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Kick-off relay 2020 Mountain West Championships




LAS VEGAS To the extent that Christopher Woodard knew the Leaning Tower of Pisa was broken. After the first day of the Mountain West Swimming and Diving Championships, he knows his team isn’t.

The Colorado state women produced a time lapse and a first time when the event kicked off Wednesday at the Buchanan Natatorium on the UNLV campus. The Rams dropped nearly 2 seconds in the 200-meter medley relay, then came back and joined the rest of the conference by swimming the 800 freestyle for the first time this season. In both cases, CSU came away with sixth place, good for 96 points on its way to the first of three full days of competition.

The preliminary rounds on Thursday start at 12:00 PM and the finals start at 7:30 PM. Back in Centennial State, the diving portion of the competition begins with the 1-meter springboard at the Air Force Academy Natatorium. The preliminary round starts at noon, after which the consolation finals follow. The finals for the event take place at 6 p.m.

The quad van Elsa Scar Kate Miller Jennae Frederick and Kristina Friedrichs produced a time of 1: 43.57 in the 200 medley relay, down 1.84 seconds and did it from Lane 1. Friedrichs anchored the team with a strong split of 22.53 in the freestyle segment (third best in the race), causing the team to be emotionally charged from the start.

“The highlight was just seeing how excited they all were behind the blocks,” said Woodard. “This isn’t necessarily what we would call a championship pool, but since it’s a little bit tighter quarters I think the volume was higher for them. To see them respond to it, loosen up a little and jump behind the blocks. and dance a little bit, I think that will stand out from day one. Then we’ll see how we build on that. “

The battle cry as a joke did it for the old Italian building, which is still nearly 650 years old. Olivia Chatman Woodard had convinced the team the day before the team left for the game that it had fallen.

All pranks aside, Friedrichs said she did her part for the team, making a relay the perfect way to get a championship out of the blocks.

“It was just exciting. It’s a good race to get out and just shake the nerves,” said the junior. “It’s good to go out and do something with friends and on a relay. There’s just another level of excitement, and it gets things out of my mind because I’m just so focused on the people I’m going to swim with. “

In the nightcap, Woodard was able to get three freshmen to have their first swimming sessions in a champion setting, such as Megan Hager distracted the team, with classmates Kendra Preski and Anika Johnson swim the last two legs. Together with sophomores Sarah Mundy, the Rams set a time of 7: 24.14.

“Every time you watch a relay race and they do it right and they’re all young, you start thinking about the future,” Woodard said. “I think it helps the other freshmen. They see their teammates, and it helps flush out some of the nerves as they compete individually in matches tomorrow.”

Like the first relay, Woodard was impressed by Johnson’s anchor leg, a 1: 50.39, and Mundy’s swim, who went 1: 50.27.

Friedrichs was also encouraged by the enthusiasm on deck, believing this is something the Rams can build on for the next three days. The key, she said, is keeping up the excitement and encouraging each other in their individual pursuits.

“I think our team usually gains momentum as the game goes on, so I’m not worried at all,” she said. “I think it’s a different situation. It’s weird with COVID, we’ve never had a meeting like that. It’s weird without spectators. Life is weird. I think people are ready to go now. that the jitters are gone and we’re just ready to go at this point. ”

Two-time defending champion San Diego State started the pursuit of another title by winning both events.

The preliminary rounds on Thursday start at 12:00 PM and the finals start at 7:30 PM. Back in Centennial State, the diving portion of the competition begins with the 1-meter springboard at the Air Force Academy Natatorium. The preliminary round starts at noon, after which the consolation finals follow. The finals for the event take place at 6 p.m.

“We’re not trying to compare it to any other year. If we drop time, we must have done something right in terms of our training and our rest,” said Woodard. “I think we’re encouraged by some splits. In our sprints we might have some work to do. I’m happy with the 200 medley relay, seriously very happy with the back of that relay, especially Kristina’s split. 800 Free Relay , across the board, that was a great race for us. “

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