Swimmers & Divers Claim Mountain West Championship
Feb. 23, 2013
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The San Diego State swimming and diving team claimed its second Mountain West championship in three years as it out-distanced its opposition during the four-day conference meet in San Antonio, Texas. The Aztecs' quality depth was one of the deciding factors as they built a large lead over the rest of the field including defending champion (and 2013 runner-up) Boise State, which defeated the Aztecs for the title by just five points in 2012.
SDSU's final team total of 734 points led the field followed by Boise State (575), Wyoming (509) and UNLV (444). Nevada finished in fifth place (390) followed by New Mexico (296), Colorado State (276), Fresno State (257) and Air Force (211).
Aztec Head Coach Mike Shrader was named the Women's Swimming and Diving Coach of the Year, the fourth time he has received the honor in his six seasons heading up the SDSU program.
Junior Mikaela Macklin was named the Mountain West Swimmer of the Year after capturing three individual races and swimming on the Aztecs' second-place 400 free relay team. Macklin, who won both the 200 and 400 individual medley races earlier in the week, won the 200 breaststroke on Saturday in a school-record time of 2:11.38 as she edged teammate Katelyn Weddle (2:13.73) for the gold.
Macklin's award marked the third time in the past four years that SDSU has produced the conference swimmer of the year. Meghan Zimmer won the honor as a freshman in 2010 while teammate Kelly Marquenie captured the award in 2011.
The Aztecs' other first-place individual finish on Saturday was turned in by senior Leona Jennings. Swimming in her final conference championship meet, Jennings won the 200 backstroke in 1:54.53 to break the school record she set as a sophomore by over 1.5 seconds. Fellow Aztec amanda Barrett added to SDSU's point total with a sixth-place finish in the final as her time of 1:58.77 ranks fourth all-time for an Aztec swimmer.
Although the Aztecs did not win any other events on Saturday, they built their point total over the course of the day with multiple finalists in almost every race.
In the 1650 freestyle final, Kelly Marquenie finished second (16:22.28) followed by Melanie Garibaldi (16:44.67) in sixth and Jessica Crider in seventh (16:47.44). In the 100 freestyle, Maddy Dalcamo placed second in 49.85 with Meghan Zimmer taking fifth place in 50.01.
The Aztecs came up just short of sweeping the meet's five relay races. After winning the first four over the past three days, SDSU's 400 freestyle relay team of Chelsea Bailey, Maddy Dalcamo, Mikaela Macklin and Meghan Zimmer placed second in the meet's final event, just .23 second behind UNLV.
The San Diego State divers also contributed significant points to the Aztec team total on Saturday. Junior Anna Steiner and senior Rafaella Suarez both advanced to the consolation final of the platform diving competition where Steiner took first (ninth overall) with a score of 240.87 and Suarez placed third (11th overall) with a mark of 204.18.88
With the SDSU women's track and field team capturing the conference indoor title earlier today, San Diego State now has won six out of the possible seven Mountain West trophies in the 2012-13 season. Along with swimming and diving plus track and field, women's soccer (regular season and postseason), football and volleyball have all claimed league championships.
Up next for the Aztecs is the Zone E diving meet to be held in Colorado Springs, Colo., March 14-16 with the SDSU divers attempting to qualify for the upcoming NCAA Championships March 21-13 in Indianapolis. SDSUs' 200 medley relay team (Chelsea Bailey, Katelyn Weddle, Gemma Johnson, Whitney Weisz) has achieved automatic qualifying entry time to the NCAA meet while other individuals may qualify to participate as well.
The 2012-13 Mountain West all-conference swimming and diving team will be announced Monday morning.
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS Team Pts 1. San Diego State...734 2. Boise State.......575 3. Wyoming...........509 4. UNLV..............444 5. Nevada............390 6. New Mexico........276 7. Colorado State....276 8. Fresno State......257 9. Air Force.........211