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Liberty Travels to Colorado for Intermountain Shootout

October 6, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty Travels to Colorado for Intermountain Shootout

Liberty swimming & diving travels to Colorado for the first time in program history, competing in the Intermountain Shootout in Mesa, Colo., Friday and Saturday. The two-day meet, hosted by Colorado Mesa at El Pomar Natatorium, also features the host Mavericks, along with Utah, BYU and Air Force. Day one will start at 7 p.m. Eastern, Friday, while the meet will finish with a Saturday session, at 1 p.m. ET.

This weekend's meet will be scored in dual-meet fashion, with each team totaling head-to-head scores against each opponent. There will be 16 individual swimming events, in addition to three relays and two diving competitions.

How to Follow the Lady Flames  
Fans can follow this weekend's meet through live results, courtesy of Colorado Mesa.

Liberty has never faced any of this weekend's opponents in regular-season action. However, the Lady Flames are 1-0 against Pac-12 schools, defeating Oregon State, 145-112, on Oct. 10, 2014.

Meet host Colorado Mesa had a successful season last year, finishing 23rd at the NCAA Division II Women's Swimming & Diving Championships. Utah (1-0) and BYU (1-0) have met twice already this season, in both a non-scored relay meet and a double-dual meet against Oregon State. Colorado Mesa and Air Force will begin their respective seasons on Friday.   

The Lady Flames opened their 2016-17 season last Saturday, defeating CCSA opponent Campbell, 144-134, in Buies Creek, N.C. This is the third year in a row that Liberty has begun its season with a win at Campbell.

Prudence Rooker won both the 100 back (59.03) and 100 IM (59.34) at Campbell, marking the second year in a row in which she posted two event victories in the season opener.

Rachel Hoeve pocketed wins in the 50 free (23.66) and 100 free (52.32) last Saturday, clocking regular-season personal bests in both events. It was also the first time in her career that she won both sprint free races in the same meet.

Also winning individual events for Liberty at Campbell were: Victoria Tschoke (200 back – 2:06.53), Morgan Noonan (200 breaststroke – 2:22.92) and Ashlee Sall (500 free – 5:08.51).

The Lady Flames have posted the fastest time in the CCSA in the 50 free and 200 breaststroke. Hoeve's 23.66 is the top 50 free time in the conference so far this year, while Noonan's 2:22.92 is first in the 200 breaststroke. Hoeve ranks second overall in the 100 free, at 52.32, while Tschoke is second in the 200 back (2:06.53). Rooker's 100 backstroke of 59.03 is third in the CCSA at present.

Liberty made four new entries in its all-time top 10 performers list last weekend. Brittany Weiss' 59.48 100 IM ranks fourth in program history, while her 56.78 puts her seventh in the 100 fly. Delia Weber is 9th in the 1000 free in team history, at 10:44.10, while Taylor Lynch (2:28.37) is ranked 10th at Liberty in the 200 breaststroke.

Liberty is set for its final home meet at LaHaye Aquatics Center this season, hosting Campbell on Jan. 20. Construction is continuing on a brand new, state-of-the-art Olympic-sized pool with a separate diving well, which is scheduled to be ready for the 2017-18 academic year.

Head Coach Jake Shellenberger returns for his seventh season at the helm, guiding the program since the inaugural 2010-11 campaign. He has posted a 64-26 dual-meet record, twice being named CCSA Women's Swimming Coach of the Year.

Sophomore Alicia Finnigan also returns after a successful year that culminated with an appearance at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, where she competed in the 200-meter butterfly. Her second-place finish in the CCSA 200 fly (NCAA B cut 1:59.53) places her second in program history in that event.

Sophomore Brooke Fox had a record-setting freshman campaign in 2015-16. A two-time CCSA Diver of the Week honoree, Fox set program records in one-meter diving (236.93) and three-meter diving (224.75). She and freshman Jenna Joyal will compete in their first diving competition of the season, this weekend.

The Lady Flames welcome eight student-athletes to the team this season, including six freshmen. Sophomore transfer Delia Weber joins the Liberty roster after breaking Houston's 1000 freestyle (9:58.42) and 1,650 freestyle (16:32.75) records last season. Several Liberty freshmen are projected for top-8 times at the 2017 CCSA Championships.

