The CSU Rams swimming and diving team faced its first bit of
adversity in Mountain West Conference competition on Dec. 6. The
Rams’ dual meet Saturday at Moby Pool against Air Force and San
Diego State started out with a scare. The Rams lost the first three
of their four events to the Aztecs.
“I think our team was concerned after the first four events, but
our team is too deep and too good not to battle back,” said head
coach John Mattos
Battle back the Rams would. The team ended up winning nine of
the 16 events over SDSU and 15 of the 16 over Air Force.
“I expected a little more of a fight from Air Force, but I knew
SDSU would do exactly what they did,” Mattos said. “SDSU has good
distance swimmers and very good athletes; they’re not just someone
we can kick around without question.”
CSU’s 200-yard medley relay team, made up of freshman Brette
Winegarner, sophomore Rachelle Kula, junior Lyndsey McCaslin and
senior Paula Langner, brought the Rams their confidence and their
first lead by finishing first with a time of one minute, 49.37
seconds. McCaslin and fellow seniors Jamie Robinson and Lissa
Fischer went 1-2-3 in the 100 breaststroke to ignite the team.
Following the sweep in the 100 breaststroke, senior Corinne
Hofstetter won the 200 butterfly in a speedy time of 2:08.29.
Senior Lori Vigil, last week’s MWC diver of the week, also took
first in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events for the second
straight meet with scores of 277.40 and 289.60.
The Rams’ victory was a little more impressive than it lets on.
The Rams were without three of their top swimmers, seniors Kristen
Schneider and Katie Peck and sophomore Elizabeth Jones. The three
were all competing in the U.S. Open, which was held in Federal Way,
Wash. The meet was held as a qualification meet for the Olympic
Trials to be held in Long Beach, Calif., in early July. Out of the
three Schneider placed the best with a 10th place finish in the 100
backstroke in a time of 1:04.41 – a U.S. Olympic qualification
time. Schneider also placed 30th in the 200 backstroke with a time
of 2:22.21 and 55th in the 100 freestyle with a time of 59.06. Peck
placed 38th in the 400 IM with a time of 5:03.71 and 82nd in the
200 IM. Jones finished 48th in the 50 freestyle with a time of
27.13, 96th in the 100 freestyle with a time of 1:00.19 and 116th
in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:10.94.
“It felt pretty good to qualify, but it doesn’t mean a lot,”
Schneider said. “Just hearing what everyone else thinks about it
makes me feel good.
“I’m really happy the team won this weekend with Katie,
Elizabeth and I gone. Every team in the conference is scared of us
because we’re the team to beat now.”
The Rams look to focus on their next conference meets Jan. 16-17
against Brigham Young and Utah.
“We have a lot of time to get prepared for the final push to the
conference championship,” Mattos said. “If we swim like we have
been we’ll rock and roll right through the next two on our way to
the conference championship.”