured place.

“I think swimming is mainly a mental sport,” junior Maddie Ward said. “Going into taper, it’s important to show yourself you can swim fast, and I think that’s what a lot of people on the team did today. A lot of people have been struggling mentally more than physically with the idea of conference coming up. Especially for the young girls, the freshmen and sophomore, that was a really good push for them.”

Ward found her way in her breaststroke events, winning both the 100- and 200-yard races despite missing a few sets this week with an injury, and posting a times which are in the neighborhood of her season bests. Senior Julia Box won a pair herself, her 100 backstroke cementing her third event for the championships.

The younger set did their part, with Caroline Perry pacing a 1-2-3 finish in the 200 backstroke to turn the tide in the meet, with Hannah Sykes bombing the field in the 500 freestyle and doing it from lane 6 even.

Confidence at any time is a good thing. Heading into the conference meet, it’s downright powerful.

“I definitely think it’s going to prepare me mentally. Not that it’s really that big of an indicator always, because I think this is the time of the season where we’re really tired,” Sykes said. “It was super encouraging to see those swims. Not necessarily the times, just my execution of them, I was pretty happy with that. That’s what’s important right now, getting down the little details so I’m prepared for when conference comes around.”

Sykes didn’t swim what she considers her best events, the butterfly set. She had been feeling irregular about them this season due to injuries, but her recent performance in practice has her in a good place. As for taking out the 500 free, setting the pace and continuing to pull away, it was a swim that felt really good and helps her entire cause.

“It’s really an encouraging thing to be able to go out there and not really pay attention to anyone else, swim my own race,” said Sykes, whose lane assignment put her right in shouting distance of her teammates. “If I get to the wall first, it’s definitely encouraging.

“I mean, I definitely go into it right off the bat just going, ‘you know what, I’m going to get my hand to the wall first.’ That’s how I treated it. I don’t treat it that much different than a 200, just go after it and hope you can hold on.”

Head coach Christopher Woodard forewarned his squat that should an improving UNC squad make a push, he may alter the lineup at midstream, and when the Bears were ahead at the first break, he followed up on his promise. The moves included Ward, who had hoped not to overuse, but the fact any and all of them were prepared to jump in to help the cause showed him they weren’t too tired to care.

“Knowing halfway through we’re down, and some people were forced into positions,” Woodard said. “I told them going in, if they’re really pressing us, we’re going to have to make changes, and none of them batted an eye. I think that’s a good sign of resiliency and their ability to hammer down. Confidence is one thing, we still have to get a win. I needed people to show up.”

In stepped the 200 backstrokers. The Rams has swept the 100 event earlier, but this time around the freshman Perry led teammates Katelyn Bartley and Elsa Litteken to the wall, vaulting the Rams into the lead, where they stayed for good capping the event with a win in the 400 freestyle relay to sweep those races. The victory earned them a 6-4 dual mark for the season, which was important.

The byproduct was important, too, and that was the improved mental outlook. For Ward, she admitted her mindset did a 180 after the day.

“One hundred percent I would say so. The past couple of weeks since Mines, I’ve been kind of struggling mentally, especially with the 200 breaststroke, because that’s my event that I solely believe in,” she said. “After Mines, I was a little down on it, and being on-and-off injured this week, it’s been hard to get behind it. Going that time really solidified it to me.”

Not only was it her midseason time, but it was 6 seconds faster than she was at Mines.

Woodard took his team a week deeper into the regular season than he has the past couple of seasons, and while he wondered about the effects, he left the building encouraged with the effort.

“This traditionally is the point, where you’re nine days out, is when they feel the worst. We have not swam on this weekend before,” he said. “We’ve always kept dual meets two weeks out of conference. So swimming this late toward conference and still be able to throw down times when they’re really fatigued, I think that’s probably more of a confidence builder. I didn’t feel great, but I held on to my stroke technique and I held on to my race strategy and I still pulled out a decent time.”


GREELEY, Colo. – Northern Colorado swim and dive hosted Colorado State for its Senior Night on Friday, falling to the Rams 146.5-114.5 Prior to the meet UNC honored its seniors Keeley CoffeeEmily HamelHallie Peterson and MichaelAnn Wilson.

UNC took first place in six of the 14 events on Friday night and earned seven second place finishes.

Maddy Moore and Petra Kis each won two events on the night for the team. Moore won the 50 yard free and 100 yard free. She finished the 50 with a time of 23.82 and 100 in 52.34.

For Kis, she won the 200 butterfly and 200 IM. She led from start to finish in the 200 yard butterfly as UNC swept the top three spots in the race. Kis finished just .01 seconds ahead of teammate Anna Austin at 2:08.23. Senior Hallie Peterson finished third at 2:08.93.

Kis won the 200 IM with a time of 2:08.69.

The other two Bears to win events were Austin and Paula Nunez. Austin earned the first place finish in the 1000 free finishing by touching the wall 10.91 seconds ahead of second place with a time of 10:41.40.

Nunez tied with Colorado State’s Sarah Mundy in the 200 free each touching the wall at 1:56.64.

What’s Ahead
Northern Colorado now has two and a half weeks to prepare for the 2020 WAC Championships. UNC looks to match, if not improve upon their third place finish in last year’s championship.

To stay up to date on all things UNC swimming and diving, visit and follow the team on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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