Nevada Diving Depth Spurs Wolf Pack to Day 1 Lead in Mountain West

Mountain West Conference – Women

  • Wednesday, February 20 – Saturday, February 23
  • Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Central Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Boise State (2x) (results)
  • Live results
  • Championship Central

The two-time defending champion Boise State Broncos found themselves in a hole after day 1 at the 2019 Mountain West Conference Championships. San Diego State won the day’s first 2 events, and Nevada the 3rd, to take the top two spots after day 1 of the meet.

Team Scores After Day 1:

  1. Nevada – 204
  2. San Diego State – 178.5
  3. Boise State – 152
  4. Fresno State – 141
  5. New Mexico – 139.5
  6. UNLV – 118
  7. Wyoming – 113.5
  8. Colorado State – 107.5
  9. (TIE) – San Jose State/US Air Force Academy – 92

In a blazing opening 200 medley relay, both San Diego State and Boise State were under the old conference records. The Aztecs finished 1st in 1:36.76, with Boise State 2nd in 1:37.22. The old record of 1:37.60 was set by San Diego State in 2015 (none of those swimmers are still on the team).

For the victorious San Diego State team, it was Elliyana Ferrin (24.38), Klara Thormalm (27.03), Courtney Vincent (23.03), and Alma Thomalm (22.32) who made up the winning relay. The middle two legs were the difference makers, opening up a 1.2 seconds lead on their counterparts from Boise State. Boise State anchor Abbey Sorensen dug furiously to make up the deficit, anchoring her team’s relay in 21.59, but it wasn’t enough. Her closing split, however, was 4-tenths faster than she was on this same relay last season.

San Diego State missed the NCAA Qualifying Standard in that relay by an excruciating .01 seconds.

The Aztecs picked up more points on the 1-meter diving board, where Lechuga Gonzalez won with a score of 325.55. She was her team’s only A finalist, as compared to 2 for Nevada, which allowed the Wolf Pack to take the lead in spite of the SDSU win.

The Nevada’s swimmers, long known for their middle-to-distance prowess, won the 800 free relay for the 2nd-straight season. The group of Caitlyn McHugh (1:48.32), Liessa Cholodovskis (1:46.24), Caitlyn Richardson (1:47.56), and Rebecca Murray (1:47.64) combined for a winning time of 7:09.76. While that won’t qualify for the NCAA Championships, it is the 2nd-fastest mid-major time in the country this season (behind Harvard’s 7:06.98 on Wednesday).

New Mexico took 2nd in 7:12.04, Boise State was 3rd in 7:13.73, and San Diego State was 4th in 7:16.72. None of the top 3 squads in the team standings had to use a swimmer on both relays, leaving plenty of options open for the rest of the meet.

While Nevada’s day 1 lead seems daunting, this is a meet that should ping-pong back and forth for a while. New Mexico, for example, has 3 of the top 4 seeds in the 500 free on Thursday, which could push them into a lead early in the day. Boise State entered the meet as favors per projections by the Finis Swimulator, but this shapes up to be the best kind of conference barn burner: with all teams swimming well and dropping big time through day 1.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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