Broncos Back Home for Oregon State, Big Splash
Boise State women's swimming and diving returns home for the first time in more than three months to host Oregon State. The Broncos look to even the all-time series with the Beavers and avenge a loss the last time these two teams met in Boise, Feb. 7, 2009, which is also the last time the Broncos lost at home. The meet also features the return of Big Splash.
Boise State downed Oregon State for the first time last season when the two squads met for a double-dual meet Feb. 5, with host Seattle. The Broncos took overall first-place finishes in nine of the 14 events, winning 11 against Oregon State for a 178-83 victory. Amber Boucher, Jenn Cahill and Stephanie North each claimed two overall individual wins.
For a complete schedule of events, see page 3 of the full release.
About The Broncos: Boise State earned a duel win and an invitational victory to kick off the 2011-12 campaign, before taking second at the Rice Fall Invitational. The Broncos traveled to Seattle and brought home its season dual-meet win of the year before wrapping up the fall portion of their schedule at the Missouri Invitational. Boise State finished second behind Missouri.
Boise State returns 16 letterwinners from last year's Western Athletic Conference Champions. The Broncos won 10 events, including all five relays, en route to posting the ninth-highest point total in meet history (835) and taking their second-straight conference crown. Amber Boucher was named the WAC Swimmer of the Year for the second-consecutive season, and head coach Kristin Hill was named Coach of the Year. Boucher and fellow senior Stephanie North competed at the 2011 NCAA Championships.
Last Time Out: The Broncos last competed during their winter training trip in Southern California. Boise State suffered its first dual-meet loss of the season Jan. 4, at UCLA, 167-92. Senior Amber Boucher won two individual events and helped the Broncos to victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Boise State returned to the pool Jan. 7, at the San Diego Relays. The Broncos finished second at the meet behind UCLA. The meet included wins in the 400-, 800- and 1500-yard freestyle relays.
About the Beavers: Oregon State enters the meet coming off a split against Utah and UCLA, Jan. 14, at home. Larry Liebowitz is in his eighth season at the helm of Oregon State women's swimming. Freshman Shelby Webber leads the Beavers with four top-100 times in the NCAA. Oregon State does not sponsor diving.
The Series: Oregon State leads 2-1. The Broncos earned their first win against the Beavers last season (Feb. 5), 178-83, during a double duel in Seattle. The Broncos won 11 of the 14 events. The Beavers defeated Boise State during the 2006-07 and 2008-09 seasons. Oregon State's victory Feb. 7, 2009, is the last time the Broncos lost at home.
Race to Watch: The 100-yard butterfly between Boise State and Oregon State is shaping up to be one of the strongest fields Bronco fans will get to see in a home meet. Amber Boucher is a returning honorable mention All-American in the event, finishing 12th at the 2011 NCAA Champinoships. Oregon State's Rachel O'Brien and Jenni Dole also competed in the event at the national championship meet. O'Brien, a junior, posted a carer-best 53.64 at the Arena Invitational to rank 34th in the country in the 100 fly this season. Boucher and Dole are tied for 57th with best times of 54.22. The West YMCA pool record stands at 54.64, set in 2000 by Dana Kirk.
The field will also be deep as three Broncos rank in the top 10 of the Mountain West in the event. Dole is also among the Beavers' top backstrokers and may not compete the 100 butterfly.
Hill on The Meet: "We haven't competed at home in a while so we are looking forward to being in front of our home crowd again," said head coach Kristin Hill. "It's always a priority for us to swim against teams from the top conferences, like the Pac-12 and Oregon State is a competitive team that fits that mold."
Boucher Tops in MW History: Senior Amber Boucher set an all-time Mountain West record in the 100-yard freestyle on the final day of the Missouri Invitational (Dec. 3). Her winning time of 49.01 bested the previous mark of 49.21 set at the 2009 MW Championships.
Big Splash Returns: Members of the Boise State football team will compete against each other in two different events Saturday, pitting the offense versus the defense. Big Splash will start with a one-meter diving competition. During the second break, four men from each side of the ball will team up for a 4x25-yard relay. This marks the fourth Big Splash event at Boise State after a one-year hiatus during the 2010-11 season.
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