Air Force Hosts Northern Colorado, North Dakota And Seattle In Two-Day Dual

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, January 18. THE Air Force Academy women’s and men’s swimming and diving teams topped Northern Colorado, North Dakota and Seattle on Friday night in the first session of back-to-back dual meets against the three schools.

Air Force Academy Press Release

The Air Force swimming & diving teams swept the competition in a four-way meet with North Dakota, Northern Colorado and Seattle U Friday night at the Cadet Natatorium. The Falcon women improved to 11-3 on the season, while the men are now 9-6.

The women defeated North Dakota 181-60, Northern Colorado 154-88 and Seattle U 181-57. The men defeated North Dakota 128-107 and Seattle U 140.50-94.50.

The Falcons combined to win the first nine events to start the meet and never looked back. The women’s team took first overall in 11 of 13 events. The men took first in seven events and exhibitioned their swimmers after event nine.

The Falcons women were led by senior Hannah Cesare, junior Kim Davis and freshman Savannah Meadows. Cesare won the 50 yard freestyle (24.29) and 100 free (52.56). Davis won the 200 medley (2:09.22) and 200 breast (2.21.70). Meadows, making her collegiate debut after missing the first half of the season due to injury, made an immediate impact with wins in the 1-meter (250.75) and 3-meter (300.10) diving.

The women also had first place swims by freshman Genevieve Miller in the 1000 free (10:42.69), senior Erin Bleyl in the 200 free (1:56.69) and sophomore Sara Menke in the 500 free (5:16.22).

Air Force also won both relay events. The group of senior Sam Laughlin, freshman Kira Schlosberg, senior Gabbrielle Aranda and Davis won the 400 medley relay (3:54.25) and Cesare, Aranda, Bleyl and Laughlin won the 200 free relay (1:37.47).

On the men’s side, senior Paul Leonhardt led the way with a pair of wins. Leonhardt took first in the 200 free (1:43.22) and 200 fly (1:55.95).

Also taking first were freshman Andrew Facizewski in the 1000 free (9:46.95), sophomore George Frank in the 50 free (21.46), sophomore Dominic Vallejo in the 3m diving (320.85) and junior Ryan Dunne in the 100 free (45.39).

The Falcons return to action the next day, Saturday, Jan. 18 in the home finale against the same schools. The meet begins at 11 a.m.

North Dakota Press Release

The University of North Dakota swimming and diving teams face some familiar competition this weekend at the Air Force meet running Friday and Saturday. With day one in the books, UND has a pair of wins already in hand.

The UND men defeated Seattle, 129-102 and dropped a 128-107 decision to the host Falcons. The North Dakota women also downed Seattle, 145-91 and fell 181-60 to Air Force and 149-94 to Northern Colorado.

“To beat Seattle on the men’s side was one of our programs goals from the start of the season, and we accomplished that,” UND head coach Chris Maiello said. “Now we just have to follow up with another win tomorrow.

“Overall I was pleased with the way we competed tonight. We are ahead of where we were last season at this point. However we still have a lot of work to do before conference.

“Rick Eberle on the boards had a great night. Getting to within three points of a lifetime best score is something special. I am happy for him. Adam Gannon, Noah Lucas and Austin Smith also had solid nights in the racing pool. To end the meet on a victory with the men’s relay was a nice way to end the meet.

“On the Women’s side, Cassidy Tangeman dove very well for us, it’s good to see her being sharp this close to conference. Kelsey Richels was solid and is coming on strong as the season winds down. I am excited to watch her progress and swim fast at season’s end. Overall, I know we can do better as a program, and we will as we work toward fine tuning our racing skills to a conference championship level.”

The two-day competition continues Saturday before UND returns home for senior day and its final home meet of the season next weekend.

Northern Colorado Press Release

After almost two months away from the competition arena, the Northern Colorado swimming & diving team returned in a big way, winning duals over Western Athletic Conference foes Seattle (155-82) and North Dakota (149-94).

