Falcons Have Strong Performances on Day Two at MWC Championships
Feb. 25, 2010
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Junior Benjamin Gunn (Gainesville, Ga.) set an MWC record in the men's 200 IM to lead the Air Force swimming and diving teams on day two of the 2010 Mountain West Conference Championships. The Air Force men are in fourth place with 212.5 points, while the women are in ninth place with 41 points. The UNLV men lead in the team standings, while BYU is currently in first place on the women's side.
Gunn defended his MWC title in the 200 IM, clocking a school- and conference-record time of 1:47.22. Already the Air Force record-holder in the event, Gunn bested his own top time by three-tenths of a second, while also breaking the old conference record of 1:47.44 set in 2003 by BYU's Randy Belliston. Gunn was one of four swimmers in the event to record an NCAA `B' standard mark.
Two other Falcons finished in the consolation finals of the men's 200 IM, as Chris Morin (Sr., Crown Point, Ind.) won the heat with a time of 1:49.58, a mark which ranks as the fifth-fastest in school history. Meanwhile, Eric Robinson (Jr., Lakewood, Colo.) placed sixth in the consolation finals (14th overall) after clocking a time of 1:51.58 in the preliminaries.
In the men's 500 freestyle, the Falcons placed three swimmers in the finals, led by senior Sean O'Keefe (Lake Oswego, Ore.), who recorded his best-ever finish in the event, tying for second place with a time of 4:24.89. The mark, an NCAA `B' standard was just nine-hundredths of a second off his career-best mark, which is the third-fastest in Academy history.
Corydon Butler (So., Williamsburg, Va.) also had a strong showing in the 500 free, placing fifth. Butler clocked a career-best time of 4:29.46, which ranks as the seventh-fastest in the Air Force record books. Meanwhile Tom Hansen (Jr., Berkeley Heights, N.J.) placed seventh after registering a season-best time of 4:30.94 in the morning preliminaries.
In the men's 200 freestyle relay, the Falcons posted their best showing since 2000, placing second as the team of Morin, O'Keefe, Robinson and Dawson clocked a season-best time of 1:21.95.
Air Force swept the top three spots in the consolation finals of the men's 1-meter springboard event, led by senior Kyle Van Valkenburg (Tucson, Ariz.), who won the heat with a mark of 312.50 to place ninth overall. Beau Riebe (Fr., Mercer Island, Wash.) placed 10th with a career-best score of 289.10, followed by Jesse Bicknell (So., Westtown, N.Y.) in 11th place with a score of 282.45. Also reaching the consolation finals in the event was David Arlington (Sr., Eagle River, Alaska), who took 13th place with a mark of 278.70.
Junior Robert Dawson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was the Falcons' top performer in the 50 freestyle, finishing 10th overall after clocking a season-best mark of 20.72.
For the women, senior diver Chelsea Tompkins (Grand Junction, Colo.) was the top individual finisher, placing 16th overall on the 3-meter springboard after posting a career-best score of 250.60 in the preliminaries.
Freshman Haley Holcombe (Snellville, Ga.) was Air Force's top finisher in the women's 200 IM, placing 23rd overall with a mark of 2:08.57. The personal-best time ranks as the ninth-fastest win school history. Also posting an Academy top-10 time for the Air Force women was Cassie Fletcher (So., Durham, N.C.). Fletcher improved upon her previous top mark in the 50 freestyle, clocking a time of 24.01, which ranks as the 10th-fastest in Academy history.
Finally, in the women's 200 freestyle relay, the Falcons captured eighth-place as the team of Fletcher, Alison Ceranski (So., Marinette, Wis.), Lauren Delaney (So., Panama City, Fla.) and Lauren McGuire (Fr., Douglasville, Ga.) clocked a season-best time of 1:37.11.
The third day of the MWC Championships begins tomorrow with the 400 IM preliminaries at 10:00 a.m. (CT). The finals competition is slated to start at 6:00 p.m.