The Idaho swim and dive team split its forces this weekend sending athletes to compete in two different competitions. Idaho sent five swimmers to Seattle to compete in the annual Husky Invitational and seven swimmers to Knoxville, Tenn., for the U.S. Short Course Nationals.
The seven swimmers Idaho sent to Knoxville, the most in the program’s history, competed against college and club teams in three days of competition. After the individual and group races were completed on Saturday, Idaho was in 11th place out of the 15 college teams participating and out of the 28 total college and club teams Idaho finished in 17th with a total team score of 18.
Idaho saw some of the toughest competition in the world racing against swimming powerhouse California. Cal has some of the nation’s best swimmers including Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Missy Franklin, who was the highest scoring individual out of all the men’s and women’s teams with a score of 90 points. Cal’s women’s team dominated the competition with a team score of 540. The next closest team was the Nation’s Capital Swim Club with a team score of 279 — a 261-point difference.
Points were awarded to teams based on the performances of the participants in individual races and in relays. Junior Rachel Millet finished with the best individual performance for Idaho during the tournament. Her lone finals performance finishing 23rd in the 200-yard individual medley was the only finals appearance in individual competition for Idaho. Millet finished the individual medley with a final time of 2 minutes, 1.26 seconds.
In the team portion of the meet, Idaho raced in two relay finals. The relay team of Millet, Taylor Lee Strachan, Erica Anderson and Megan Venlos raced in the 4×50 medley relay and the 4×100 medley relay. In the 4×50, Idaho finished in 13th with at time of 1:44.26. The best performance for Idaho came in the 4×100 finishing with a time of 3:45.68 for 12th.
In Seattle, the five Idaho swimmers competing in the Husky Invitational did not fare any better than their counterparts in Knoxville. Out of the 23 individual events that the five swimmers competed in, Idaho did not finish any final races with a good enough time to earn any team points. Idaho finished the meet with no team points. Out of the 77 teams that competed, only 50 actually scored.
Idaho swim and dive does not compete again until Saturday, Jan. 18, when the Vandals compete against New Mexico State in Las Cruces, N.M., for the last WAC meet of the year before the WAC Championships. The championships will start on Wednesday, Feb. 26 in San Antonio, Texas.
Idaho has one more home meet this season against Oregon State for Senior Night. The meet will take place on Saturday, Jan. 25, at the UI Swim Center.
Curtis Ginnetti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org