COLUMBIA, Mo.-Freshman Jessica Bottelberghe clocked a school record to highlight the first day of competition at the Missouri Invitational for Boise State women's swimming and diving, Thursday, in Columbia, Mo. The Broncos sit in second, trailing host Missouri.
Boise State totaled five NCAA provisional qualifying times, including in the 200-yard freestyle and 400-yard medley relays. Both relay times are the fastest in the Mountain West this season. The Broncos also picked up major contributions from their divers.
"Today was a great day for us," said head coach Kristin Hill. "We were fast at this meet last year and today we even surpassed the great swims from last year, so everyone is racing well."
Bottelberghe swam the best 200-yard individual medley in Boise State history in the consolation finals of the event. She won the 'B' Final in 2:01.94, to set the mark by one one-hundredth of a second. Fellow freshman Sydney Johansen finished second in the 'B' Final in 2:03.65, the fourth-fastest time in school history. Bottelberghe (fourth), Johansen (sixth) and junior Christine Raininger (seventh) all cracked the top 10 in the MW.
"Jessica's team record was well-earned and she also had lifetime bests in the 100 fly and 100 back, so it was a big day for her," Hill said.
Senior Amber Boucher claimed two NCAA 'B' cuts, including the fastest time in the MW in the 100-yard butterfly. Boucher clocked a 54.22 in the prelims, the seventh-fastest time in school history, before finishing fourth in the finals. Junior Stevie Hughey finished seventh in the 100 butterfly with the third-best time in the conference (55.38). Bottelberghe followed Hughey in eighth with a career-best 55.70, good for sixth in the MW.
Boucher's second provisional cut came in the 50-yard freestyle, finishing third with a 22.80 in the finals. That time is good for second in the conference and eighth in Boise State history. Senior Stephanie North finished fourth in the finals after clocking a 22.78 in prelims, a provisional cut, seventh at Boise State and No. 2 in the MW.
Boucher, Bottelberghe and North swam on both relay teams. The Broncos took second in each the 200 freestyle (1:32.21) and 400 medley (3:41.33) relays, and both rank No. 2 in school history. Hughey rounded out the freestyle quartet and freshman Heather Harper swam the breaststroke leg in the medley event.
Bottelberghe led off the medley relay team with a 55.51 in the 100-yard backstroke. The time is good for third in the conference and fourth all-time at Boise State.
North anchored both relays, overcoming a half-second deficit in the 400 medley to pass Kansas for second place.
Two upperclassmen led the way in the 500-yard freestyle for the Broncos. Junior Jenn Cahill qualified for the 'A' Final, where she finished sixth (4:53.94) with the fourth-fastest time in school history and sixth-best in the conference. Senior Emily Irvin one-upped Cahill with a career-best 4:53.47 to win the 'B' Final and rank third all-time at Boise State, fifth in the MW this season.
Junior Lexi Pfeiffer took fifth on the three-meter springboard. Pfeiffer's preliminary score of 252.15 is good for third in school history at a championship-style meet and qualified her fifth for the finals where she held her position. The Broncos placed five in the top 16 as Amanda Burnett (10th), Ciera Cortney (12th), Erin Kohlbeck (13th) and Tana Loan (14th) all tallied scores in the top 10 of the championship-style meet record book.
"The girls dove well today," said head diving coach David Legler. "Lexi led things off with the best three-meter list I've seen her do and continued to dive well in her first finals event. It was great to have five in the top 16 and to see the hard work they've been putting in in practice transfer into competition. I'm excited for one-meter tomorrow."
The meet continues Friday, with prelims starting at 9 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m. (MT) from the Mizzou Aquatic Center.
Freshman Nikki Cannon made her collegiate debut Thursday, turning in a 57.57 100 back stroke leading off the Broncos' 'C' team in the 400 medley relay...Rachel Heaney clocked the 10th-fastest times in the MW in each the 500-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, swimming the events back-to-back...Freshman Megan Myers now ranks No. 16 in the conference in the 500-yard freestyle...Stephanie North's 22.83 in the finals of the 50-yard freestyle ranks No. 10 all-time at Boise State...Amber Boucher led off the 200-yard freestyle relay with a 22.91, breaking the 23-second mark three times Thursday