Teamwork and consistency key for CSU swimming and Diving at Mountain West Championships

Freshman sprint freestyle and backstoke swimmer, Felicia Gilson, practices in the Moby pool Monday before the team's departure to San Antonio, Texas for the Mountain West Championships which start today.
Freshman sprint freestyle and backstoke swimmer, Felicia Gilson, practices in the Moby pool Monday before the team’s departure to San Antonio, Texas for the Mountain West Championships which start today.

As the CSU Women’s Swimming and Diving team wrapped up their final practice before Wednesday’s Mountain West Championship, one word seemed to resonate from the Moby pool: “teamwork.”

CSU Coach Christopher Woodson made it clear that success would be the product of a team effort.

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“From our eighteenth swimmer all the way up to our first swimmer, we need a championship performance out of every one of our girls,” Woodson said.

Woodson, in his second year as head coach, is looking to improve on last year’s Mountain West finish.

“We ended up seventh last year, and this year we want to be in the top five,” Woodson said.

After a tough start in the Mountain West, the Rams swimmers are looking to build on the momentum they have gained in the last two meets of the season: dual meet wins against in-state rivals Northern Colorado and Air Force.

The Rams begin competition today and will compete through Feb. 23 at the Mountain West Championships in San Antonio, Texas.

Senior captain Breann Fuller will be defending her title in the 200-meter backstroke and looking to qualify for the NCAA championships in both it and the 100-meter backstroke.

There have been many highlights to Fuller’s storied career as a Ram, but her fondest memories aren’t just about individual performances.

“I would have to say my fondest memories are the relays I have done with my teammates,” Fuller said.

The Rams divers, led by seniors Madeline Mitchell and Chelea Kelly, are poised for success in the championships as well.

Freshman Paige Greely, a high school All-American, is looking forward to her first Mountain West Championship.

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“It’s exciting because we get to see a lot of old friends and teammates from club teams,” Greely said. “Our goal for this weekend is to be consistent. If we are consistent, we can make it to the finals, and that’s where we can score points.”

The Mountain West Championships will be bittersweet for the nine seniors that will be graduating this spring. Reminiscence will set in for those that are gearing up for potentially their last swim at the championships as a Ram.

However, they are not done yet, and as they head to San Antonio, Woodson is expecting big things.

“Our depth has thinned out this year, but this has the makings of a championship team,” he said. “It will take everyone’s best performance, and I am expecting that out of everyone.”