Broncos Hold Tight to Lead After Third Day of WAC Championship

SAN ANTONIO - The Boise State swimming and diving team had a day of solid performances on the third day of the four-day competition as they remain in the lead at the WAC Championships.

The Broncos competed in six swimming events on the day, setting a school record in four of them, as Christin Raininger earned her first individual title while Amber Boucher earned her second to lead the Broncos. Boise State leads the way with 420 points, with the next closest competitor being San Jose State with 352.

"We had a very strong morning today which was something we knew was important," said head coach Kristin Hill.  "Tonight was outstanding.  Christine's win the 400 IM, followed immediately by Amber's win in the 100 fly, really set the stage for a great evening, capped off by an exciting win over Nevada in the 400 medley relay."

The day began with a solid start for the Broncos as Raininger won the 400-yard individual medley with a record-breaking time of 4:20.46 in the finals. Not to be overshadowed was teammate Chelsea Lopus who finished sixth in the finals with a time of 4:27.80.

Entering the second event, Boucher grabbed her second WAC title as she won the 100 butterfly in an NCAA provisional time of 54.49.  Her time also crushed her previous school record by more than a second. Stevie Hughey also had a strong performance in the event, moving from 16th to 12th overall.

In the 200 freestyle, Stephanie North fought hard going for the win in the event as she swam a personal-best of 1:49.07, taking second place in the event for the second year in a row. Not only was her time a lifetime best, but was a B cut qualifying time. Also making a splash in the event was Jennifer Cahill as she dropped 2.4 seconds off her time and set a personal record of 1:50.73 to win the consolation heat (ninth overall).

The Broncos were strongly represented in the 100 breaststroke with a quartet of Broncos competing in the finals. Kelly Forrester has remained consistent all season in the event as she met her personal best time of 1:03.99 for the third time this year, taking sixth in the event overall. Emily Irvin struggled a bit during the prelims and ended up in ninth entering the night, but finished with a much stronger swim in the consolation heat with a time of 1:04.00.

A pair of Broncos finished in the the top-8 in the 100 backstroke with junior Denise Green leading the way. Green had a record-breaking swim during the prelims with a time of 55.74 which put her in second going into the final, but finished ended up finishing fourth in the event with a time of 56.34 in the finals. Morgan McLain also scored some big points for the Broncos, finishing sixth in the event with a time of 57.50.

Breaking from the swimming events, the divers took to the boards to compete in the 1-meter. Divers Erin Lionberger and Amanda Burnett represented Boise State in the event, finishing 15th and 16th respectively, to score three additional points for the Broncos.

In the final event of the evening, Boise State ended Nevada's three-year reign as 400 medley relay winners with a pool record time of 3:44.03.  The team consisted of Green, Forrester, Boucher and North.

"We're really looking forward to a strong final day tomorrow," added Hill. "We have a lot of our best events tomorrow so we expect to finish well."

Action concludes tomorrow at the Josh Davis Natatorium in San Antonio, Texas with the 1,650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, 3-meter diving and the 400 freestyle relay. Prelims begin at 11:00 a.m., the first three heats of the 1650 free begin at 4:00 p.m. and the finals start at 6:30 p.m.

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