Broncos Go For MW Title This Week
Feb. 16, 2016
BOISE, Idaho - Boise State will seek its third Mountain West swimming and diving championship, and fifth conference title overall, at the 2016 Mountain West Championships this Wednesday-Saturday at the Texas A&M Natatorium in College Station.
The Broncos previously won Mountain West titles in 2012 and 2014, and prior to joining the Mountain West captured consecutive WAC titles from 2010-11. Over four seasons in the Mountain West, Boise State has never finished lower than second at the championship meet, turning in runner-up efforts in 2013 and 2015 in addition to its two titles.
Finals begin each night (Wednesday-Saturday) at 5:30 p.m. MT. Wednesday, the 1-meter diving preliminary round will begin at 11:30 a.m. MT, with Thursday-Saturday's preliminary heats all beginning at 10 a.m. MT. All of the preliminary heats and finals will be streamed live on the Mountain West Network.
Live results and updates can also be had by following Boise State Swimming and Diving at @BroncoSportsSD on Twitter.
Sam Wicks, Brittany Aoyama POISED FOR BIG MEETS: The 2016 Mountain West Championships offer a chanc at history for a pair of Bronco swimmers in senior Sam Wicks and junior Brittany Aoyama. Wicks, with one Mountain West event title under her belt (400 free relay in 2015), has a serious chance to leave the 2016 meet with as many as seven titles. Heading into this week’s meet she owns the conference’s top times in both the 100 and 200 backs as well as with three Boise State relay teams (400 free relay, 200 and 400 medley relays), while ranking second in the 200 IM and with the 200 free relay.
Aoyama, meanwhile, captured two event titles in 2015 (100 fly, 400 free relay) and, depending on if she enters all events, has a real chance to win eight titles. The junior from Stockton, Calif., is a member of all five Broncos relays, with four of those owning the Mountain West’s top times in their respective events, and owns the conference’s top time in the 100 fly while ranking second in the 100 free and fifth in the 200 fly.
The Boise State record for most event titles (Individual and relay) at a single Mountain West Championships is six, set by both Amber Boucher and Stephanie North at the 2012 meet. The overall school record at a single conference meet is nine, set by Boucher at the 2011 WAC Championships.
RELAY DOMINANCE: Heading into the Mountain West Swimming and Diving Championships, the Boise State relay teams have been a dominant force, owning the top conference times in four of the five relay events. The Broncos own top relay times in the 400 and 800 free relays, events the team captured at last year’s conference championship meet, as well as in the 200 and 400 medley relays.
Each medley relay features the foursome of senior Sam Wicks (back), junior Brittany Aoyama (fly), freshman Laura Williams (breast) and junior Katelyn Martin (free), while on the freestyle relay side, Wicks, Aoyama and Martin are each on the 200 and 400 squads, with freshman Ally Kleinsorgen part of the 200 and sophomore Emma Chard on the 400.
In the 800 free relay, the Bronco quartet of Aoyama, Chard, Blake Balogh and Felicity Cann posted a 2015-16 Mountain West-best time of 7:12.08, also the second-fastest 800 free relay time in Boise State history, at the Art Adamson Invitational on Nov. 21.
AMONG THE MW’S TOP TIMES: A month away from the Mountain West Swimming and Diving Championships, set for Feb. 17-20 in College Station, Texas, numerous Broncos hold good spots on the Mountain West’s updated list of top times and performances. The Broncos own eight top times in the conference heading into the championship meet, including four in relays (400 FR, 800 FR, 200 MR, 400 MR). Individually, Sam Wicks’ owns the top time in the 100 and 200 backs at 53.53 and 1:54.24, respectively. Brittany Aoyama owns the top 100 fly time (52.99) while Emma Chard tops the conference in the 200 free (1:46.52).
Aoyama (100 free), Wicks (200 IM), Chard (500 free), Amelia Draney (1,650 free) and the 200 free relay quartet of Wicks, Aoyama, Katelyn Martin and Ally Kleinsorgen each boast the second-best conference times in their respective events.
DIVERS: Boise State’s diving contingent will aim to make an impact of their own at the championship meet. Kacee Olson, Karli Kriewall and Cassidy Bose have already hit Zone Qualifying marks this season, while Kriewall and Olson rank in the conference’s top eight on 3-meter and platform, respectively.
CLOSE THE FIRST YEAR WITH A TITLE?: Boise State head coach Jeremy Kipp has the chance to claim a Mountain West title in not only his first year at the Boise State helm, but also as a head coach. Kipp spent the past 16 seasons as an assistant coach, first at UC Santa Barbara then at USC from 2007-15, where he helped guide the Trojan women to seven-straight top-nine national team finishes (2009-15), peaking with third-place efforts in 2011 and 2012. Also an assistant for the Trojan men's team, Kipp helped the men to five-straight top-10 national team finishes.
BREAKOUT SEASON FROM Emma Chard: Boise State sophomore Emma Chard has enjoyed a breakout season in 2015-16 and heads into the Mountain West meet owning the conference's top time in the 200 free in addition to being part of a pair of top relays (400 and 800 frees). This season, Chard has made her mark in both the 200 and 500 frees, with her conference-best time in the former (1:46.52) being over two seconds ahead of the next-best time, and her time of 4:44.55 in the latter being second-best in the conference as well as the fastest 500 free time in Boise State history.
Last year, Chard made a splash as a freshman at the Mountain West Championships, being part of Boise State's winning 800 free relay, which set a school record with a time of 7:08.51, and finishing second in the 200 free with a time of 1:46.40.
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