COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Back from a long hiatus from competition, the idea was to break off some rest.
The Colorado State women’s swimming and diving team did more than that, with freshman diver Lindsay Gizzi breaking a school record and the team extending its winning streak to 14 consecutive duals with a 157.5-142.5 Mountain West victory over Air Force.
Gizzi won both diving events, but was simply spectacular in taking down the 1-meter school record, scoring a 335.05 in blowing past Skylar Williams’ mark of 313.15 set two years ago at the Mountain West Championships. She went on to win the 3-meter with a score of 308.50, just off her personal mark of 311.93 against Idaho.
“She was at her best on the 1-meter, simply crushing the school record,” CSU diving coach Chris Bergere said. “She won both events, though her 1-meter was very impressive. She is showing some real savvy. She’s graceful, strong, accurate and commanding.”
The win came via a blend of top-end speed and some gritty performances fighting to the wall to grab lower placings throughout the day. The roster was short two outstanding performers in Sarah Mundy and Maya White, but they also picked up a key addition at the midyear, transfer Lucy Matheson, who proved to be a boost.
The Rams won half of the 18 events, with seniors Abbey Owenby and Kristina Friedrichs taking two each. Owenby led 1-2 finishes with Emily Chorpening in both the 500 and 100-yard freestyles, while Friedrichs led the charge in both the 50 free and 100 butterfly.
“Going 1-2 in both the distance events was impressive, and they were both pacing each other pretty well,” CSU coach Christopher Woodard said. “I think they both know they’re capable of more, but it is always tough to swim those distance events at 7,200 feet. I’m very happy with the way they approached those races.”
Matheson also won two races, then added second in a third. The Longmont product previously swam for New Mexico State, but hasn’t competed since the 2021 WAC Championships. She considered redshirting this year to train, but on Thursday, informed Woodard she was ready to go.
“Then it was first, maybe just a couple of events,” Woodard said. “Then by the time we got to the meet, she didn’t want to swim three 200s, but in the heat of the day, she said, ‘no, I’ll swim that, too.’ We know what she’s capable of, but the question was could she do it in her first collegiate meet in more than a year. The pressure wasn’t too much, and she responded well.”
Which she did, leading a 1-2-3 finish with new teammates Amanda Hoffman and Hannah Sykes in the 200 butterfly, then winning the 200 backstroke. She finished her day with a second-place showing in the 200 individual medley.
The Rams also finished 1-2-3 on the 1-meter board, part of the process of building up the team total in the meet. There was a 2-3-4 finish in the 100 breaststroke with Katie McClelland, Kate Meunier and Emma Breslin. Once again, it proved to Woodard his team is carrying a bit of moxie to meets.
“I think it’s impressive from the standpoint of having a couple of major stars out, those are arguably our top pairings in the 100 and 200 free and the 500 and 1,000 frees as well. Not having those two, and for relays as well, that’s She swimming against the No. 1 seed in the 100 fly and proving that maybe she should be the No. 1 seed.”
The dual streak stands alone as the third longest in program history, and the Rams extended their record for most dual wins in a single season. They can match the mark of the second-longest dual streak Saturday when they travel to face Northern Colorado (11 am). The school record is 24 consecutive dual wins, set from 1977-81.
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