Broncos Host BYU Saturday in Home Opener

Complete Release

Boise State women's swimming and diving hosts BYU Saturday, Dec. 15, at the West Family YMCA and Boise Aquatic Center. The meet begins at noon (MT) with three-meter diving. It is the Broncos' home opener and the first time they have hosted a meet against the Cougars.

For a schedule of events, see page 3 of the complete release.

Follow the meet live here. Results will be posted after each event.

About the Broncos: Head coach Kristin Hill and the Broncos return 18 letterwinners from the 2012 Mountain West Champions, including nine All-MW performers and two individual champions. Senior Christine Raininger (400-yard individual medley) and sophomore Sydney Johansen (200-yard individual medley) took home gold at the conference meet. Johansen and senior Stevie Hughey return from representing Boise State at the 2012 NCAA Championships, marking the second-straight season the Broncos have a pair of NCAA returners on the roster. Junior Rachel Heaney leads the conference in the 200-yard butterfly with a school-record time of 1:58.50, nearly five seconds ahead of the second-fastest time in the event. Heaney and freshman Devin Madsen have each been named MW Swimmer of the Week once this season.

Last Time Out: Boise State women's swimming and diving finished second in the team standings at the Missouri Invitational, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, in Columbia, Mo. The Broncos came in behind host Missouri for the third-straight year. Boise State tallied 823 points while the Tigers totaled 1020.5. UC Davis was third with 582.5 points while Boise State's Mountain West foe UNLV finished fourth with a score of 543. The Rebels did not participate in the diving events. Overall Boise State set two school records, earned four NCAA B cuts, improved on 31 lifetime bests, placed 36 marks on the all-time top-10 times list. Junior Rachel Heaney was a big part of that performance and took home the team's only event title, winning the 200-yard butterfly in convincing fashion. Heaney's time of 1:58.50 set a school record, is an NCAA 'B' cut and was nearly two seconds ahead of the nearest competitor. Freshman Devin Madsen also set a school record for Boise State, clocking a 1:57.78 in the 200-yard backstroke. It was Madsen's second NCAA 'B' cut of the meet (100-yard backstroke). Sophomore Jessica Bottelberghe led all Broncos in individual scoring with 53 points, advancing to finals in six individual events. Junior Ciera Cortney was the top Bronco finisher in all three diving events, advancing to finals on each board and finishing no worse than fifth, including and NCAA Zone qualifying score on one-meter.

About the Cougars: BYU returns 22 letterwinners from last year's team which won the 2012 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. It was the Cougars' first season as a member of the MPSF after 12 years in the Mountain West. BYU won eight MW team titles in their dozen appearances at the conference championships. The MPSF crown extended an even longer string of dominance. The Cougars have not finished worse than second place at a conference meet since 1979.  Head coach John Brooks is in his first season at the helm for BYU. Brooks and the Cougars took seventh at the Arena Invitational Nov. 15-17, and lost to Utah (Dec. 1) in their only competition since.

The Series: BYU leads 1-0. The Cougars won both relays and used strengths in the distance events and diving to pull away with a 199-99 victory Nov. 6, 2009, in Provo, Utah. The Broncos went 2-1 at the quad meet which also included New Mexico and Seattle. Just the five Boise State seniors have competed against BYU. No current Bronco has recorded an individual win in the series, though Christine Raininger took second in the 200-yard individual medley behind former Bronco Chelsea Lopus.

Races to Watch
100-Yard Breaststroke:
Boise State has built an unprecedented strength in the breaststroke events this season with four Broncos clocking sub-1:05 times. That depth will be tested in the 100-yard event against the Cougars. BYU features three student-athletes with season-best times under 1:05, and a fourth at 1:05.03. Boise State is led by Sydney Johansen who posted a 1:02.63 at the Missouri Invitational.

200-Yard Freestyle Relay: The 200-yard freestyle relay is BYU's top-ranked relay with a best time of 1:33.66, good for No. 50 in the NCAA. Boise State ranks 35th with a top mark of 1:32.56. The Cougars out-touched the Broncos in the event by less than a second in 2009. Senior Stevie Hughey was on that squad.

Heaney Swimmer of the Week: Boise State junior Rachel Heaney was named Mountain West Swimmer of the Week, for meets contested Nov. 19-Dec. 2, the conference announced Wednesday. Heaney won the 200-yard butterfly in school-record time to highlight a strong weekend of swimming at the Missouri Invitational. Heaney competed in four individual events at the meet, scoring in all of them as she advanced to three championship finals and one consolation final.

A Cut Above: Three different Broncos have combined to post four times below the NCAA provisional qualifying standards (B cuts). Freshman Devin Madsen owns two of them (100- and 200-yard backstroke), juniors Rachel Heaney (200-yard butterfly) and Chelsea Miller (200-yard breaststroke) hold the others.

200 Fly Factory: Boise State boasts five of the top-10 swimmers in the Mountain West in the 200-yard butterfly. Junior Rachel Heaney (1:58.50) is nearly five seconds ahead of second place in the conference, which belongs to fellow Bronco Brooke Balogh (2:03.08). Jenni Domanowski (sixth; 2:04.64), Jessica Bottelberghe (ninth; 2:05.46) and Christine Raininger (10th; 2:05.59) are all currently in prime scoring position in the event. Raininger was the 2010 WAC Champion in the 200 butterfly.

November to Remember: Boise State enjoyed the fastest months of November in school history. The Broncos posted the best times for November in 12 individual swimming events and four relays. Ciera Cortney also recorded the highest one- and three-meter diving scores for the month at the Missouri Invitational. 

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