SAN ANTONIO-Boise State swimming and diving opened defense of its Western Athletic Conference Championship showing no signs of nerves. The Broncos won both events held on the first day of the WAC Championships, Wednesday, at Palo Alto Natatorium in San Antonio.
The meet started with the 200-yard medley relay. Boise State was seeded second behind San Jose State. Senior Denise Green and the Broncos held close in the backstroke as the Spartans and Idaho sprinted out to slight leads. Senior Kelly Forrester handled the breaststroke, pulling Boise State a little closer. Once sophomore Stevie Hughey took the pool for the butterfly the team never looked back. Hughey's blistering leg set up junior Kelsy Diener to bring home the title in 1:41.36, a school record by more than two seconds.
Boise State placed sixth last season in the meet's first event.
Hughey returned to the pool as the third leg of the 800-yard freestyle relay. Junior Amber Boucher, the reigning WAC Swimmer of the Year, led off the race with 1:45.22, breaking her own school record in the 200-yard freestyle by more than two and a half seconds. According to CollegeSwimming.com, Boucher's time ranks 13 in the nation.
The Broncos led by more than three seconds when sophomore Jennifer Cahill took the pool. Cahill extended the lead for Hughey and junior Stephanie North anchored the team to a winning time of 7:12.91. The mark breaks the previous school record by nearly eight seconds.
With two wins, Boise State racked up 80 points on the first day of competition. New Mexico State, Hawai'i and San Jose State are tied for second with 62 points.
Action resumes in the morning with preliminary swims for the 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley and 50-yard freestyle. The prelims for one-meter diving will take place 30 minutes after the conclusion of the swimming events.