San Diego State Crowned Mountain West Champions; Wilma Johansson Named Swimmer of the Meet


San Diego State Crowned Mountain West Champions; Wilma Johansson Named Swimmer of the Meet

The San Diego State University Aztecs won the Mountain West championship in Houston Texas, scoring 1,638 total points. The University of Nevada Las Vegas finished second on the leaderboard with 1,103 points. University of Wyoming was third with 937 points and University of Nevada fourth, scoring 930 points.

Fresno State University came in fifth with 866 points, followed by Air Force Academy(825.5), Colorado State University (790), San José State University (632.5), and the University of New Mexico (316).

Championships Central

Day One

Lucia Gabino, of the University of Nevada, clinched gold after a stellar performance on the one-meter springboard, scoring 348.20 points.

With a team consisting of the Alex Roberts (Junior), Meredith Smithbaker (Sophomore), Lizzie Menzmer (GS), and Jeanette King (GS), San Diego State University clinched the 200-yard medley relay and managed the second-fastest time in championship history, while collecting an NCAA B-Cut time (1:36.62). As the session continued, the Aztecs maintained their relay dominance with a victory in the 800-yard freestyle relay (7:12.98).

Day Two

After the conclusion of day two, San Diego State began to pull away from the rest of the field after taking home gold in four events and accumulating 663 points.

San Diego State earned its first victory of the day after Wilma Johansson (4:46.13) just out-touched Wyoming’s Maisyn Klimczak (4:46.18) and secured an NCAA B-cut time. Kristina Murphy followed that up with another Aztec victory after clocking a 1:57.69 in the 200-yard individual medley relay and earning a NCAA B-cut time.

Meredith Smithbaker (22.47) and her teammates Lizzie Mensmer (22.53), Jeanette King (22.63), and Lyndsey Wehr (22.65) put on put on another good showing for the Aztecs by sweeping the first four places in the 50-yard freestyle, and earning NCAA B-cut times.

San Diego State went on to clinch their fourth consecutive event of the day, the 400-yard medley relay, by a sizable margin (3:35.20) with a squad that consisted of Alex Roberts (JR), Meredith Smithbaker (SO), Lizzie Menzmer (GS), and anchor Jeanette King (GS).

Nevada sophomore diver Lucia Gabino took gold in the 3-meter springboard with a score of 375.25, earning an NCAA A-Zone cut. Gabino became the first diver to win Mountain West titles in both the 1-meter and 3-meter in the same championship since Nevada alum, Sharae Zheng, did so in 2018.

Day Three

The third day brought additional success to San Diego State after the Aztecs claimed another four conference titles and maintained their lead with 1,119 points, followed by UNLV in second (712.5).

The relay of Lyndsey Wehr, Lizzie Menzmer, Meredith Smithbaker, and Jeanette King set the stage for the rest of the session as they dominated another heat of competition to secure the 200-yard freestyle relay and earn another NCAA B-cut for the Aztecs.

Nevada’s Benedict Nagy (SR) narrowly edged out Kristina Murphy (GS) of San Diego State, 4:11.29 to 4:11.87, for the conference title in 400-yard individual medley. The senior won gold in the event for a third consecutive year, becoming just the second-ever Mountain West swimmer to three-peat in the event, joining Nevada’s Yawen Li (2014-2016). Both Nagy and Murphy’s performances, earned NCAA B-cut times as well.

UNLV grabbed a gold medal after Blanka Bokros (JR) dropped a lifetime best to win the 100-yard butterfly (52.96) and earn an NCAA B-cut time.

After dropping a huge lifetime best to win the 500 freestyle earlier in the meet, San Diego’s Wilma Johansson came back again to secure another victory, this time in the 200-yard freestyle. Johansson clocked in a 1:47.26 to narrowly beat out Erika Carlson, a freshman from UNLV (1:47.61).

The Aztecs gathered additional NCAA B-cut times as Christina Williams (JR) led a 1-2-3 sweep for the team in the 100 breast with a 1:00.23, and Moa Bergdahl (1:00.79) and Meredith Smithbaker (1:00.81) grabbed second and third. In addition, Alex Roberts rounded (JR) out the evening with another Aztec victory, and NCAA B-cut, in the 100-yard backstroke (52.55).

Day Four

On the last day of the meet, the University of Wyoming’s Maisyn Klimczak (SO) was the top finisher in the 1650-yard freestyle after dropping a time of 16:20.46.

Alex Roberts set a Mountain West Championships record in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:53.89, and picked up an NCAA B-cut time in pursuit of the conference title. In addition, Aztecs Meredith Smithbaker and Jeanette King clinched first and second in the 100-yard freestyle, with marks of 49.05 and a 49.57.

San Diego State junior Christiana Williams dropped 1.75 seconds to earn gold and an NCAA B-cut time in the 200-yard breaststroke with a 2:08.86.

After winning the 100-yard butterfly, Blanka Bokros (UNLV) broke the Conference and Mountain West Championships record in the 200-yard butterfly in the preliminary round. Bokros later came back to win a second title and earn NCAA B-cut during finals with a time of 1:55.91.

The Aztecs continued their relay dominance by narrowly out-touching Fresno State in the 400 freestyle relay. The squad of Avery Turney (SO), Evonne Stehr (SR), Kristina Murphy (GS), and Lyndsey Wehr (SO) touched first with a time of 3:20.21, only 0.38 seconds ahead of the Bulldogs. Meanwhike, Valentina Lopez Arevalo of San Diego State rounded out the meet with a 305.30-point score in the platform diving.

Over the course of the meet, San Diego State collected 14 gold medals. Moa Bergdahl (SDSU) was named Freshman of the Meet, while Wilma Johansson (SDSU) was crowned Swimmer of the Meet.

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Doug Lumbard
Doug Lumbard
1 year ago

Is this Peaton Lesser from CRST?

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