Champs! Broncos Dominant At MW Meet
Feb. 18, 2017

  • 2017 Mountain West Championships Results Get Acrobat Reader | Championship Central

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas - It's third Mountain West swimming and diving title already in hand, Boise State put an exclamation point on its dominant performance at the 2017 Mountain West Championships with a victory in the meet's final event, the 400 freestyle relay, to complete its sweep of the five relay events.

    The Broncos topped the team leaderboard with 1,390 points, with San Diego State second with 1,139 points and Nevada third with 1,089.5. Boise State earned the program's fifth overall conference crown, having won WAC titles in 2010 and 2011, and its two previous Mountain West titles in 2012 and 2014, and became just the second team in conference history to go 5-for-5 in relay competition at the Mountain West Championships, joining San Diego State's 2014 team. Brittany Aoyama, Katelyn Martin, Cody Evans and Emma Chard finished the sweep with a time of 3:15.85 in the 400 free relay.

    "It feels good, it feels right. We were second last year and the year before that, so I think they got a little tired of finishing second," Boise State head coach Jeremy Kipp said about winning the title. "They wanted to win, that's what we wanted to do and that's what we did.

    "We've got goals, winning is fun, but you have to swim fast, you have to swim hard and finish off the meet. Our motto's been it doesn't matter if you're first or last, you have to finish, and I think the girls accomplished that," Kipp continued. "I'm really proud. I know sometimes it can sound like an unrealistic goal because there are a lot of really good teams and really good coaches in this conference. The girls kept the pedal down and they went all out in the relays. They had other events but they went hard and performed in the relays."

    The Bronco quartet left no doubt in the relay. Aoyama shot out to a lead of 1.49 seconds after the opening 100 yards, with Martin extending the lead to 2.56 seconds at the halfway point. The lead was still nearly two seconds through Evans' third leg, which was no problem for Chard, who cruised home to put an emphatic stamp on the team's performance at the meet.

    Aoyama also captured the 100 free for her sixth title of the meet, edging Martin in the final by 0.24 of a second.

    "[Brittany]'s performance was tremendous. I joked with her last night in the team meeting, I told her 'I almost feel sorry for you because you're so humble, you're so quiet, you get it done every day and go about your business and win.' It's a tremendous acomplishment and it almost goes unnoticed because it just gets chalked it up like 'Brittany's got this,'" Kipp said. " She was also on four huge relays for us. She's our hammer, and she's our swimmer of the meet."

    Boise State matched the program record for most event titles at a single conference championship meet, capturing 10 to equal the program's performances at the 2011 WAC Championships and the 2012 Mountain West Championships. The Broncos also set or tied nine school records at this week's meet, establishing top marks in the 50 free (Martin - 22.11), 500 free (Chard - 4:39.22), 1,000 free (Chard - 9:48.15), 1,650 free (Chard - 16:17.11), 200 breast (Emily Mathis - 2:12.35), 100 fly (Aoyama - 52.04, tied the mark), 200 free relay (1:28.43), 800 free relay (7:03.96) and the 400 medley relay (3:34.40).

    "Emily Mathis in the 200 breaststroke really says it all," Kipp noted about the records set at the meet. "She dropped about three seconds between prelims and finals and she's been working so hard. That swim kind of summed it up. She just charged the girls up all weekend. Girls like Mathis, Laura Williams, Ally Schultz in the mile, there's a lot of work done."

    The Broncos set the stage for Saturday night's performance with strong swims in the day's preliminary session. Three Broncos (Aoyama, Martin, Cody Evans) qualified for the 100 free A Final, with two (Mathis, Laura Williams) earning spots in the 200 breast championship final. Abbey Sorensen also qualified for the 200 back A Final.

    Any hopes the rest of the field had for a comeback were quickly dashed in the 1,650 free timed heats. Boise State placed four in the top eight, as Chard, with her school-record 16:17.11, took second, followed by Felicity Cann (16:46.25) in sixth, Alyssa Schultz (16:49.31) in seventh and Amelia Draney (16:47.19) in eighth. The Broncos scored further points in the event with Mandy Barnes' 16th-place finish.

    Sorensen posted a top-four finish in the 200 back next, taking fourth in 1:56.08, while Ally Kleinsorgen (1:57.01) captured the B Final for a ninth-place overall finish. Senior Emily Tanasse scored with a 20th-place finish, clocking 2:00.73 to touch fourth in the C Final.

    Up next was the showdown in the 100 free between Aoyama, Martin and Evans, swimming side by side in lanes four, five and six, respectively. Like in Thursday night's 50 free, the race quickly became a duel between Aoyama and Martin, and this time it was Aoyama who won by a fingertip, clocking a 48.74 to edge Martin (48.98) while Evans took sixth in 50.04. Freshman Emmie Jennings won the C Final in 50.71 to take an overall finish of 17th.

    "It means so much to me for my family and friends to be here, just to know I have their support," Aoyama said. "This year was really a great team effort, and a lot of girls had great swims."

    Mathis and Williams put forth some of the gutsiest efforts of the meet for the Broncos in the 200 breast, as Mathis set the school record and took fourth with a time of 2:12.35, with Williams right behind her in fourth at 2:14.45. Freshman Robin Pinger took 13th overall by finishing fifth in the B Final with a time of 2:17.92.

    Barnes and Monica Bottelberghe competed in the 200 fly for the Broncos, taking 20th and 22nd overall, respectively.

    On platform, divers Kacee Olson (217.25) and Cassidy Bose (193.80) finished 15th and 16th, respectively, with Karli Kriewall taking 21st with a score of 214.60 in prelims.

    Final Team Standings
    1. Boise State - 1,390
    2. San Diego State - 1,139
    3. Nevada - 1,089.5
    4. Wyoming - 1,004
    5. Colorado State - 791
    6. New Mexico - 697
    7. Fresno State - 524
    8. UNLV - 520
    9. San Jose State - 496.5
    10. Air Force - 479

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