The AquaBears also dropped a 154-88 decision to host Air Force in the first day of the Air Force Quadrangular. The four teams return to the pool tomorrow at 11 am to compete in another day of dual format.

“We had some great performances tonight,” Head Coach Kelly McClanahan said. “We won 10 of the 13 events against UND and Seattle. Losing to Air Force is always a heart-breaker, being in state rivals.”

Senior Courtney Van Oost (Elgin, Ill.) won the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:05.63 and she finished third in the 200 IM, swimming a 2:12.99.

Sophomore Kelsey Smith (Temecula, Calif.) placed second in the one-meter diving, scoring 241.20 points, less than 10 points off the lead by Air Force’s Savanna Meadows. Smith was the only non-Falcon to place in the top seven.

Smith also finished third on the three-meter board, scoring 241.60, while fellow sophomore Haley Schneider (Longmont, Colo.) placed fifth with 219.55 points.

Freshman Kimberly Kuni (Littlerock, Calif.) won the 200 fly, clocking a 2:12.66, while freshman Carleigh Barrett (Oshawa, Ontario Canada) finished third in 2:13.26.

“The big performers of the evening start with Kelsey and Courtney winning both their events against UND and Seattle,” McClanahan said. “A close follower would be Kim’s first place sweep in the 200 fly.”

In the 100 free, senior Kira Alger (Monument, Colo.) broke up a Falcon trio by finishing third in 54.20, while junior Brenna Boese (Billings, Mont.) was fifth after timing a 54.72.

Senior standout Gina Riggle (Eaton, Colo.) continued her strong final season, just getting out-touched at the wall in the 50 free. She swam a 24.30, while Air Force’s Hannah Cesare clocked a 24.29. Riggle also recorded a 2:23.39 for third place in the 200 breaststroke.

The AquaBears also got a third place finish by junior Melissa Tillman (Superior, Colo.) in the 200 free after she timed a 1:57.90. Barrett recorded a fourth-place finish in the 500 free after touching the wall in 5:21.04 and a sixth-place finish in the 1000 free as the top Bear in 11:08.06.

“Against UND, big points came from 1-2 finishes from Kelsey and Haley on three-meter, Kira and Melissa in 200 free, Kim and Carleigh in 200 fly and Kira and Brenna in 100 free,” McClanahan said. “Kira and Brenna also did the same against Seattle. It is rare to see 1-2-3 finishes, but Kim, Carleigh and Laura pulled it out in the 200 fly (against Seattle). And of course Gina winning her 50 free against Seattle and the 200 breast against UND, as well as Carleigh taking the 500 against Seattle added to the tally in big ways. The team closed it out on a high note by sweeping the relay against UND and the Seattle.”

The ending high note for the Bears was the quartet of Boese, Alger, Jenny LaPorte and Riggle combining for a 1:38.65 in the 200 freestyle relay, finishing just over a second behind the host Falcons.

At the beginning of the evening, Van Oost, Renee Stephens, Kuni and Tillman kicked things off with a 4:00.20 in the 400 medley relay for third place overall.

“I’m excited for the performances this evening,” McClanahan concluded. “These are big conference wins for us. It’s a late night and we have an early start tomorrow, so hopefully the girls will do the same tomorrow.”

Seattle Men’s Press Release

The Seattle University men’s swim team won two events as the Redhawks competed against Air Force and North Dakota Friday evening in a double-dual meet at the U.S. Air Force Academy Natatorium.

Nicolas Morrell (Bend, Ore.) picked up one of the Redhawk victories, finishing first in the 200 backstroke with a season-best time of 1:53.73. Morrell also came close to his season best in the 200 freestyle, finishing third in a tight race in 1:43.95, just 4/100ths of a second behind second place. He also posted a season-best mark in the 100 backstroke as the leadoff leg for Seattle U’s “B” 400 medley relay with a split of 52.28 seconds.

