Swimming wins first home dual over Nebraska-Omaha
GREELEY – In its first home dual of the season, the Northern Colorado swimming & diving team won 11 of the 16 events for a 193.5-100.5 victory over Nebraska-Omaha at Butler-Hancock pool on Monday evening.
"The girls swam really great tonight," said Head Coach Kelly McClanahan. "Tonight was probably some of the best racing I have seen them do for their career. I thought we would have some closer races in all events with UNO, but the girls just dominated. When this team decides they are going to perform, they generally exceed their own expectations. All in all I am very proud of the girls. UNO has moved to DI this year, so that adds another DI win to our status.
"Everything I have been working with and asking these girls to do, they did tonight," continued McClanahan. "In recent years and races, we would get touched out at the wall and that happened only once tonight. The girls are taking every race right to the wall, and not giving up the race to their opponent. They are swimming much more aggressive and smart. The difference in our team this year is the depth the squad has. I am able to give some girls relief in their line-ups by having the talent we do this year. Every win or loss is a learning experience. In this case its learning what each of us did correctly and what can be tweaked to be done even better."
Van Oost continued her stellar career, winning the 100 backstroke in 1:00.01 and she was closely followed to the wall by freshman Hannah Abelein who was second in 1:01.35. She also won the 200 back by over five seconds, timing a 2:08.55. In second place was freshman Gina Cernohous with a career-best swim of 2:13.87.
Van Oost completed the hat trick by winning the 100 butterfly in 1:00.73, just 0.11 off her career-best time of 1:00.62. She led a 1-2-3 sweep for the Bears, as Riggle and sophomore Christina Gregory were second and third, respectively.
The highlight of the meet, according to McClanahan, was in the fifth event when Riggle won the 100 breast.
"She touched the wall at 1:06.43, which is 1.73 off the school record set by Tori Gutt last year," said McClanahan. "It's pretty amazing for her to be that close (to the record) already."
Riggle's time is also just 1.33 seconds off her own personal best time of 1:05.12, which is second in school history. She came back to tie for the 200 breast title, touching the wall at exactly the same moment as UNO's Maddie Hunt in 2:24.76.
Smith won the 50 free in 24.96, also a great time for this early in the season.
Junior Sara Moldenhauer picked up right where she left off last spring and won both the one- and three-meter diving boards on Monday. She scored 239.18 to win the one-meter and 258.53 to win the three-meter. Freshman Kayla Lucas was second in both boards, scoring 217.20 in the one-meter and 221.48 in the three-meter.
Abelein, a true freshman, won the 200 IM with a time of 2:14.05, bettering her previous career-best by over two seconds.
"The girls never stopped fighting for each race, even after they saw we clinched the meet," said McClanahan. "That says a lot about their competitiveness. The Air Force meet this Friday is going to be a tough meet for us. They beat UNO by 103 points and we beat UNO by 93. With a 10-point differential against the same opponent, it will be a nail biter."
In the four events the Bears didn't win, they finished second in all of them. Cernohous was second in the 1000 free with a time of 10:57.82, while freshman Jasmine Fryrear was second in the 200 fly in 2:21.90. Alger timed a 55.43 for second in the 100 free and Wolter placed second in the 500 free with a clocking of 5:23.14.
The Bears return to the water on Friday in a dual at the Air Force Academy. Events are scheduled to begin at 5 pm.
"We beat (Air Force) last year, so I only expect us to repeat the performance," said McClanahan. "It will be a true test for the girls - it will test their racing ability – and their courage with it only four days after this meet. The Cadet Pool can be very intimidating, but I expect the girls to put that aside and just race."