A strength for the Broncos last season, the butterfly events appear to be an area in which Boise State will thrive again in 2010-11. Reigning WAC Swimmer of the Year Amber Boucher returns for her junior season, looking to defend her conference title in the 100 butterfly. Sophomore Christine Raininger is back after a sensational freshman campaign in the 200 fly. Raininger dropped her personal best time by more than two seconds in the finals at the WAC Championships to claim the gold medal and a sweep for the Broncos in the butterfly events. Hill anticipates four more returners to make big strides in the butterfly, while two freshmen will push all of the veterans.
Coach Hill's Take: "Fly is a great event for us again this season. Our top 100 flyer is Amber Boucher, she has a lot of raw speed. Amber was the WAC Swimmer of the Year, and one of the reasons was her performance in the 100 fly throughout the season, and especially her win at the WAC Championships. She competed at a high level this summer and is prepared to have another excellent year. Christine Raininger won the 200 fly at conference in a team record time as a freshman, and we look for her to build on that. Freshman Rachel Heaney has a lot of versatility, and with her in the mix it gives us even more strength in the 200 fly than we had last season. Rachel also has some speed in the 100 fly, which could allow us to move Amber around even more than we were able to last season. Our sophomore class has a lot of strength in the fly, including Stevie Hughey, Lily Donohue and Shanelle Choi. Stevie is our top sophomore who competes well in both the 50 and 100 fly. She can certainly be a top four finisher in the 100 butterfly at conference. Lily is a strength in both the 100 and 200 butterfly, though she swims the 200 fly more because our team is so deep in the 100 fly. Both Stevie and Lily stayed and trained with us this summer which was great as it allowed us to see more of their strengths and find areas we can continue to work on to help them get faster and take their swimming to the next level. Shanelle has a history of favoring the shorter races, but I really see her coming on in the 200 fly this season if she believes she can do it. Junior Paige LaPorte is a 200 butterflyer, and a change in her training this year is really going to be big for her. Freshman Olivia Harrell is a really strong 100 butterflier, and Brooke Balogh is another freshman with swimming in her blood who we look forward to getting into our training program. We're really excited to see how they can impact the team with the strong returners we have."