Air Force Heads to MWC Swimming & Diving Championships

    Senior captain Katelyn Hunter
    Senior captain Katelyn Hunter

    Feb. 22, 2010

    The Air Force men's and women's swimming and diving teams travel to Oklahoma City, Okla., this week, Feb. 24-27, for the 2010 Mountain West Conference Championships.

    Scouting the Falcon Men...
    The Air Force men's swimming and diving team concluded the regular season with a 3-4 overall dual record and 2-3 mark in the Mountain West Conference. The Falcons have 11 athletes who are ranked in the top five in the Mountain West Conference in their respective events, led by junior Benjamin Gunn, who holds the league's fastest times in the 100 and 200 backstroke and 200 IM, while ranking fourth in the 100 butterfly. Meanwhile, junior Tom Hansen leads the conference in the 400 IM, while ranking third in the 200 back and fourth in the 500 free.

    Senior Sean O'Keefe is the second-fastest in the MWC in the 500 free, 1000 free and 1650 free, while holding the fifth-fastest mark in the 200 free. Sophomore Corydon Butler ranks third in both the 500 and 1650 freestyle events, while freshman Jon Jones is third in the 200 free. Junior Josh Hammervold ranks among the top five in three different events, the 200 IM (third), 200 breast (fourth) and 100 breast (fifth), while also ranking among the league's top five are freshman Mark Hansen in the 400 IM (third) and junior Eric Robinson in the 200 fly (fifth).

    For the divers, senior Kyle Van Valkenburg is ranked second in the MWC on the platform and is tied for fifth on the 1-meter board, while senior David Arlington and sophomore Cheyne Clark rank third and fifth in the league, respectively, on the platform.

     

     

    The Falcons return a total of five individual all-conference performers from the 2009 season, including a pair of MWC champions (Van Valkenburg, platform; Gunn, 200 IM). Gunn also received all-conference accolades in the 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly and as a member of the 400 free, 800 free and 400 medley relays, while Van Valkenburg was an All-MWC honoree on the 3-meter board. Other all-conference performers include O'Keefe (200 free, 500 free, 1650 free, 400 free relay, 800 free relay), Tom Hansen (500 free, 200 back, 800 free relay) and Arlington (1-meter). Meanwhile, Robert Dawson (400 free relay, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay), Chris Morin (400 free relay) and Robinson (800 free relay) swam on All-MWC relays for the Falcons.

    Scouting the Falcon Women...
    The Air Force women's swimming and diving team finished the regular season with a 2-9 overall dual record and an 0-8 ledger in the MWC. The Falcons' lone returning all-conference performer is senior diver Chelsea Tompkins, who earned All-MWC honors on the platform last season and currently holds the league's third-best mark in the event this season.

    Meanwhile, three women's swimmers rank in the top 25 in the Mountain West Conference in their respective events, led by freshman Katrina Castellanos, who is 20th in the 200 breaststroke. Freshman Rachel Roberts is ranked 23rd in the 1650 free, while sophomore Cassie Fletcher holds the league's 24th-fastest time in the 100 free.

    Last Year at the MWC Championships...
    The Air Force men finished second at the 2009 Mountain West Championships, with eight individuals and four relays earning a total of 20 all-conference honors. Leading the way for the Falcons were Benjamin Gunn, who won the 200 IM and set three individual school records (200 IM, 100 fly, 200 fly), and Kyle Van Valkenburg, who captured the MWC title in the platform dive for the second-straight season. In addition, senior Justin Day set a new Air Force record in the 100 breaststroke, while the Falcons set school records in four of five relays (400 free, 800 free, 200 medley, 400 medley).

    On the women's side, Air Force placed ninth overall, led by all-conference performers Jane Hwang and Chelsea Tompkins. Hwang, a senior who set three individual school records (100 free, 200 free, 200 IM) and anchored the school record-setting 400 freestyle relay team, earned All-MWC recognition in both the 100 and 200 freestyle events for the second-straight year. Meanwhile, Tompkins placed sixth in the platform dive to earn all-conference honors for the first time in her career.

    Up Next...
    Next week, March 4-6, the Falcons will send a group of swimmers to Texas for the Austin Grand Prix. Meanwhile, Air Force will host the NCAA Zone E Diving Meet in Austin, Texas, March 11-13.

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