Young, wild, freestyle
After a disappointing loss to rival Boise State in the first meet of the season, Vandal swim and dive bounced back with a convincing 175-86 victory over WAC foe Seattle University in front of a home crowd Saturday.
“It’s pretty important to get a win when you can get them,” Idaho coach Mark Sowa said. “Anytime you get to race somebody within your conference, it ups the ante a little bit. Seattle is a good team. They are much better than they were a year ago.”
Idaho took the lead from the start and never looked back. The Redhawks didn’t win an event until the sixth event of the afternoon. By then, the Vandals were leading 64-28.
Sophomore standout Rachel Millet was the top scorer for the Vandals, winning three individual events and contributing to the winning 200-yard medley relay team. Millet showed her diversity winning the longest race — the 1000-yard freestyle in 10:42.20 minutes — as well as the shortest race — the 50-yard free in 24.24 seconds. She also won the 500-yard freestyle in 5:13.87 to round out her individual victories.
“Rachel continues to impress,” Sowa said. “We put her in some uncomfortable situations with events that she doesn’t normally swim, so that was good training for us right there.”
Junior Megan Venlos — another member of the winning 200-yard medley relay — also added two individual victories for the Vandals. Venlos won the 200-yard freestyle (1:56.11) and the 100-yard freestyle (53.40) to help sweep the individual freestyle events for the Vandals. She also swam the anchor leg of the winning 400-yard freestyle relay.
“Our 400 freestyle relay was very good at the end,” Sowa said. “It had some really good swims on that.”
Freshman Jamie Sterbis also added two individual victories to help lift the Vandals over Seattle U. Sterbis’ victories came in the 200-yard butterfly in 2:06.21 and the 100-yard butterfly in 57.64. She also swam the third leg of the victorious 400-yard freestyle relay.
Freshman Stacy Janelle, junior Sammi Mischkot and senior Kelsie Saxe also had individual victories for the Vandals on a night where Seattle U only won two of 16 events.
The Vandals travel to Colorado Springs Friday to take on the Air Force Academy.
“Overall, I like our intensity and our focus,” Sowa said. “That’s a good thing and that should carry over into our next couple weeks of training.”
Stephan Wiebe can be reached at email@example.com