Air Force Men's Swimming & Diving Knocks Off Defending MWC Champion UNLV
Jan. 19, 2007
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - In one of the programs biggest victories, the Air Force men's swimming & diving team defeated two-time defending Mountain West Conference Champion UNLV, 175-125, in front of over 1000 rowdy fans at the Cadet Natatorium. On the women's side, the Rebels defeated the Falcons 180-100.
The Falcon men took first place in 10 of the 16 events, led by its stellar senior class. Senior Chris Knaute led the way with three wins, taking the 200 yard butterfly and 500 and 1000 freestyle. Senior Brady Lindberg was dominant in the diving events winning both the one and three meter dives. Senior Nick Burton won the 100 fly and 200 individual medley and classmate Paul Parmenter won the 100 backstroke.
"We were close to brilliance tonight," Air Force men's head swim coach Rob Clayton said. "The class of 2007 was just outstanding today. Once we starting winning races we never let up. This is the biggest win for our program in as long as I can remember."
Sophomore Bryan Avery also won for the Falcons, taking the 200 free. The Falcons closed the meet by winning the 400 free relay . The group of Ryan Moss, Avery, T.J. Cowling and Knaute won with a time of 3:05.60.
After UNLV took the opening event, the 200 medley relay, the Falcons won the next three events and never looked back. Air Force is now in sole possession of first place in the conference with a 2-0 MWC record to go with its 11-1 overall mark.
On the women's side Air Force had strong performances by Lauren Bursey, Jane Hwang and Becky Gleason. Bursey won the three-meter diving with 254.92 points, Hwang won the 100 fly (1:00.02) and Gleason took the 200 IM (2:19.01). The Falcons also won the 400 free relay. Hwang, Blair Leake, Lauren White and Lindsey Kirchoff combined to swim a time of 3:43.38.
White and Leake also had strong swims for the Falcons taking second in the 500 free and 200 breaststroke events.
The Falcons competed in front of one it's biggest crowds ever as over 1000 fans, mostly cadets, flocked to the natatorium. "It was an incredible atmosphere to compete in," Clayton said in reference to the crowd of over 1000. "The support of the cadet wing definately played a hand in how well we did."
The Falcons have little time to rest as they return to the pool tomorrow. The men's team takes on Denver while the women' s team takes on DU and Northern Colorado beginning at noon back at the Academy.