Amber Walter is an NCAA automatic qualifier in the 50 free.
Dec. 12, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY -- An NCAA automatic qualifying time, a perfect record and numerous records broken all speak volumes as to the direction that the University of Utah swimming and diving team is headed this season.
The Utes completed the first half of its season at the Ohio State Invitational with a third-place finish for the women, while the men placed fifth. The women sit at 4-0 (2-0 in Mountain West Conference competition), while the men are 3-4 (0-1 in MWC).
The Utes have had a record setting first half; we now take a look at some of the highlights:
Perhaps its Amber Walter's time in the 50 free that tops the list of performances thus far. She set the conference and school record in the 50 free with a time of 22.59 at the Ohio State Invitational. That was an automatic NCAA Championship qualifying time. (You can watch video of Walter's record run on the swimming and diving front page. Click on the All-Acess window to start the clip.)
At the Ohio State Invitational Andrew Jones set a Utah record on the platform with a score of 269.40. Alison McInturff swam an NCAA B qualifying time as she won the 200 free in 1:48.26. McInturff's time also set a new school record, breaking her own record set back in 2005. Shannon McQueen had an NCAA B qualifying time, winning the 100 back (56.09). McQueen broke the school record she previously set in 2006.
Utah set several other Ohio State Invitational meet records. Walter won the 100 free with a meet record time of 50.63 on the final day of competition. Also Walter, McInturff, Annie VanLeeuwen and McQueen set the new mark in the 400 free relay, with a time of 3:23.81.
In addition to new records, numerous Utes have already began raking in the awards.
Adam Oliver was named MWC Men's Swimmer of the Week on Oct. 25. Andrew Jones has been named Diver of the Week on three occasions, (Nov. 1, Nov. 8 and Dec. 6). McInturff earned MWC Women's Swimmer of the Week on Nov. 8, while Walter garnered the award on Dec. 6.
Utah started off the season on Oct. 21, as both the men (188-95) and women (176.5-104.5) beat Denver in the home opener. Adrienne Coburn led the women, winning two events and turning in some of the top early season times in the 200 breast and 200 IM. David Maasberg and Andrew Cole each won three events for the men.
Both men and women continued to roll as they knocked off UC San Diego the following week, each winning by a score of 170-90. A week later the team opened its conference slate with UNLV. The Ute women won 142-120. It came down to the final event with McInturff's win in the 200 IM sealing the victory. The men suffered their first loss of the season 115-166.
The Ute men then traveled to the Purdue Invitational where they beat Louisville and fell to Penn State, Georgia and Purdue. That same weekend had the women traveling to San Diego State where they garnered their second conference win of the season. They beat the Aztecs 133-105. Utah then finished off the first semester of action with the women finishing third and the men fifth at the Ohio State Invitational.
The Utes will have their holiday training on January 1-6, in San Diego, Calif. The team will resume competition on January 5, at the UCSD Relay Invitational.