Backstroke Preview

In a year that saw program firsts and record times seemingly every week, arguably the most dominant event for the Broncos was the backstroke. During the 2009-10 campaign, Denise Green and Morgan McLain laid claim to 25 of the 30 spots on the all-time top 10 lists in the 50, 100 and 200 backstrokes. This season Boise State looks to set the bar even higher as Green and McLain return for their senior and junior seasons, respectively. Green, a North Bend, Ore., native, is the school record-holder at all three distances. McLain, from Pierre, S.D., briefly held the top spot in the 50 back last season before Green reclaimed the record and is sure to challenge for the all-time marks again this year. Combined, the two veterans hold all 30 of the top-10 times in the backstroke, but holding on to them will be a challenge with the crop of developing young swimmers and talented transfers in the event. Madison Gray will compete for the Broncos this season after sitting out last year as a transfer from BYU. Kelsy Diener is a transfer from San Diego State and will make an immediate impact with Boise State.

Coach Hill's Take: "Our standout over the last couple years has been Denise Green. She had lifetime bests last season, and she did really well at our conference championships. She is really closely followed by Morgan McLain. Morgan's level of training is very high, and my goal for her is to realize her potential this year. Lily Donohue will be a sophomore. Lily is a good 200 backstroker, but she also had some speed last year she'd never really seen before. Kelsy Diener comes in as a transfer, and probably our best 200 backstroker. Madison Gray is someone who redshirted last year, and so she will be a wildcard for us. She trained with us last year, but now has an opportunity to contribute points for us, and she will. Andrea Thiltgen trained well last spring and focused on strength this summer, and she will have a chance to gain valuable points for us. Freshman Brooke Balogh also dropped a significant amount of time this summer in her 200 backstroke so she could have the opportunity to race backstroke this season."

» «