The first day of the U.S Short Course Nationals got underway Thursday in Knoxville, Tenn. Idaho competed in three events on the first day of the three-day meet, putting four swimmers in the water.
Junior Rachel Millet competed in the 200-yard individual medley placing 18th in the prelims with a time of 2 minutes, 1.17 seconds. Her time was good enough to get her into the “C” group of the finals, getting Idaho its only appearance in an individual final for the day.
Millet reappeared in the water along with fellow Vandal junior Erica Anderson for the 50 freestyle prelims. Millet finished with a time of 23.25 placing 29th. Millet’s qualifying time tied the 2012-13 top time for Idaho set by Anderson on Feb. 28, 2013.
Anderson finished with a time of 23.82 earning her the 48th place in the event. Neither swimmer had a good enough time to continue on to the finals in the 50 freestyle.
Both Millet and Anderson returned one last time on the day to compete along with freshman Taylor Lee Strachan and senior Megan Venlos. The group made up the Idaho 4×100 relay team. The four Vandals swam well as a group, getting the best Idaho placement of the night, finishing with a time of 3:44.11 for the 12th place spot.
For the second day of competition on Friday, Idaho will compete in four individual events, putting four competitors in the water.
Millet will continue to lead Idaho in events as she will compete in the 100 fly, the 200 freestyle and the 100 backstroke. Strachan will join Millet in the 100 butterfly, her one event of the day. Anderson will compete in her first individual event of the three-day meet in the 100 breaststroke along with junior Luara Griffing who will be making her first appearance for the meet.
Complementing the action going on in Knoxville,Tenn., the Husky Invitational will start its three days of competition Friday to Sunday. Idaho has sent its remaining swimmers to Seattle to compete in the annual event and will be competing against teams from all around the country.
Both of the meets come just days after the Idaho swim team jumped 40 spots in the collegeswimming.com mid-major poll moving from No. 51 to No. 11. The ranking is the highest in the program’s history.
“Again, it is nice to be recognized among some of the better mid-major programs in the country,” Idaho coach Mark Sowa said. “We feel like our team has made large strides over the past two plus seasons and we truly feel like this is a place where athletes can compete at the highest level, while still having a smaller college experience. What it also means is that we still have a lot of work to do if we want to keep this thing moving forward.”
Curtis Ginnetti can be reached at email@example.com