Oct. 9, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The Air Force women's swimming & diving team opened the 2011-12 season with a tough 167-133 loss at New Mexico Saturday at Seidler Natatorium. Despite the loss the Falcons swam very well, taking first place in 8-of-16 events on the day.
Freshman Kim Davis had a breakout meet for Air Force in her debut, winning three individual events and cracking the AFA top 10 list in all three. Davis won both the 100 yard breaststroke (1:06.39) and 200 breast (2:21.76) and dominated the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:08:10, which was four seconds faster than the runner-up. Her 100 breast time is eighth-best, the 200 is seventh-best and the 200 IM is already the ninth-fastest in school history.
Sophomores Erin Bleyl and Samantha Laughlin also opened the season on a strong note, with both winning two individual events in addition to a relay. Bleyl was the standout in the mid-distance freestlye events, winning the 200 (1:55.44) and 500 free (5:12.47). Laughlin was the top swimmer in the backstroke events, winning the 100 (58.56) and 200 back (2:07.81). The duo of Bleyl and Laughlin also closed out the meet by teaming with junior Heather Ireland and sophomore Hannah Cesare to win the 400 free relay with a time of 3:33.18.
The Falcons also had several runner-up finishes. Cesare took second in both the 100 (53.81) and 200 free (1:56.38). Senior Katharine Ernst was second in the 200 butterfly (2:09.54), junior Haley Holcombe was second in the 100 fly (58.69) and sophomore Moranda Hern was second in the 3m springboard diving with 224.25 points. The Falcons also took second in the 200 medley. The group of Laughlin, Davis, Holcombe and Cassie Fletcher swam a time of 1:49.45.
Sophomore Michelle Kuyper was AFA's top swimmer in the 1000 free, taking third with a time of 11:18.25. Fletcher swam the Falcons' top time in the 50 free, taking fourth with a time of 25.17. Freshman Lainie Long was Air Force's top diver in the 1m springboard, placing fourth with 198.50 points in her collegiate debut.
The Falcons return to action Saturday, Oct. 15, hosting Nebraska Omaha. Air Force will debut its newly refurbished Cadet Natatorium against UNO.