AUSTIN, Texas-The Boise State women's swimming and diving team continues to reach new heights. Juniors Amber Boucher and Stephanie North were each invited to the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships Wednesday, becoming the first Boise State student-athletes to earn a spot at the prestigious meet in school history. The championships will take place March 17-19, at Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas.
Boucher was invited in three events: the 100-yard butterfly, the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle. She will swim all three at the NCAA Championships. The Keizer, Ore., native is seeded sixth in the butterfly event, ninth in the 100-yard freestyle and 19th in the 50-yard freestyle.
North was invited in the 100-yard freestyle, where her time ranks 22nd. She will also swim the 50- and 200-yard freestyle events.
The top 30 swimmers in each individual event received invitations, and the participants can then swim additional events for which they achieved NCAA provisional standards during the season.
"When I started this program in 2006, I said in our fifth year we would win a conference championship and have our first NCAA qualifier," said head coach Kristin Hill. "We were a little ahead of schedule on the championship, but right on time with our NCAA swimmers. It is really special to have our first qualifiers be juniors because they have been with us for three years and really put in the hard work and dedication it takes to get the time drops they've seen and compete at this level."
No student-athlete from the Western Athletic Conference competed at the 2010 NCAA Championships, and the Broncos became the first conference team to send multiple swimmers to the meet since 2008 (Nevada).
The historic announcement comes on the heels of the Broncos' second-consecutive WAC Championship. Boise State broke school records in every swimming event and one diving event on its way to racking up 835 points, the ninth-highest point total in meet history. Boise State broke three WAC meet records and six Palo Alto Natatorium pool records in the process.
Boucher was named WAC Swimmer of the Year for the second-straight year. Hill garnered her first Coach of the Year honor.
Boise State has a chance to add to its total number of participants as freshman Ciera Cortney and redshirt junior Amanda Burnett will compete at the Zone Diving Championships March 11-13, in Minneapolis, Minn. Cortney and Burnett will be the first Broncos to participate at the Zone Championships, the qualifying meet for the NCAA Championships.
Swimmers competing at the NCAA Championships will represent 58 of the 195 schools that sponsor Division I women's swimming and diving. Boise State is one of 36 schools to have multiple student-athletes invited.