Boise State Takes Slim Lead After Day One
Feb. 18, 2015

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    SAN ANTONIO - Felicity Cann blazed her way to a 200-yard anchor leg time of 1:35.25, making up a half-length deficit and grabbing Boise State the conference title in the 800 free relay Wednesday at the Mountain West Swimming & Diving Championships at Palo Alto College Aquatic Center in San Antonio.

    Cann touched the pad to give the relay team of herself, Emma Chard, Jessica Bottelberghe and Blake Balogh the win in a school-record 7:08.51, which also stands as an NCAA provisional standard. The relay win, Boise State's first in any relay since 2012, also jumped the Broncos ahead of San Diego State for the overall team lead after the event's opening day. Boise State, with 105 points, leads the Aztecs (98 points) by seven.

    Nevada (82 points), Wyoming (71) and Colorado State (68) round out the top five on the leaderboard.

    "Felicity's greatest competitor in that event [the 200 free] is probably Emma. There was no doubt in my mind that Felicity could close well for us, and I think that she can finish even better when she swims it in two days," Hill said about the 800 free relay finish.

    "The 800 freestyle relay, it was fun to see our girls compete. It was a tough race against San Diego State and against Nevada in that last 100 [yards]," Hill continued. "Emma led it off well, a time that last year was invited to NCAAs, Felicity anchored really well and Jessica and Blake went faster than they'd ever gone in their lives.

    It was Boise State's first relay win at a conference-championship meet since 2012, when the 800 free relay quartet of Amber Boucher, Emily Irvin, Jenn Cahill and Stephanie North was victorious.

    The Broncos set another relay provisional standard in the 200 medley relay, as Sam Wicks, Sydney Johansen, Brittany Aoyama and Katelyn Martin clocked a 1:38.11. That time was good enough for a second-place finish, barely over a half-second behind San Diego State's winning time of 1:37.60.

    "We had some great performances tonight. Sam Wicks led off the 200 medley relay faster than she'd ever been before, and they got second and swam hard," Hill noted.

    Wednesday night also featured the 1-meter springboard competition, in which Boise State was the only school to qualify two divers for the final. Senior Erin Kohlbeck scored a career-best 274.70, a zone qualifying standard, to finish fifth while sophomore Karli Kriewall recovered from a low-scoring fourth dive to fight up one spot and into seventh at 258.15 points and earn the Broncos a key extra point.

    Sophomore Jordan Marthens scored 227.30 points in the consolation final, taking fourth among the eight divers and 12th overall in the event.

    Freshman Kiley Carlson finished 19th in the prelims with a score of 204.80.

    "I'm very proud of all six divers today. Erin, Karli and Jordan were fantastic today with all three making it out of the prelim, which made for a great way to start the meet," said Boise State diving coach John Lynch.

    Nevada's Krysta Palmer took the 1-meter springboard title with a score of 336.30, over 31 points more than runner-up Alexandra Caplan of San Diego State (305.10). Air Force's Lainie Long topped the consolation final with 253.65 points, while San Diego State's Isabelle Choquehuanca (238.70) and Colorado State's Mary Kate Hardy (232.45) rounded out the top three.

    Boise State, however, is the only team to qualify two divers in the evening's final, as senior Erin Kohlbeck and sophomore Karli Kriewall will compete. Kohlbeck finished fourth in prelims with a score of 265.35 while Kriewall rallied with scores of 51.80, 55.90 and 43.75 on her final three dives to push into seventh with a score of 258.15.

    "It's great momentum [having a lead and winning an event] to take into the next three days," Hill said. "You can win the meet without winning events, but we sure would love to win events this week and the nerves can be more calm now that we got some things out of the way."

    Thursday's preliminary action begins at 11 a.m. CT with the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free and 3-meter springboard events. The finals are scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. CT start with the 200 free relay.


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