Boise State Runs Away with Regular-Season Finale
FORT COLLINS, Colo.-Boise State women's swimming and diving won 12 of 13 events Saturday, to defeat Colorado State 171-72 in the Broncos' final dual meet of the season. Boise State won all 11 swimming events and swept the top three spots in four races.
Stevie Hughey and Jessica Bottelberghe each won two individual events and one relay. Sam Wicks posted one individual win and anchored both Bronco relay victories.
Much like Friday, at Denver, an impressive performance in the 1000-yard freestyle kick started the Broncos. Sophomore Emily Blasko ran down the entire field in the final 400 yards to finish in a season-best 10:41.87.
After 600 yards Blasko was in fourth place and trailed the leader by nearly four seconds. She then clocked the fastest 50-yard splits in the field in each of the final eight laps for her first win of the season. Blasko, whose season was setback by an injury days before the first meet, had not finished better than sixth in any event this year. It is the third win of her career and second in the 1000 freestyle.
Three fellow members of the Bronco distance group responded with a sweep of the 200-yard freestyle in the very next event, led by junior Brooke Balogh's first-career individual win. Balogh hit the wall for the bell lap in third but chased down teammates Jennifer Cahill and Emri Moore with a 28.70 split in the final 50 yards to post a 1:55.79 for the win. Cahill (1:56.46) took second while Moore (1:56.97) rounded out Boise State's 1-2-3 finish.
The same trio helped the Broncos to their most dominant showing of the day in the 500-yard freestyle. Boise State boasted the top five finishers in the event. Moore led the way with a winning time of 5:07.72 in yet another come-from-behind race. Moore was fourth with 100 yards to go and quickly started picking off teammates one-by-one. The freshman finally caught junior Rachel Heaney and out-touched her by seven one-hundredths of a second. Moore, who failed to win the 500 freestyle for just the second time in her career in dual-meet competition Friday, now has six wins in the event. Balogh took third in 5:08.62, ahead of Cahill (5:10.49) and Megan Myers (5:14.29) before a Ram touched the wall.
Hughey swam a 23.92 in the 50-yard freestyle for her fourth win of the season in the event. She followed with a 56.18 in the 100-yard butterfly for her third win of the season in the event. Hughey's time in the 100 butterfly is the fastest of her career in a dual meet. Fellow senior Shanelle Choi finished runner-up to Hughey in both events. Heaney finished a first-through-third sweep in the 100 butterfly.
Bottelberghe's first victory of the day came in the 200-yard individual medley. She clocked the fastest backstroke, butterfly and freestyle legs on her way to winning by more than four seconds in 2:06.02, the fastest time by a Bronco in the event at a dual meet in school history. The sophomore followed that effort with a 51.54 in the 100-yard freestyle to win by more than two seconds.
After winning one event in the first four meets of the season, Bottelberghe has won nine of the last 11 individual events she has entered and will carry a six-race win streak into the Mountain West Championships.
Wicks continued her breakout January with a win against a loaded field in the 100-yard backstroke. Wicks, Devin Madsen and Colorado State's Breann Fuller hit the halfway point in a dead heat. Wicks pulled away from both to win in 56.79. Fuller, a two-time MW Champion in the 100 backstroke, took second in 57.15. Madsen, who broke the Boise State record in the event earlier this season, placed third in 57.26.
Over the past month Wicks has emerged as Boise State's anchor on the 200- and 400-yard relays and this weekend broke through in individual events. The freshman picked up her first individual event win Friday, in the 50 freestyle at Denver and now adds a victory in the 100 backstroke. She finished second in both events during Boise State's Jan. 19 meet against Wyoming.
Heather Harper won the 100-yard breaststroke for the third time this season, matching her total from last year. Harper swam a 1:05.32, finishing in front of teammates Emily Campbell (1:05.77) and Chelsea Miller (1:06.22) for another Bronco sweep.
Boise State opened the meet with a comfortable win in the 200-yard medley relay. The team of Bottelberghe, Johansen, Hughey and Wicks clocked a 1:43.81 to win by more than three seconds.
The meet closed on a similar note, with Madsen, Choi, Johansen and Wicks winning the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:35.89, more than four seconds clear of second place.
Ciera Cortney led Boise State's performance Saturday, at the Air Force Diving Invitational. Cortney scored 259.05 in the three-meter competition to finish 14th in prelims. Lexi Pfeiffer was 21st with a score of 238.45.
Among the Boise State and Colorado State divers, Cortney placed second while Pfeiffer was fifth. During Friday's one-meter competition Cortney and Pfeiffer finished first and second, respectively, against the Rams. Both events were factored into the final team score.
NOTE: The swimming times listed above DO NOT reflect altitude adjustments. According the NCAA Handbook the following adjustments may be made to times achieved at altitudes between 4251-6500 feet (Moby Pool is 5000 feet above sea level): 100-yard events may subtract 0.10 seconds; 200-yard events may subtract 1.20 seconds; 400 and 500-yard events may subtract 5.0 seconds; 1000-yard events may subtract 11.4 seconds. These alterations were not made because altitude-adjusted times do not qualify for records.
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