GREELEY, Colorado, January 21. THE Northern Colorado swimming & diving team dropped a 132-108 decision to New Mexico State on Friday evening, but Head Coach Kelly McClanahan had much to smile about throughout the evening.
"I thought tonight was a great night," said McClanahan. "I could not be more happy with how well we sent our seniors out and how well we swam. To finish the dual season with this great of a night and finishing .500 at 11-11 in duals is a tremendous thing. They continue to surprise me with how well they're swimming. I could not ask for them to be sitting in a better place than they are right now."
Prior to the start of the dual, the four seniors on the team were honored for their efforts in the program throughout their careers and then the four took to the pool to swim a relay together to open the meet.
Alana Dauman, Tori Gutt, Alisha Dauman and Kelly Schmeckpeper-Cook were all spoken about, given flowers and gifts and then combined for a 1:54.77 in the 200 medley relay.
Schmeckeper-Cook went on to win both the one- and three-meter diving, narrowly missing her own school record on the three-meter board, scoring 302.03. In the one-meter event, she posted a score of 290.03, while teammate Sara Moldenhauer finished second in the one-meter with her point total of 255.23.
"On the one-meter, Kelly and Sara finishing 1-2 is phenomenal," said McClanahan. "They both had some really good dives tonight. Diving has really been an integral part of our team this year and we look forward to what they can do at conference."
Gutt went on to swim a 2:11.01 in the 200 yard butterfly to touch the wall over two seconds faster than the closest competitor. Her time was just 0.29 off her personal-best time of 2:10.72 from her freshman season. She also timed a 2:12.20 in the 200 IM to finish second and a 2:24.86 for second in the 200 breaststroke.
"Tori had a great night," McClanahan stated. "To win the 200 butterfly, which isn't something she swims very often is outstanding. She was also very strong in both the 200 IM and the 200 breast."
The tandem of Tatum Boehnke and Amanda Donegan finished 1-2, respectively in the 1000 yard free. Boehnke swam a 10:58.84, while Donegan timed in at 11:00.87 in the first individual event of the evening.
"The 1000 was a very good surprise," said McClanahan. "They both swam the smartest races I've ever seen them swim. They sat back and cooled their jets and took over after the 500, which is exactly what I asked of them. Boehnke's time, when altitude adjusted would be a season-best time, as is Donegan's and that's extremely exciting."
Freshman Gina Riggle placed second in the 50 free after swimming a 24.98, while junior Jennifer Smith was right behind her in third at 24.98. Riggle also finished second in the 100 free with a time of 54.71.
"Gina was right there," said McClanahan. "JJ was also right behind her and it was a great race for everyone."
Freshman Courtney Van Oost was second in the 200 backstroke, timing a 2:09.59 and Donegan came back to finish second in the 500 free in 5:20.15.
"All in all, I feel confidence is high and morale is high," McClanahan concluded. "That's very important heading into the conference championship. Now is the time we fine tune everything. This team has the heard, the drive and the will to race and we just need to change some of the finer things to be extremely competitive at the conference championships."
The Bears now take a month off from competition while they prepare for the inaugural MPSF Championship, which will take place in Long Beach Feb. 23-26.
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