The other Seattle U event victory was actually a tie, as Tanner Schelling (Boise, Idaho) tied Air Force’s George Frank in the 50 freestyle at 21.46 seconds. Earlier in the meet, Schelling posted the best anchor split in the 400 medley relay at 45.89 seconds, joining with Bart Wanot (Federal Way, Wash.), Gabe Wheeler (Round Rock, Texas), and Tomas Mendez-Beck (Hillsboro, Ore.) for a second-place finish in that event in 3:28.31.

Wanot enjoyed a decent night individually, finishing fourth in the 50 freestyle in 21.66 seconds and third in the 200 backstroke in 1:55.50. Kyle Moline (Mercer Island, Wash.) finished third in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:56.70, with Mendez-Beck touching the wall fifth in the event in 1:58.35.

Late in the meet, Connor Webb (Hood River, Ore.) posted the fourth-best time of the night in the 200 breaststroke at 2:11.50. Mendez-Beck, Lee Van Farowe (Edmonds, Wash.), Alec Barnard (Everett, Wash.), and Michael Cox (Maple Valley, Wash.) combined for the third-best time in the 200 freestyle relay with a mark of 1:26.80.

As a team, Seattle U lost to both Air Force (140.5-94.5) and North Dakota (129-102), with the host Falcons sweeping the meet with a 128-107 victory over North Dakota.

The Seattle University men’s swim team (1-4) will once again face Air Force and North Dakota in a double-dual meet Saturday, Jan. 18, starting at 11 a.m. local time (10 a.m. Pacific time). The Redhawks will come home for dual meets on consecutive Saturdays against Simon Fraser (Jan. 25) and BYU (Feb. 1) before preparing for the WAC Championships at the end of February.

Seattle Women’s Press Release

The Seattle University women’s swim team opened a busy weekend at the U.S. Air Force Academy Natatorium Friday evening, competing against Air Force, North Dakota, and Northern Colorado in the first of two meets over the next couple of days.

Blaise Wittenauer-Lee (Portland, Ore.) picked up three second-place finishes during the night, starting as the second leg of the 400 medley relay where she posted the fastest 100 breaststroke split at 1:03.31. She joined Carlee Bock (Bellingham, Wash.), Jane Liggett (Portland, Ore.), and Kristin Hoffman (Mercer Island, Wash.) to post a mark of 3:55.88.

Individually, Wittenauer-Lee came close to winning both events she competed in, starting with a second-place finish in the 200 freestyle by just 1/10th of a second, posting a time of 1:56.79. In the 200 breaststroke, she finished just 26/100ths of a second behind the event winner, finishing in 2:21.46.

Bock finished third in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:08.44, while Emma Foster (Clancy, Mont.) finished fifth in the 1000 freestyle in 11:00.04. Nicole Doi (Pleasanton, Calif.) finished sixth in both the 50 freestyle (25.08 seconds) and the 100 freestyle (54.75 seconds), and then she led off the 200 freestyle relay that included Melissa Randolf (Everett, Wash.), Caroline Van Maren (Bellevue, Wash.), and Stephanie Bayless (Spokane, Wash.) to a fourth place finish in 1:40.23.

As a team, Seattle U lost to Air Force (181-57), North Dakota (145-91), and Northern Colorado (155-82). The host Falcons swept the night with wins over North Dakota (181-60) and Northern Colorado (154-88), while Northern Colorado defeated North Dakota, 149-94.

The Seattle University women’s swim team (1-8) will once again face Air Force, North Dakota, and Northern Colorado in a quadrangular meet Saturday, Jan. 18, starting at 11 a.m. local time (10 a.m. Pacific time). The Redhawks will come home for their final official dual meet of the season against Simon Fraser Saturday, Jan. 25 before preparing for the WAC Championships at the end of February.

Results For: North Dakota, Northern Colorado, Seattle vs. Air Force

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Author: Emily Sampl

Emily Sampl, an editorial assistant for Swimming World Magazine, is a freelance writer for USA Swimming and an assistant coach at Boulder High School and Boulder Elks Swim Team in Colorado. Emily graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and master's degree in sport administration from the University of Northern Colorado.

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