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Broncos heading to NCAA Championships

Boise State Swim Team (Devin Ferrell/The Arbiter) Boise State swimmers at the West Boise YMCA. (Devin Ferrell/The Arbiter)

The Boise State swimming and diving team has had a sensational season this year and it all comes to a close at the 2014 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships.

“We are just going out there to do better than we have before,” head coach Kristin Hill said. “We can break team records and score points and there is a lot that can happen.”

The Broncos are fresh off a Mountain West Conference championship, an event Boise State won by over a 100 points.

“We are excited to represent the Mountain West,” Hill said. “It is a great conference and we really have grown as a

This marked their fourth championship in eight years and their second in the Mountain West.

In addition the Broncos had a staggering 16 players named to the all Mountain West Team.

The Broncos will send six swimmers from this year’s team to the championships.

“We are excited to be taking six swimmers to nationals,” Hill said. “It’s a big time for our program. There is a lot of opportunity to score more points than we have before.”

Freshmen Brittany Aoyama and Katelyn Martin, sophomore Sam Wicks, and juniors Heather Harper, Sydney Johansen and Jessica Bottelberghe will all be heading to nationals for the Broncos.

Aoyama became the first freshman in school history to qualify for nationals individually. She is also the highest ranking member for the Broncos where she is currently ranked 19 in the 100-yard butterfly.

Wicks is also ranked for the Broncos at 36 in the 100-yard backstroke. In addition to both Aoyama and Wicks competing in their specialty events they will also be competing in the 50 and 100-yard
freestyle events.

The Broncos will also be competing in both the 200 and 400-yard freestyle relays as well as the 400-yard medley relay.

The 200-yard freestyle relay team is fresh off a Mountain West Championship and that team will be made up of Aoyama, Wicks, Bottelberghe, and Martin.

The 400-meter freestyle and medley teams have not been announced yet but will include Johansen and Harper.

The Broncos will only be sending swimmers as none of their divers qualified for the NCAA Championships.

This happened despite personal best performances at the Zone E Diving Championships last week from senior Ciera Cortney, junior Erin Kohlbeck, and freshmen Karli Kriewall and Jordan Marthens.

The program has been emerging as one of Boise State’s top athletic programs and will be looking to take the next step on the grandest stage.

“We have had great teams in the past,” Hill said. “But we feel like this year we have more opportunity that we ever had before to put points on the board and race well.”

Boise State will be looking for the best finish in school history which was in 2011 when the team took 39.

“We are excited to see what possibilities are out there,” Hill said.

The NCAA championships begin today and run through Saturday at the University of Minnesota. ESPNU will be televising the event.

“We are excited to finish strong in the NCAAs and look forward to future seasons,”
Hill said.

About Brandon Walton (0 Articles)
Brandon is a senior at Boise State where he is majoring in communication. He transferred to Boise State in 2012 from TVCC in Ontario, Oregon. Brandon has been writing sports for The Arbiter since Spring 2013 and just recently became the Assistant Sports Editor for The Arbiter. He is also involved with the Boise State radio station the Pulse and has several radio shows. His dream job is to work as a sports broadcaster for a big network such as ESPN as well as continuing writing sports for a major newspaper or magazine. In his spare time he watches sports, movies, plays video games, and owns people in ping pong.