Individual Medley Coach Hill's Take:
With a slew of returners in the individual medley events, including conference champion Christine Raininger in the 400, this is an area any team will be hard pressed to find points to gain against Boise State. Raininger, from Ajax, Ontario, Canada, will be joined by fellow Canadian, Tara Hahto (Victoria, B.C.), atop the IMs. Seniors Meisner and Andrea Thiltgen, and juniors Madison Gray and Emily Irvin provide even more experience to this group. Irvin, who lowered her time in the 200 nearly a full second last season, became the first swimmer in school history to clock a time below 2:05. Raininger joined her at the WAC Championships, and now holds the school record. The Broncos will also look to use the IM events to capitalize on the versatility of many of the freshmen as a way to score points in important meets.
"Christine Raininger was our top IMer last year. She is just really strong all through the strokes. Her backstroke really improved last year, and she made big strides in her breaststroke this summer. I know she has bigger goals than what she did last year, despite winning the WAC championship in the 400 IM. Rachel Heaney swims the 400 IM, and her training from home didn't include as much IM as her program here, so we look for her to really improve. Madison Gray is really strong in the IM. Madison has a lot of endurance, and I think she's good at gutting it out. Tara Hahto is strong in both IMs; those are two of her top four events. She wants to be a big contributor as a senior, and I know she has a lot of ability in her to finish her career well. Emily Irvin will compete well in the 200 IM. Emily is very versatile and is strong at all four strokes. Andrea Thiltgen really surprised herself last year with her performance at the end of the season in the 400 IM, and we look to build on that. Olivia Harrell hasn't done a lot of IM training, but as a freshman I think that will be an event she really excels in. Chelsea Miller will also give everybody a run for their money in both IM races. She comes in as one of the fastest 200 IMers we've ever had, and she is joined by transfer Kelsy Diener who has also been at 2:04 in the 200 IM, which gives us so much flexibility. Rachael Meisner is one of our best 400 IMers. She works really hard, and really has a great back half with strong breaststroke and freestyle that help her finish the race stronger than most anyone out there. Freshman Brooke Balogh is another strong IMer and will contribute as often as she has the opportunity to race."