Boucher Wins Twice, Broncos Fall at UCLA

LOS ANGELES-Boise State women's swimming and diving won three events against UCLA Wednesday, but suffered its first dual-meet loss of the year against the Bruins at the Spieker Aquatics Center in Los Angeles. Senior Amber Boucher won two individual events and helped the Broncos to a win in the 200-yard freestyle relay to close the meet. The Bruins won 167-92.

"As a team, I would say our challenging training over the last week affected us a bit," said head coach Kristin Hill. "However, there were individuals who found a way to swim fast despite feeling a little beat up, and Amber was definitely one of those people."

Boucher cruised to victory in the 200-yard freestyle and won the 100-yard butterfly when she held off a charge from UCLA's Yasi Jahanshahi-an All-American in the 200-yard butterfly-by two one-hundredths of a second. Boucher won the 200 freestyle in 1:49.68, posting the fastest time in each of the 50-yard splits. She finished the 100 butterfly in 54.57, less than half a second off her season best time.

Boucher also led off the Broncos' winning 200-yard freestyle relay. She jumped out to an early lead before Stevie Hughey and Sydney Johansen kept it close through the 150-yard mark. Stephanie North took the final leg and made up more than seven-tenths of a second on UCLA 'A' to finish in 1:34.34, winning by two-tenths of a second.

"The 200 freestyle relay team was really strong and that was a great way to end the meet," Hill said."

Individually, North took second in each the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races. She finished runner up by less than two-tenths of a second in both events.

Heather Harper and Chelsea Miller finished second and third, respectively, in the 100-yard breaststroke. Miller was in seventh at the half-way point of the race before closing on the field in the final 50 yards to take third. Harper and Miller switched places in the 200-yard breaststroke. Miller finished just three-tenths of a second behind UCLA's Noelle Tarazona.

Jennifer Cahill finished third in the 500- and 1000-yard freestyle events. Freshman Emily Blasko finished just behind Cahill in the 1000 freestyle.

Jessica Bottelberghe earned two top-three finishes as well. Bottelberghe took second in the 200-yard individual medley and third in the 100-yard backstroke. She also finished fifth in the 200-yard backstroke.

Bottelberghe, Harper, Boucher and North teamed up for a second-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay to start the meet.

The Broncos return to the pool Saturday at the San Diego Relays. The meet begins at Noon (PT). UCLA will also be attending the meet. Boise State won the San Diego Relays last season.

There were no diving events at the meet Wednesday. The Bronco divers will compete for the first time in 2012 Saturday, against UCLA and Nebraska.

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