COLUMBIA, Mo.-Stephanie North led the Boise State women's swimming and diving team Friday, at the Missouri Invitational. North finished second in the 200-yard freestyle, fourth in the 100-yard backstroke and anchored both of the Broncos' relay teams. Amanda Burnett guided the Bronco divers, qualifying for the NCAA Zone Championships on the one-meter springboard.
North's 1:47.61 in the 200 freestyle is third all-time at Boise State and ranks first in the Mountain West this season. It is also the senior's second NCAA provisional qualifying time of the season (50-yard freestyle). Her career-best time of 55.36 in the 100 backstroke ranks No. 3 in the conference at fourth in Boise State history.
Amber Boucher joined North in the 'A' Final of the 200 freestyle. Boucher finished fifth in the event with the No. 10 time at Boise State. She narrowly missed the NCAA 'B' cut with the seventh-fastest time in school history (1:48.60) in the morning preliminary session.
In the diving competition, Burnett finished third on the one-meter with an NCAA Zone Championship-qualifying score of 275.00 to lead the Broncos' trio of divers who reached the finals in the event. Burnett's score ranks second all-time at a championship-style meet and sixth on the all-meets list. Sophomore Ciera Cortney took fourth with a 252.45. Senior Tana Loan also dove in the finals, finishing eighth.
"Today was another great day for us," said head diving coach David Legler. "They dove consistently and it paid off. It was fun to have three Broncos in the finals and I'm proud of how they all dove."
In the prelims, Erin Kohlbeck finished 10th, Breanna Hemming took 17th and Lexi Pfeiffer placed 19th.
Junior Christine Raininger finished runner up in the 400-yard individual medley with an NCAA provisional time in the final, swimming a 4:18.89. Raininger claimed the second- and sixth-fastest times in school history in the event. Sophomore Rachel Heaney and freshman Jessica Bottelberghe also swam in the 'A' Final with Heaney clocking the 10th-best time at Boise State in prelims. All three Broncos rank in the top five of the conference in the 400 IM.
Bottelberghe had a busy day. In addition to the 400 IM, the freshman competed in the 100 backstroke and both relays. Bottelberghe placed two more times on the Boise State top-10 list in the 100 backstroke and led off the Broncos' 'B' team in the 800-yard freestyle relay with the ninth-fastest time in the conference in the 200 freestyle. Her lead off leg in the 200-yard medley relay is the second-fastest 50-yard backstroke time in school history. She ranks in the top 10 in the MW in all five individual events she has competed at the meet.
Boise State's most historic effort as a team came in the 100-yard breaststroke. Three Broncos combined for five top-10 times in the event. While freshman Heather Harper finished sixth with the fourth-best time in school history (1:03.26), classmate Sydney Johansen won the 'B' Final in 1:03.21. Johansen's time is No. 3 at Boise State and No. 1 in the MW this season. Harper's time is good for third in the conference. Senior Emily Irvin qualified for the 'A' Final with the eighth-best time in school history (1:03.59) and took eighth in the evening session. Irvin ranks fifth in the conference and junior Stevie Hughey sits in seventh in the conference in the event. The qualifying times for Harper and Johansen also landed on the all-time top-10 list.
The relay events brought four more top-10 times and two more top times in the MW. Boise State 'A' of Bottelberghe, Harper, Boucher and North finished third in the 200 medley relay with the second-fastest time at Boise State and an NCAA 'B' cut (1:41.80). The 'B' relay team of Nikki Cannon, Johansen, Hughey and Olivial Harrell claimed the ninth-fastest time in school history (1:45.12).
Boucher, Irvin, Jennifer Cahill and North combined to finish second in the 800 freestyle relay in 7:21.33, good for No. 2 at Boise State and an NCAA provisional time. The 'B' team of Bottelberghe, Hughey, Emily Blasko and Brooke Balogh posted the sixth-fastest time in school history to finish fifth.
The team competition of the Missouri Invitational concludes Saturday, with a long-course time trial session taking place Sunday to wrap up the Broncos' trip to the Mizzou Aquatic Center.
Emily Irvin was two one-hundredths of a second off her career-best time in the 100-yard breaststroke, a mark she set as a freshman at the 2009 WAC Championships and stood as the school record until last season...Irvin ranks fourth in the MW in the 200-yard freestyle...Boise State holds the top time in the conference in each of the four relay events it has competed so far at the Missouri Invitational...Freshman Nikki Cannon swam the eighth-fastest time in the MW in the 100-yard backstroke...Boise State posted 12 career-best times or scores Friday.