Nov. 18, 2008
The Air Force men's and women's swimming teams return to action this week, Nov. 20-22, for the premier event of the fall season, the annual Nike Cup, hosted by UC Irvine. Meanwhile, the men's and women's diving teams will head to Tucson, Ariz., for the Arizona Diving Invitational, Nov. 21-22.
Last Time Out...
The Air Force men's and women's swimming and diving teams split their home opener against TCU last week, with the men capturing a 128-105 victory, while the women fell, 128-111.
The Air Force men posted the fastest times in nine of 11 swimming events (including both relays), with six swimmers picking up individual wins. Sophomore Benjamin Gunn led the way with a pair of victories in the 200 IM and 200 butterfly.
Meanwhile, the women captured three individual victories and a win in the 400 free relay. Senior Jane Hwang took first place in the 100 free, while sophomore Kaeli Kluesner placed first in the 200 backstroke. In addition, senior diver Ashleigh Peck captured her first win, placing first at 1-meter.
Scouting the Air Force Men...
The Air Force men's swimming team has nine athletes who rank in the top five in the Mountain West Conference in their respective events, led by sophomore Benjamin Gunn, who ranks first in the MWC in the 200 IM, and junior Sean O'Keefe, who leads the league in the 1650 free. O'Keefe also ranks second in the 200 free, while Gunn is third in both the 100 and 200 butterfly events. Sophomore Tom Hansen rates second in the 1650 free, while Corydon Butler has the third-fastest time in the same event. Meanwhile, five others rank fifth in their respective events: seniors Justin Day (100 breast), Nick Dixon (400 IM) and Kai Yamashiro (100 back), junior Chris Morin (200 IM) and sophomore Robert Dawson (50 free).
Meanwhile, the top diver for the Falcons is junior Kyle Van Valkenburg
, who ranks third in the MWC on 1-meter and fifth on 3-meters.
Scouting the Air Force Women...
The Air Force women's swimming team is led by senior captain Jane Hwang, who ranks ninth in the MWC in the 200 IM and 12th in the 100 butterfly. Two other swimmers rank among the top 15 in the MWC in their respective events, as well. Freshman Alison Ceranski is rated 13th in the 50 free, while sophomore Kaeli Kluesner ranks 15th in the 200 backstroke.
For the divers, Ashleigh Peck's performance in the 1-meter dive against TCU ranks her ninth in the MWC.
About the Nike Cup...
The Nike Cup will feature a total of 15 men's teams and 22 women's teams. The field of Division I programs (seven men's teams, 13 women's teams) includes are Air Force (M&W), BYU (M&W), Cal State Bakersfield (M&W), Cal State Northridge (M&W), Loyola Marymount (W), Nevada (W), New Mexico (W), Pepperdine (W), Pacific (M&W), San Diego (W), San Jose State (W), UC Irvine (M&W) and UNLV (M&W).
The Air Force men recorded a third-place finish at the 2007 Nike Cup, behind Stanford and BYU. Meanwhile, the women placed 11th at last year's event.
The action starts with 9:00 a.m. (PT) prelims each day, followed by finals at 6:00 p.m.
The Falcons are off for the next month and a half before heading into winter training. The swimmers will head to California, while the divers return to Tucson, Ariz. Meanwhile, the next dual meet for Air Force is slated for Jan. 16, when the Falcons play host to conference foe UNLV.
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