Falcon Swimming & Diving Splits With Utah; Men Win Thriller

    USAF ACADEMY, Colo. -- In a wild finish, the Air Force men's swimming & diving team held off Utah for a 154.50-145.50 Mountain West Conference dual meet win Saturday afternoon at the Cadet Natatorium. The Falcon women were downed by the Utes 167-123.

    Trailing 142-132 after 15 of 17 events, the Falcons took first, second and fourth in the 400 yard individual medley to jump ahead 147-136. Air Force then tied Utah for first in the final event of the day, the 200 free relay, to defeat the Utes for the first time in three years. The Falcon men improve to 7-4 overall and 2-2 in MWC duals.

    "It was a tough, back-and-forth meet," Air Force men's swimming head coach Rob Clayton said. "Utah came in here very well prepared and I give my hats off to them. Our guys fought back hard and we got some very big swims from the guys we needed to."

    On an emotional senior-day, it was the juniors who sent their elder classmates off in style, as juniors Andrew Bergman, Chris Knaute, Paul Parmenter and Matt Sievers combined to win seven individual events.

    Knaute won the 200 (1:39.03) and 500 free (4:44.68) and Parmenter won the 200 butterfly (1:53.97) and helped the Falcons go ahead in the meet by winning the 400 IM (4:15.26). Bergman dominated the breaststroke events, winning the 100 (58.42) and 200 breast (2:09.46) events. Sievers won the 100 fly with a time of 50.98.

    The Falcons also opened the meet by winning the 200 medley relay. The group of Kai Yamashiro, Justin Day, Nick Burton and TJ Cowling combined to swim a time of 1:34.54. In the 200 free relay, the group of Ryan Moss, Nick Uzelac, Sievers and Cowling tied Utah with a swim of 1:24.29.

    The Air Force women (7-9, 2-5) were led by junior Blair Leake, who won a pair of events. Leake won the 200 fly with a time of 2:12.62 and the 200 breast with a time of 2:26.48. Colleen Smith also won the 400 IM with a time of 4:47.20.

    The Falcon women also won the 200 relay. The group of Jane Hwang, Lindsey Kirchhoff, Carly Omizo and Laken Stogner won with a time of 1:39.33.

    Five Falcons swam in their final home dual at the Cadet Natatorium. Seniors Matt Karmondy and Justin Hauffe from men's team and Ginny Miller, Carly Omizo and Colleen Smith from the women's team make up the class of 2006.

    Air Force concludes its regular season with a dual at Wyoming next Saturday, Feb. 4.



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