Falcons Split in Home Opener Versus TCU
Nov. 13, 2008
USAFA, Colo. - In their first home meet of the season, the Air Force men's and women's swimming and diving teams split against visiting conference foe TCU Thursday evening at Cadet Natatorium. The men defeated TCU, 128-105, to improve to 5-5 overall on the year, 1-0 in the Mountain West Conference. Meanwhile the women fell, 128-111, and drop to 4-9 overall, 0-4 in the MWC.
On the women's side, Air Force was led by senior captain Jane Hwang (Irvine, Calif.) and sophomore Kaeli Kluesner (Denver, Colo.), as well as senior diver Ashleigh Peck (Beaver Falls, Pa.), who all posted wins for the Falcons. Hwang finished first in the 100 free, clocking in with season-best mark of 53.32, while also taking second in the 200 free with a mark of 1:55.81.
Kluesner followed Hwang's victory with a first-place finish in the 200 backstroke, notching a time of 2:11.26 to take the win. She also placed second in the 200 IM with a mark of 2:13.85. Peck's score of 266.25 was good for first-place in the 1-meter diving event, while she finished third at 3-meters. Adding a second-place showing at 3-meters was freshman Lauren Shetley (St. Louis, Mo.), who turned in a season-best mark of 238.57.
The Falcons also picked up a victory in the 400 free relay, with the team of Laken Stogner (Sr., Bowdon, Ga.), Cassie Fletcher (Fr., Durham, N.C.), Alison Ceranski (Fr., Marinette, Wis.) and Hwang turning in a season-best mark of 3:34.15.
Stogner added two more top three finishes for the Falcons, placing second in the 50 free with a time of 24.82, while taking third in the 100 free with a mark of 53.98. Freshman Katharine Ernst (Folsom, Calif.) placed second in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:14.52, followed by junior Becky Gleason (Ballwin, Mo.) in third place with a mark of 2:18.16.
The Falcons also had a pair of third-place finishers in the distance events, with Julie Grabarek (Fr., Laguna Niguel, Calif.) taking third in the 500 free with a mark of 5:32.72, while Betsy Scarberry (So., Fairborn, Ohio) took third in the 1000 free with a time of 11:24.21.
The Falcons won seven of nine contested swimming events on the men's side, while turning in the top times in two more exhibitioned races. Air Force started off strong in the individual events as sophomore Tom Hansen (Berkeley Heights, N.J.) led a 1-2-3 sweep in the 1000 freestyle, clocking in at 10:01.07. Coming in second in the event was freshman Corydon Butler (Williamsburg, Va.) with a mark of 10:06.59, followed by Cole Smith (Fr., Charlotte, N.C.) in third at 10:14.12.
Senior captain Bryan Avery (Mililani, Hawaii) won the 200 free with a season-best time of 1:43.49, followed by Sean O'Keefe (Jr., Lake Oswego, Ore.) in second place with a mark of 1:44.78. In the next event, sophomore Robert Dawson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) posted his best mark of the year (21.26) to win the 50 freestyle, just out-touching TCU's Josh Bagby, while senior Layne Wilson (Austin, Texas) finished third in the event with a mark of 22.20.
Benjamin Gunn (So., Gainesville, Ga.) came in first in the 200 IM with a mark of 1:56.54, coming in just ahead of teammate Chris Morin (Jr., Crown Point, Ind.), who clocked in at 1:56.87. Gunn then went on to win the 200 butterfly, recording a time of 1:56.89 to edge out Nick Dixon (Sr., Canton, Mich.), who took second in the event with a mark of 1:57.37.
Bagby gave the Horned Frogs their first swimming victory of the day, winning the 100 free in a time of 46.96 to edge out Avery (a season-best 47.06) and Dawson (47.74) in the event. Jeff Gettel, the top backstroker in the conference, made it two in a row for TCU, notching a time of 1:53.12 to come in just ahead of the Falcons' Kai Yamashiro (Sr., Kaneohe, Hawaii), who clocked in with a season-best 1:53.28.
O'Keefe picked up his first win of the day in the 500 free, clocking in at 4:47.34, while Butler and Eric Robinson (So., Lakewood, Colo.) turned in the second- and third-fastest times in the event, respectively. The Falcons then exhibitioned the 200 breaststroke, but turned in the top two times, as seniors Greg Edmonds (Fairfax Station, Va.) and Spencer Butt (Sterling, Va.) both notched season-best marks, with times of 2:11.84 and 2:11.96, respectively.
Air Force took first place in the 400 medley relay, with the team of Yamashiro, Day, Gunn and Morin clocking in with a mark of 3:26.07. The Falcons also recorded the fastest time in the exhibitioned 400 freestyle relay, as O'Keefe, Morin, Avery and Dawson combined for a season-best time of 3:07.27.
Meanwhile, juniors Kyle Van Valkenburg (Tucson, Ariz.) and David Arlington (Eagle River, Alaska) were the top divers for Air Force, finishing second and third, respectively, at both 1-meter and 3-meters.
"The guys swam very well tonight," said Air Force head coach Rob Clayton. "Ben Gunn had a great night, and team captain Bryan Avery had some terrific swims. It was a very good win for us."
Air Force's men's and women's swimming teams are back in action next week, Nov. 20-22, at the annual Nike Cup in Long Beach, Calif., while the divers head to the Arizona Diving Invitational in Tucson, Ariz., Nov. 21-23.