GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado, February 22. THE Colorado Mesa University men’s swimming and diving team topped California Baptist by 113 points for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship Saturday evening, their first in school history. Meanwhile, the Cal Baptist women’s team ran away with the title, besting second place Adams State by 264 points. Colorado School of Mines finished third on the men’s side and Colorado Mesa University placed third for the women.
Colorado Mesa Press Release
The Colorado Mesa men’s swimming and diving team made history Saturday (Feb. 22) by claiming the first Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference swimming and diving conference title in school history. The Mavericks finished 113 points ahead of second place California Baptist.
Brock Martin earned RMAC Diver of the Meet and Diver of the Year after winning both the 1- and 3-meter diving events.
Jarren Brinton earned RMAC Freshman of the Year accolades after finishing second in the 1,650 free in a B qualifying time of 15:55.82.
“I told the team to cherish this championship because they don’t come every day,” said head coach Ron Allen who was named the RMAC Men’s Coach of the Year. “The league is very talented and will only get tougher with the addition of Lindenwood next year.”
Justin Hastings claimed the only individual win of the day, and his third of the RMAC Championships, with a victory in the 200 back in 1:48.46.
CMU capped a thrilling week of racing by winning the final event the 400 free relay. After battling California Baptist for the whole race, Kent Olsen-Stavrakas out-touched the Lancers by less than a second and finished with a B qualifying time of 3:00.78. Other members of the team included Justin Hastings, Joshua Scheuermann and Rob Eisendrath.
Olsen-Stavrakas nearly pulled off the win in the 100 free finishing second in a time of 45.62. Josh Scheuermann was third (45.87), and Peter Szekely was fourth (46.15). All three earned B qualifying times.
Thomas Stutzriem earned a podium spot with a second place finish in the 200 breast (2:03.20), and Tyler Kaslik was third in the 1,650 free (16:19.32).
The women’s team finished second overall behind California Baptist.
Briana Purkapile notched the highest individual finish for the Maverick women finishing second in the 1,650 free (17:41.83).
Maddy Wigg finished fourth (18:02.21) and Katherine Gertsmar was fifth (18:16.56).
Amanda Jennings finished third in the 3-meter diving event with a score of 409.65.
Eryn Leonard finished third (53.29), and Marissa Bradley was fourth (53.37) in the 100 free.
The relay team of Leonard, Bradley, Annie Jones and Purkapile earned a B qualifying time in the 400 free relay with a second place finish in 3:33.20.
The qualifiers for the NCAA National Championships will be announced early next week.
California Baptist Press Release
In its first-ever Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship, California Baptist University’s swim and dive teams grabbed first and second, with the women sweeping the board with accolades.
Head coach Rick Rowland earned RMAC Women’s Swim Coach of the Year for the 2013-14 season, Courtney Chacon won women’s Freshman of the Year, Mary Hanson won women’s Swimmer of the Year and Yosita Hapsari won women’s swimmer of the meet. Breanne Schlenger won women’s Diver of the Year as well as Women’s Diver of the Meet. Sophomore, Josh Hanson earned male Swimmer of the Year and was named male Swimmer of the Meet as well.
Over the course of the four-day meet, the women tallied a staggering 1,092 points with gold medals in 18 of 19 events including 4 team relays and grabbing the gold and silver medals on both the 1-meter and 3-meter platforms.
The men put up a total of 1,059 points with 8 gold medals, 8 silver, and 4 bronze as well as a bronze and silver-medal finish from two of the divers.
After winning the gold medal on the 1-meter platform Wednesday, Breanne Schlenger posted a phenomenal score of 474.60 on the 3-meter board in her final event of the championships for another gold-medal finish and a CBU record in the event.
Lauren Skinner grabbed her second silver medal with her 444 total points on the 3-meter board for a solid finish as a freshman. Miranda King and Millie Moro scored 396.90 and 378.35 in the event for fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Courtney Chacon posted a leading 17:08.81 time in the 1,650-yard freestyle—dropping 21 seconds from her season-best time and grabbing the gold medal for the second time at the championship. Ashley Weedman posted her season-best and NCAA Division II ‘B’ qualifying time for the first time this season with her third-place finish in 17:35.12.
Yosita Hapsari grabbed the gold in the 100 free, touching-first in 51.39. Hailey Golden and Kristina Tchernyshev finished the event in 53.54 and 53.99 respectively.
Mary Hanson broke yet another RMAC, CBU program record, and Colorado Mesa record in the 100-yard backstroke with her nearly ‘A’ qualifying time of 1:59.54, while Kylie Mihld gave the Lancers a one-two finish with her silver medal time of 2:02.5.
Alena Rumientceva won the gold medal while breaking another RMAC, CBU, and Colorado Mesa record with her 200-yard breaststroke time of 2:14.95—just .05 away from the automatic qualifying time.
The CBU women won the gold in a close 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:32.07, which Kyndal Terwilliger, Golden, Abby Mullen, and Hapsari contributed to.
The Lancer men’s dive team competed in a set of trial dives where Kendall Rummell was just two points shy of the national qualifying score and Chris Carlberg landed three points short—a tough finish for the men.
Elijah Barrows broke the CBU program record, as well as Colorado Mesa record, and was just three seconds shy of the automatic qualifying time in the 1,650 free finishing in 15:26.63. Barrows took the race in the last 200 yards for the gold-medal. Derek Wedel, in a .4 difference for fourth place, posted a career-best 15:56.73 time. Mitchell Spezzaferri posted his season-best time in the event clocking in at 16:10.53.
David Ring—the only CBU swimmer competing in the men’s final 100 free—swam neck-and-neck for the gold medal clocking in at a season-best 45.50.
Robert Nichols grabbed the silver medal in a close 200-backstroke race, clocking in a season-best time of 1:47.79. Nolan Brown finished with a bronze-medal time of 1:49.36 in the event to give the Lancers a two-three finish.
Josh Hanson pulled to a gold-medal finish in the last 100 yards of the 200-yard breaststroke race clocking in at a season-best time of 2:01.89. Bryce Arata and Chaffin Blake both finished the event in 2:05.18 and 2:06.75, respectively.
The Lancer men posted a CBU record in yet another close 400 free relay with their silver-medal time of 3:01.05 to close out their first-ever RMAC Championships. Hanson, Ring, Josh Collison, and Nichols swam their heart out in their final event of the meet to take the silver medal just .4 behind Colorado Mesa.
Mary Hanson, Schlenger, Skinner, King, Moro and Brown are among the automatic qualifiers for NCAA Division II National Championships in Geneva, Ohio March 12-15 while the ‘B’ qualifiers who get invited to the competition will be released later this week.