The Nevada swimming and diving team broke three school records Friday, retaining its third place position after another strong day at the 2015 Mountain West Championships. The Wolf Pack has gathered 368 team points at the Palo Alto College Aquatics Center, leading fourth-place Wyoming by 100 points entering the final day of competition.
Through three days of competition, the Wolf Pack has won five MW titles and program records. San Diego State (493), Boise State (446.5) and Nevada (368) are the only teams with at least 300 team points as Nevada is prone to match the school's best-ever finish in the Mountain West (third) in any sport.
Junior Yawen Li (400-yard IM) and sophomore Teresa Baerens (200-yard freestyle) retained their conference titles from 2014.
“It was a full team effort today,” said head coach Abby Steketee. “I was particularly proud of our four girls who swam in the relay plus their individual events. We set three new school records today, and it looks like Teresa (Baerens) and Yawen (Li) have qualified for NCAAs.”
Li won the MW 400-yard IM title for the second straight season, marking her fourth career MW Championship gold medal. The Wuhan Calif., native placed first in 4:07.65, which was less than a half second away from matching her own school record. San Diego State's Frida Berggren placed runner-up in 4:12.34 – nearly five seconds behind Li. On Thursday, Li won the 200-yard IM title to lead Nevada.
Baerens, a 2014 All-MW selection, also retained her 200-yard freestyle conference title. The Ottobrun, Germany, native placed first in 1:45.68, shattering Nevada's 2012 record in the event by over one second. Baerens won the 200 free with a time of 1:59.12 last season. In this year's race, Baerens bested the runner-up finisher by just over half of a second.
Freshman Jaeger Turner broke Nevada's program record twice in the 100-yard backstroke, posting a time of 53.53 in the preliminary heat and 53.30 in the finals. The Bolton, England native's finals time was good for a third-place finish and bronze medal.
Nevada broke its 400-yard medley relay record set in 2009 by two seconds, placing fourth in 3:38.09. Turner, sophomore Arantxa Medina-Alegria, sophomore Sita Kusserow and Baerens swam their fastest relay of the season to contribute key relay points to the team score.
The Wolf Pack also received top 10 finishes from freshman Josefin Eriksen in the 200-yard freestyle (8th, 1:50.27), sophomore Riley Hilbrandt in the 400 IM (9th, 4:22.25) and senior Kaelie Reviglio in the 400 IM (10th, 4:29.59.).
Nevada will look to finish strong in the final day of competition Saturday. Day four of the MW Championships will consist of the 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard butterfly, platform dive, 1,650-yard freestyle and the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Preliminary action will begin at 9 a.m. PT, while the finals will start at 4:30 p.m. Live streaming and live results are available at the MW Championship meet central web page.
MW Championship Team Standings (Through day three)
1. San Diego State, 493
2. Boise State, 446.5
3. Nevada, 368
4. Wyoming, 268
5. UNLV, 212.5
6. Air Force, 168
7. Colorado State, 141
8. San Jose State, 140
9. New Mexico, 136
10. Fresno State, 111