GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado, January 15. THE Northern Colorado swimming & diving team won three of four duals at the Bill and Peggy Foster Duals, hosted by Mesa State, on Saturday. The Bears defeated the Colorado club team 263-21, Colorado School of Mines 246-52 and Mesa State 226-62 and dropped a close decision to New Mexico 167-121.
Senior diver Kelly Schmeckpeper-Cook shattered her own school record in one-meter diving, scoring 305.55 to win the event, while sophomore Sara Moldenhaur finished second with a career-best score of 266.30 to qualify for NCAA Zones. Moldenhaur's tally also ranks fifth in Northern Colorado history. Schmeckpeper-Cook also won the three-meter diving with her score of 295.20.
"We had a really good meet today," said Head Coach Kelly McClanahan. "The highlight was Sara scoring her NCAA Zone E standard in the one-meter and of course Kelly breaking her own record. To score 300 in the one-meter is just outstanding."
Freshman Gina Riggle won the 100 yard breaststroke, touching the wall in 1:08.19. She also won the 50 free with a time of 25.04, while teammate JJ Smith was second in 25.28. Riggle continued her strong day, finishing third in the 200 breast in 2:28.75.
"All in all we had a great day," said McClanahan. "We barely lost to New Mexico. I told the team before the meet to be aggressive and they did just that. They took control and I'm proud of them for the way they swam and for a successful meet."
The 200 medley relay team of Sammy Leonard, Amanda Donegan, Riggle and JJ Smith began the morning timing a 1:52.21 to finish second.
Senior Tori Gutt was narrowly edged out for the title in the 200 butterfly. She swam a 2:12.06, just .08 off the champion's time of 2:11.98 by New Mexico's Nanette Wittenberg. Gutt fought back, however, to win the 200 breaststroke in 2:26.27 and touched the wall first in the 200 IM with a time of 2:12.93.
Freshman Kira Alger placed third in the 200 yard freestyle with a time of 1:59.46. She then came back to win the 100 free with a time of 54.35, while Smith was third in 55.71 and placed fourth in the 100 fly with a clocking of 1:02.13.
Sophomore Tatum Boehnke finished behind a trio of Lobos for fourth in the 1000 free with a time of 10:59.90. Leonard also placed fourth in the 200 backstroke with a 2:15.12.
The 400 yard freestyle relay continued to post a strong season, winning the event in 3:40.17. The quartet consisted of Alger, Leonard, Gutt and Smith.
The Bears host New Mexico State on Jan. 21 at 5:00 pm in the Butler-Hancock pool. The meet is the final home dual for Northern Colorado and the seniors on the team will be honored prior to the first event.
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