Liberty returns 12 student-athletes who scored points at the 2016 CCSA Championships, including eight who posted top-eight finishes. Additionally, Delia Weber placed fourth in the 1,650 free and fifth in the 500 free at the 2016 American Athletic Conference Championships while at Houston.

Air Force
Air Force begins its regular season on Friday, after competing in an intrasquad meet last Saturday. The Falcons are coming off of a 2015-16 season that saw them finish ninth at the Mountain West Swimming & Diving Championships.

Genevieve Miller, three-time Mountain West Champion at 1,650 free, holds the conference record, 16:01.39. Miller won the 2016 MWC 500 free in 4:40.15. She placed 10th in the 1,650 free and 13th in the 500 free at the 2016 NCAA Championships. Miller also competed in the 400 free and 800 free at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Elise Hart set the Air Force record in the 100 fly, placing third at the 2016 MWC Championships in 53.59.

BYU (1-0) is competing for the third weekend in a row. The Cougars hosted Utah in a relay meet, Sept. 22, and then downed Oregon State, 178-83, in a double dual meet in Salt Lake City Utah, last Friday. BYU finished fourth at the 2016 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships, scoring 507 points.

BYU returns three all-conference swimmers from the 2016 MPSF Championships, led by Anna Dahl, who won the 100 breaststroke in program-record time of 1:01.34 last year. Dahl also placed third in the 200 breaststroke (2:15.32) at the 2016 league meet. Ellie Thornblue finished as 2016 MPSF runner-up for 500 free (4:51.81), while Lilian Moore took third in the conference 200 fly (2:01.13).

Colorado Mesa
The Colorado Mesa Mavericks open the season this weekend. The Mavericks are in their first year under 2016 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coach of the Year Geoff Hanson, who won the award at Western State. This is the seventh year in a row that Colorado Mesa has hosted Division I teams at the Intermountain Shootout.

The Mavericks placed 23rd at the 2016 NCAA Division II Women's Swimming & Diving Championships. Mary Saiz spearheaded her team's success, finishing as national runner-up in the 200 back in program-record time, 1:57.16. She also went 55.50 to place sixth in the NCAA 100 back A Final. Eryn Leonard (100 fly, 200 fly) and Miranda Reetz (100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke) hold two program records each.

Utah (1-0) opened the 2016-17 season by winning a majority of the relays at the non-scoring BYU Relays on Sept. 22. Then, the Utes downed Oregon State, 157-96, on Sept. 30. Utah finished sixth at the 2016 Pac-12 Women's Swimming & Diving Championships with 538.5 points.

Three current Utes – Jordan Anderson, Cassidy Stein and Gillian St. John – all competed at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Utah was represented at the 2016 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming & Diving Championships by breaststroke specialists Stina Colleou and Genevieve Robertson, along with diver Amanda Casillas. Colleou placed fourth at the 2016 Pac-12 Championships in the 200 breaststroke in a program-record 2:09.55, while Anderson's program-record 4:12.31 was good for seventh in the Pac-12 400 IM final.

Following this weekend's meet, Liberty will return to the Commonwealth of Virginia, competing in a dual meet at James Madison, next Saturday at 11 a.m., in Harrisonburg, Va.

Order of Events
Friday, Oct. 7

1. 200 Medley Relay
2. 200 Freestyle
3. 400 Individual Medley
4. 100 Breaststroke
5. 50 Freestyle
6. 100 Backstroke
7. 50 Butterfly
8. 1,650 Freestyle
9. 100 Individual Medley
10. 3-Meter Diving (6 dives)

Saturday, Oct. 8
11. 200 Freestyle Relay
12. 200 Butterfly
13. 50 Breaststroke
14. 500 Freestyle
15. 200 Individual Medley
16. 100 Freestyle
17. 200 Backstroke
18. 100 Butterfly
19. 200 Breaststroke
20. 400 Freestyle Relay
21. 1-Meter Diving (6 dives)