SAN ANTONIO, Texas, February 23. BOISE State used depth to win its second Mountain West Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships title in three seasons. The Broncos tallied 735 points across 21 events at the Palo Alto Aquatic Center in San Antonio, Texas, despite only picking up one individual event title. Senior Rachel Heaney won the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:58.09 in the second to last event of the meet.
San Diego State finished in second place with 633.5 points buoyed on wins in six individual events and all five relays, becoming the first MW team to sweep all five relay events the Championship meet. Nevada placed third with 507 points, while Wyoming took fourth place with 455 points and New Mexico was fifth with 303 points. Air Force came in at sixth in the standings, thanks to wins by freshman Genevieve Miller in the 500-yard freestyle and 1,650-yard freestyle, with 292 points. UNLV finished seventh (282.5), followed by San José State (270), Fresno State (177) and Colorado State (165).
In addition to the team trophy, several individual awards were handed out in San Antonio on Saturday night. San Diego State freshman Anika Apostalon, who captured three individual titles and led off on four of the five Aztecs’ winning relays at the meet, was named the 2014 MW Women’s Swimmer of the Year and the MW Freshman of the Year, becoming just the second rookie in league history to be named Swimmer of the Year. Aztecs’ head coach Mike Shrader earned his fifth Mountain West Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year honor. Nevada senior En-tien (Grace) Huang received 2014 MW Women’s Diver of the Year, the second consecutive Wolf Pack diver to earn the award, while Nevada diving coach Jian Li You was named the Mountain West Women’s Diving Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year.
San Diego State senior Mikaela Macklin was presented with the Mountain West Senior Award as selected by the Conference’s head coaches prior to the evening’s finals.
San Diego State rookie Anika Apostalon set her third all-time MW record on Saturday night with a 47.73 in the 100-yard freestyle finals, breaking the previous record of 47.81 that she set in the morning prelims. It is also an automatic-qualifying mark to the NCAA Championships in March. Wyoming senior Morgan Hartigan passed second with a 48.77, followed by Boise State freshman Brittany Aoyama in 49.33 seconds, both provisional marks. NCAA ‘B’ cuts were also set by Boise State sophomore Samantha Wicks (49.50), SDSU sophomore Whitney Weisz (49.53), SJSU freshman Alysha Bush (49.71) and Aztec junior Chelsea Bailey (49.96).
Air Force finished 1-2 in the finals of the 1,650-yard freestyle. Freshman Genevieve Miller won her second event of the meet with a 16:19.17 NCAA provisional time, followed by sophomore Sara Menke in second with a ‘B’ cut of 16:28.83. New Mexico senior Monica Dudley placed third with a time of 16:33.61.
San Diego State sophomore Natilee Ruiz earned the 200-yard backstroke title with a provisional time of 1:55.43. Seven others swam ‘B’ cut times in the event, including Wyoming junior Jordan Denny in second at 1:56.22 and Boise State junior Nicolette Cannon with a time of 1:58.28.
Nevada sophomore Yawen Li shaved more than one second off the MW all-time record with the victory in the 200-yard breaststroke finals, an NCAA provisional time of 2:10.15. San Diego State senior Mikaela Macklin placed second with a ‘B’ cut time of 2:11.23, followed by Wolf Pack freshman Sophia Cieplucha in third at 2:11.44. Five others recorded NCAA ‘B’ cut times in the finals and consolation finals.
Boise State senior Rachel Heaney defended her crown in the 200-yard butterfly in a time of 1:58.09 for the Broncos lone individual victory of the meet. Wyoming junior Claudia Carlson placed second with a 1:59.38, followed by Nevada freshman Sita Kusserow in third at 1:59.51. All three marks are NCAA provisional times.
Nevada senior Grace Huang earned her second crown of the meet with a score of 264.27 in the platform dive. Teammate Krysta Palmer (So.) finished second with a mark of 258.21 and Wyoming sophomore Kari Campbell posted a score of 234.96 for third.
San Diego State swept the relay events with a victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The Aztecs swam an MW all-time record and NCAA automatic-qualifying mark of 3:16.60. UNLV posted a time of 3:17.52 for second, followed by Boise State in third place at 3:17.62. Both the Rebels and the Broncos clocked NCAA ‘B’ cuts.
Video highlights and archives, results, team scores, photo galleries and more information from the meet is available through the MW Championship Central page at http://www.themw.com/#!/page/championship_c-swim. Fans also can follow @MW_OlySports on Twitter for updates throughout the postseason.
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