Broncos Open Season With Big Win

BOISE, Idaho-Boise State women's swimming and diving broke one pool record and won 15 events Saturday, as they rolled to a 198-96 win against Idaho at the Boise-West Family YMCA and Aquatic Center. Senior Stephanie North and freshman Jessica Bottelberghe each won three individual events and one relay.

"It was a great first meet," said head coach Kristin Hill. "This was the first time most of the girls had raced since the summer at nationals or sectionals."

Bottelberghe led off Boise State 'A' in the 200-yard medley relay, getting the team out to a quick start. Fellow freshman Heather Harper swam the breaststroke leg and handed off to Shanelle Choi for the butterfly. Amber Boucher anchored the relay with a quick freestyle leg and touched in a pool-record time of 1:45.51, the 10th-fastest time in school history.

Bottelberghe added individual victories in the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes and 200-yard individual medley. The Vancouver, Wash., native closed out her first meet winning the 200 IM by more than three seconds.

Two more freshmen won individual events for Boise State. Harper took the 100-yard breaststroke and Emily Blasko won the 1000-yard freestyle.

"We had a lot of freshmen step up in their first collegiate meet," Hill said. "It's always fun to see how they will respond in that situation, and our freshmen did it really well."

One of the Broncos who made a big impact as a freshman last season, Ciera Cortney, took home the one-meter diving competition and placed second in the three-meter event.

Junior Lexi Pfeiffer finished third on the three-meter board, with a career-best 225.10.

North picked up right where she left off this summer. She won the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyle events. Her 50 and 200 freestyle times (23.71 and 1:51.33) both would have scored points at the 2011 Mountain West Championships.

"There wasn't just one standout," Hill said. "We spread out not only the wins but good times, too. So that's exciting to see."

Sophomores Chelsea Miller and Rachel Heaney picked up wins for the Broncos. Miller cruised to victory in the 200-yard breaststroke, winning by more than five seconds. Heaney was dominant in the 200-yard butterfly as well, winning in 2:04.70.

Boucher won her specialty, the 100-yard butterfly. The senior was a 2011 All-American in the event.

Fellow senior Emily Irvin won the 500-yard freestyle in convincing fashion, as well.

Choi, a junior, also enjoyed a strong season opener. She finished second in the 100 freestyle and clocked the second-fastest time in the 100 butterfly.

Boucher, Choi, North and freshman Sydney Johansen teamed up to win the 400-yard freestyle relay. Boucher's lead off leg is the fastest 100 freestyle time in the Mountain West this season.

Also making their collegiate debuts were two Bronco divers. Erin Kohlbeck cracked the 200-point plateau and took fifth place in each event. Breanna Hemming finished eighth in both events.

 "It was a good first showing," said Hill. "We are excited to get back at it next weekend."

The Broncos host New Mexico and Seattle Oct. 14 and 15, at the Boise-West YMCA. The meet Friday starts at 6:30 p.m. (MT), while Saturday will begin at 11:30 a.m. (MT).

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