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Broncos Race Past Owls

BOISE, Idaho-Boise State University swimming and diving cruised to victory in its season-opening meet against Rice, Friday at the Boise-West YMCA. The Broncos posted a 174-88 win, with victories in 13 of 16 events by six different swimmers and two divers.

"This was a good way for us to start the season," said head coach Kristin Hill. "We got a lot of good performances from different people. It wasn't just one small group of people delivering the points, which is great."

The defending Western Athletic Conference Champions picked up right where they left off last season, taking the first nine events. The Broncos took two of the top three spots in eight of those events.

"We had a lot of girls battling to touch the wall second and third," Hill said. "We are going to need that depth this year, and it's great to see it this early."

Boise State was led by Amber Boucher, Jennifer Cahill and Stephanie North, who each won two individual events. Boucher and North also swam on both winning relay teams. Seniors Kelly Forrester and Denise Green also picked up individual victories. Forrester won the 100-yard breaststroke for her second-career individual win. Green won the 100-yard backstroke after finishing fourth in the event at the 2010 WAC Championships.

Amanda Burnett and Ciera Cortney traded first- and second-place finishes in the diving events. Cortney, a freshman from Las Vegas, Nev., began her collegiate career with a victory in the 1-meter event, scoring 233.35 points. Burnett took the 3-meter title with a score of 220.5.Burnett became the first Bronco diver to reach a final at the conference championships on the platform last season. The diving events were not counted to the team scores as Rice does not compete in diving.

Four freshman swimmers joined Cortney in making their collegiate debuts at the meet. Brooke Balogh, Rachel Heaney and Chelsea Miller each scored for the Broncos. Heaney made the biggest splash winning the 200 butterfly, her first individual event.

Boise State and Rice will square off again Saturday at noon, in a relay meet at the Boise-West YMCA.