Nevada Still Leads MWC Swim & Diving Championships - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Nevada Still Leads MWC Swim & Diving Championships

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Nevada Release

2/19/2016

Freshman Sharae Zheng won her second diving title and the University of Nevada swimming and diving team remained atop the leaderboard Thursday at the 2016 Mountain West Championships at the Texas A&M Natatorium.

Head coach Neil Harper’s Wolf Pack leads the field for the second straight day with 284 points. Boise State and San Diego State trail in second and third with 254.5 and 213 points, while UNLV (161) and Wyoming (152) round out the top five.

Thursday’s action at the conference meet was highlighted by a pair of top two finishes on the 3-meter springboard with Zheng and senior Krysta Palmer placing first and second. Senior Yawen Li and junior Teresa Baerens also placed second and third in the 200-yard IM to lead Nevada.

“We had another strong day,” said head coach Neil Harper. “Boise State and San Diego State also did well and we’re in a battle with them. I was really proud with our morning performances and then we had solid finals with Antonia in the 500 and Yawen, Teresa, Arantxa and Caitlyn in the 200 IM. The divers continued to out-do themselves with a pair of strong performances.”

After winning the 1-meter title on Wednesday, Zheng tallied her second event title with a stellar performance on the 3-meter springboard. The freshman from Chengdu, China, tallied 396.35 points in the finals, setting a new conference meet record with the third-best score in program history. Palmer, the reigning MW Diver of the Year, placed second with 396.20 points in the finals. Freshman Zoe Lei won the B finals and placed ninth overall with 314.40 points.

The Wolf Pack also shined in the 200-yard IM, sending four student-athletes into the A finals after the prelims. Li – the reigning MW Swimmer of the Year – placed runner-up with a time of 1:59.31. Baerens placed third in 1:59.40 and junior Arantxa Medina-Alegria placed fourth in 2:00.03, while all four of Nevada’s top finishes in the event were NCAA ‘B’ cut times. Freshman Caitlyn Richardson placed eighth in 2:02.80. Nevada tallied 58 points in the finals of the 200 IM.

Freshman Antonia Baerens also qualified to the A finals in the 500-yard freestyle before placing eighth with a season-best time of 4:50.61. Freshman Rebecca Murray, junior Sita Kusserow and sophomore Kate Hofmeyer also advanced to the B finals in the 500 free. Murray placed 10th overall in 4:50.30, Kusserow placed 11th in 4:51.51 and Hofmeyer placed 16th in 4:58.38.

The Wolf Pack placed sixth in the 200-yard freestyle relay finals in a time of 1:31.23. Richardson, sophomore Emma Payne, Murray and Baerens led Nevada in the event, tallying 26 points with a sixth place finish while posting the second-best time in program history.

Payne also led Nevada in the 50-yard freestyle, advancing the C finals before placing 17th overall with a season-best time of 23.25.

Friday’s action at the conference meet will begin at 9 a.m. PT with prelims, while the finals will begin at 4:30. The 400-yard medley relay, 400-yard IM, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke and 100-yard backstroke will round out Friday’s events.

Live video, results and highlights can be found at the Mountain West Championship meet central web page.

“We really need to show up in the morning and swim well early,” said Harper. “We’re looking forward to another full day tomorrow and putting together a great team effort. We’re looking to put more ladies in the finals.”

2016 Mountain West Championships

Team Standings (Through Thursday)

1. Nevada, 284

2. Boise State, 254.5

3. San Diego State, 213

4. UNLV, 161

5. Wyoming, 152

6. San Jose State, 126

7. New Mexico, 99.5

8. Air Force, 95

9. Colorado State, 92

10. Fresno State, 70

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