ROCKWALL, Texas, February 26. THE Denver Pioneers swept the men's and women's 2011 Sun Belt Conference Swimming and Diving titles as day four came to a close here at the Rockwall Aquatics Center of Excellence in Rockwall, Texas.
DU won it's first-ever women's team title with 924.5 total points while the men claimed its second overall team title and first since 2009 with 1009 total points. WKU finished second in both the men's and women's team races with 943.5 points and 795 points, respectively.
North Texas finished third in the women's race for the second consecutive year with 677 points while Florida Atlantic claimed the final spot in the men's race with 694.5 points.
WKU's Bruce Marchionda was named the men's SBC Coach of the Year and DU's Brian Schrader was named the women's SBC Coach of the Year. Clayton Myers of DU and Claire Donahue of WKU picked up the men's and women's Swimmers of the Year. Donahue was the women's Swimmer of the Year following the 2010 SBC Championships.
FIU's Chris Mantilla was named the women's SBC Diving Coach of the Year and Sabrina Beaupre was named the women's SBC Diver of the Year. Denver's Aaron D'Addario was named the men's SBC Diving Coach of the Year and Seth McNew was named the men's SBC Diver of the Year.
The evening's action began with the women's 1650 freestyle in which North Texas claimed the top three spots led by Dawn Richarson's 16:50.31.
In the men's 1650 free, DU's Clayton Myers once again graced the podium, this time with his third event win in an NCAA B cut time of 15:12.88. The Pioneers claimed the top three spots in the race.
The women's 200 backstroke saw WKU's Hilary Mishler set a new SBC meet and conference record with an NCAA B cut time of 1:56.85. Denver took second and third to hold onto the team lead.
Kyle Milberg became Denver's second event winner of the night in the men's 200 back as DU went 1-2 in the event as Milberg's teammate, Caleb Stevens came in second. Milberg's time was a new SBC meet and conference record as well as a B cut time (1:44.69). WKU took spots 3-5 as the Toppers began to regain the men's team lead.
Rachel Burns of Denver won the women's 100 freestyle in 50.12, just four hundredths of a second in front of WKU's Claire Alexander. Both times were NCAA B cut times.
Cole Worsley led a one-two finish in the men's 100 free with an NCAA B cut time of 44.26.
Denver's Grace Kittle made it four wins in-a-row for the Pioneers as she reset the women's 200 breaststroke meet and conference record with a time of 2:10.58, over four seconds better than the runner-up Eszter Bucz of Florida Atlantic (2:14.84).
Ian Francis led a one-two-three finish in the men's 200 breaststroke for the Pioneers as he claimed the event title with a time of 1:57.83. Francis' teammates Tanner Krall and Robert Barrett finished second and third, respectively with times of 1:59.09 and 1:59.12. All three times met the NCAA B cut standard.
WKU's Claire Donahue claimed another event victory at the 2011 championships, this time in the women's 200 butterfly. Her time of 1:57.77 met the NCAA B cut standard.
Garth Summers of DU claimed the men's 200 fly in time of 1:45.44, finishing just ahead of teammate Scott Madaras. The Pioneers claimed spots one, two and five as the top five times met the B cut standard.
FIU's Sabrina Beaupre claimed her second diving title as she won the women's 1-meter dive with six-dive score of 279.90, which was a new SBC meet record.
The evening's final two events went to Denver as both the women's and men's 400 freestyle relay teams won their respective races. The Women finished with a time of 3:21.88 while the men set a new SBC meet and conference record with a time of 2:57.22.
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