Moby Pool was electric Friday night when the Denver Pioneers came to Fort Collins for the dual meet against the CSU swimming and diving team.
Energy was in the water and stands with over 200 fans in attendance for this non-conference meet that the Rams dominated, defeating the Pioneers 187-113.
The Rams came out of the gates with great energy, which helped them take first place in the opening five events of the night, giving them a substantial early lead.
â€œI wasnâ€™t expecting us to jump out to quite the lead that we did, keep that lead and actually increase it as we progressed through the meet,â€ Rams coach John Mattos said of the energy that propelled the Rams to an early lead that they never lost.
With this win, CSU increased their overall record to 7-1 while DU dropped to 7-3 on the season.
The 200 Medley Relay started the night off. The Rams gathered momentum, taking first and swimming a season best time of 1 minute, 45.22 seconds.
The win was an all-around team effort with the Rams placing first in 10 of the 16 events. This included CSU winning both events in diving, including a sweep in the three-meter where sophomore Shayna Solomon, junior Cori Swango and freshmen Madeline Mitchell took first, second and third.
Throughout the team, two swimmers really helped carry the Rams with dominate performances in their individual events.
Senior Kathleen McCleary took the momentum from the first event and carried it into the 1,000-yard freestyle where she earned first place and the Rams 13 points in a race she led the entire way. McCleary didnâ€™t lose momentum despite not competing again until the meetâ€™s 12th event, where again she excelled and took home first place in the 500 freestyle.
â€œI was feeling a little tired at first, but I wasnâ€™t going to let that get to me, so I just got more warmed up as I kept swimming. In the end I felt good, and it worked out really well,â€ McCleary said.
Sophomore Breann Fuller also had an outstanding day for the Rams, accounting for 26 points in her two 1st place finishes. Fuller won in the 100-yard breaststroke and also placed first in the 200-breaststroke that the Rams swept.
â€œIt definitely was a good win to get and those wins helped the momentum of the team get going,â€ Fuller said of the Ramsâ€™ win and her individual events.
After the dual Friday, the Rams went south to Colorado Springs for the three-day Colorado College Classic, where they only competed on Saturday but made their presence known, taking a commanding lead after the second day with 343.5 points.
CSU is on the home stretch of their season with two vital MWC duals in the coming weeks, which starts this Saturday when UNLV comes to Fort Collins.
Mattos recognizes how well his team is competing.
â€œSuccess breeds success, these kids donâ€™t like to lose, and as long as we stay with the plan, weâ€™ll be just fine and keep this ball rolling into next weekend,â€ he said.
Swimming and Diving beat reporter David de Besche can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.