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Sports / Recreation

Mattos earns Coach of the Year, Rams finish fifth at MWC championships

March 2, 2009

CSU swimming and diving wrapped up its final day at the Mountain West Conference championships Saturday, finishing fifth overall and setting two additional school records. The Rams broke nine school records over the course of the four-day competition.

Coach John MattosFinish fifth

The Rams finished with 452.5 points, just 16 points behind fourth-place Utah (468.5). BYU held on to win the championship with 643 points.

"We had another very good day," said Head Coach John Mattos. "We pulled up a lot of points on teams ahead of us, but we just couldn't quite catch them. Ending up in fifth place as a team really was not indicative of how our kids performed. We just had an outstanding three and-a-half days of the championship."

Breann Fuller

Freshman Breann Fuller took fourth in the 200 Backstroke preliminaries with a school-record time of 1 minute, 58.61 seconds. The time broke the previous record (1:58.65) set by Kristen Schneider in 2003. Fuller went on to place second in the final with another school-record time of 1:56.74.

"Breann, in the final, held the lead all the way until about the last six strokes," Mattos said. "It was a beautiful job and another school record."

Fuller also set a school record in the 100 Backstroke on Friday, winning the event with a time of 52.95 and setting an MWC record. Fuller will compete in both the 100 and 200 Backstroke events at the NCAA championships in March.

Maddie Gamble

Sophomore Maddie Gamble claimed her second school record of the competition, placing fourth in the 1,650 Freestyle with a time of 16:47.70. Gamble beat the previous record (16:54.25) set by Jennie Ebuna in 1992.

Gamble also set a school record in the 500 Freestyle on Thursday, swimming 4:53.23.

"We got it started right off when Maddie Gamble went 16:47.70 for a new school record in the 1,650," Mattos said. "She ended up in fourth place, and she didn't even race with the athletes in the final heat. Kathleen McCleary also came back and went her second best ever in the 1,650 (16:58.19), finishing fifth. It was just a great effort."

200 Breaststroke

Junior Mari Anna Loftness, sophomore Nicole Lynch and senior Annsley Lujan also showed impressive performances in the 200 Breaststroke final on Saturday, placing fourth (2:18.75), fifth (2:19.21) and seventh (2:19.86), respectively. Shaelen Quigley followed closely behind, swimming a personal-best 2:21.97 in the consolation final.

"There were three finalists in the 200 Breaststroke," Mattos said. "It was really good to see that happen. We had a sophomore, junior and senior in the final. They all went lifetime best and all broke 2:20."

Multiple Rams recorded personal-best times in the 100 Freestyle Saturday, including Carmen Gisella Cianci (50.96), Sam Dole (51.25), Emily Molzahn (51.62), Charlie Swearingen (51.94), and Kristen Gropp (53.51).

Coach of the Year

Mattos was also honored with the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year award at the conclusion of the MWC championships Saturday evening.

"The records we set," Mattos said, "the performances as individuals, the number of kids that came back to the finals and consolation finals far surpassed what we had done in the past couple of years. The times we swam were off the charts. It was just a real tribute to the work ethic that these young ladies have exhibited all season long. We're really pleased."

The Rams' season will conclude with Fuller's 100 and 200 Backstroke events at the NCAA championships March 19-21.

Contact: Zak Gilbert
Phone: (970) 491-5067