Broncos Hold Slim Lead After Night One
Feb. 15, 2017

  • Night One Results Get Acrobat Reader | Schedule

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Boise State swept both relays on opening night of the 2017 Mountain West Swimming and Diving Championships Wednesday at the Texas A&M Natatorium. The relay victories, combined with a seventh-place finish on 1-meter springboard by junior Kacee Olson, give the Broncos a two-point lead in the team standings.

    Boise State closed the night with 200 points, just ahead of Nevada (198), with Wyoming and San Diego State tied for third at 166 points apiece. Action resumes at 11 a.m. MT Thursday, as the early preliminary session features 3-meter diving, the 500 free, 200 IM and 50 free. The night finals session will include the 200 free relay.

    "We got off to a fast start, for sure, the relays were a big point of emphasis, and with a few new bodies on those relays it was nice to pick up where we left off last year. Picking up the NCAA A cut in the 800 was huge for us and our program, and with Kacee moving up to seventh place in diving and three divers picking up points in the B Final, it was a total team effort," said Boise State head coach Jeremy Kipp.

    The finals session opened with the Bronco quartet of Ally Kleinsorgen (back), Robin Pinger (breast), Katelyn Martin (fly) and Abbey Sorensen (free) capturing the 200 medley relay, Boise State's second-straight conference title in the event. Boise State trailed Wyoming by 0.27 of a second at the halfway point, but Martin's fly split of 23.17 turned the tide, turning the deficit into a lead of 0.64 of a second. That was more than enough of a cushion for Sorensen, who swam her anchor leg in 21.98 to clinch the win in 1:37.66, just three-hundredths of a second off the Boise State record set at last year's conference championships.

    "We knew Katelyn could be fast. Last year that was Brittany's leg, and we took a chance with Katelyn because we know she has a lot of speed and power. It was huge, big underwater kickouts," Kipp said about the 200 medley relay. "It's big [that our younger swimmers responded in this race] because you can only go to the well so often with certain swimmers, so we saved a swim with Brittany. Ally had never been in that event at this meet, and she took care of business."

    In the night's finale, Boise State's foursome of Emma Chard, Brittany Aoyama, Amelia Draney and Felicity Cann bulldozed through the field to capture the Broncos' third-straight conference title in the 800 free relay, setting a Mountain West an Boise State record time of 7:03.96. That time was also good for an NCAA Qualifying Standard, the second-straight year in which the Broncos had accomplished the feat in the event.

    Chard opened the race for the Broncos, handing off a lead of 0.63 of a second over Nevada to Aoyama, who tore through the field with a split of 1:44.27 to put the Broncos ahead by 4.45 seconds at the halfway point. Draney extended the lead by two-hundredths of a second into the anchor leg, where Cann brought it home for a 3.82-second victory over runner-up Nevada.

    "At the end of the season, when you throw out times, the records are the ones you throw out," Kipp said. "Emma had a great 200 free leadoff, Brittany threw it down, and Amelia Draney, who'd never been on that relay or in that situation before, held her own, and Felicity is always solid on the anchor and took care of business."

    Olson used a clutch final dive in 1-meter springboard prelims, notching a score of 48.75, to overtake Fresno State's Kelli Ann Funk for eighth place and the last spot in the evening's A Final. There, Olson finished PLACE with a score of SCORE. The Broncos advanced three more divers, senior Karli Kriewall, sophomore Cassidy Bose and freshman Taylor Hosein, to the afternoon's Consolation Final. Kriewall topped the field in the consolation with a score of 290.45, good for a ninth-place overall finish. Bose was third with a score of 276.30, taking 11th overall, and Hosein finished 14th overall with a consolation score of 249.75. In prelims, senior Jordan Marthens scored 219.50.

    "Kacee stayed very consistent and she showed a lot of the things that we've been working on," said Boise State diving coach Brandon Blaisdell. "We've really been working on the mental part of training and she really came in clutch and had a solid performance.

    "We had a much better finish than what we were seeded coming in, definitely a much better finish than last year," Blaisdell continued. "So it was really exciting to see all of our divers make it into the finals."

    2017 Mountain West Swimming and Diving Championships Team Standings (after Night One)

    1. Boise State - 200
    2. Nevada - 198
    3t. San Diego State - 166
    3t. Wyoming - 166
    5. New Mexico - 115
    6. San Jose State - 110
    7. Colorado State - 94
    8t. UNLV - 84
    8t. Fresno State - 84
    10. Air Force - 53

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