Jan 222006
Authors: Sean Star

With losses in 11 of 16 events, the CSU women's swimming and diving team dropped its second dual meet in a row Saturday night at the hands of the Utah Utes by a final score of 158-127.

The defeat came just one night after the team lost on the road to BYU, 162-128.

The two weekend defeats lowered CSU's conference record to 4-3.

Utah improved its conference record to a perfect 5-0 on the season with the win. Several Utah seniors contributed to the victory in what was the last home meet of their college careers.

One bright spot for the Rams was junior Brette Winegarner's victory in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 58.07 seconds. Winegarner's performance was a follow-up to her impressive meet against BYU in which she won the 200-meter backstroke and the 200 individual medley.

Winegarner feels she's not the only swimmer on the team with talent in the backstroke.

"Right now, we have the strongest backstroke team in the conference," she said.

Winegarner hopes to be seeded first in the 100 backstroke when the regular season ends; she also believes strongly in at least two of her teammates' ability to join her at the conference championships in late February.

Junior diver Elyse Hall was another highlight for the Rams. She re-qualified for the NCAA Sectionals in the one-meter dive. Hall already qualified the previous night in Provo with a season-best score of 267.60.

The Rams were without one of their top scorers, freshman Lyndsey Cox, over the weekend due to academic reasons.

Senior captains Liz Jones and Rachelle Kula had a good weekend, finishing with a pair of top three finishes.

The losses to Utah and BYU all but eliminated the Rams from contention for the regular season conference title. However, Jones is not too concerned.

"The regular season title is something we usually shoot for, but it's not really the important part of the season," said the senior captain. "Everything focuses on conference (championships) and how we can perform there."

Head coach John Mattos is also unfazed by the team's recent defeats and echoes his captain's thoughts.

"When it's time to swim fast, these girls will really swim fast, a lot faster than they are now," he said.

CSU returns home to host a non-conference dual meet in Moby Pool on Friday at 5 p.m. against the Denver Pioneers.



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