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Off the block: Erin Dawson wins 2 titles at MW championship

Collegian | Tri Duong
Erin Dawson swims the 200-yard medley relay during the 2023 Mountain West Swimming & Diving Championships in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium at the University of Houston Feb. 16.

Qualifying for the NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships is no small feat, but junior Erin Dawson made it look easy. 

Over the four days of the Mountain West Swimming and Diving Championships, Dawson achieved two crowns: the 500-yard freestyle and the 400-yard individual medley, meeting the B provisional time qualifications for the NCAAs. She also beat two school records for the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events. 


Of course, her titles come along with gold medals to polish in the coming years and the title of Mountain West swimmer of the meet, but it seems the energy of championships also ignited a fire inside her for events not in her usual repertoire.

Junior Maya White, who held second in the 500 free in Colorado State’s record books, was expected to surpass former Ram Haley Rowley but stayed with her seed time of 4 minutes, 47.99 seconds, getting fourth in the event.

Otherwise, the championships were wildly successful for White. She attained a silver medal in the 1,650-yard free and swam the second-best time for the event in CSU swim history.

However, Dawson and White were not the only swimmers on the podium. Freshman Tess Whineray, with a time of 1:55.27 in the 200-yard backstroke, solidified a second-place spot at the MW championships and in CSU’s record book.

Another Ram who won a medal was sophomore Lexie Trietley. She jumped up the ranks in the 50-yard free and got third with a time of 22.73, just short of the 22.67 B provisional time for the NCAAs, which she was shooting for.

Personal bests aside, the CSU swimmers for the 400-yard medley and 800-yard free relays displayed immense teamwork by setting two new school records in the events.

The 400-yard medley relay contained Claire Wright, Lucy Matheson, Whineray and Trietley. The four got fourth in the event, pushing past the former school record of 3:39.50 set in 2017 with a time of 3:38.95.

Placing fifth in the 800-yard, Megan Hager, Anika Johnson, Matheson and Dawson achieved a school record of 7:17.16, cutting their seed time of 7:24.43 by seven seconds.

Through the titles won and school records broken, the Rams climbed up the ranks slowly but surely, achieving third in the championship with 897 overall points after starting the meet at sixth.


Reach Liv Sewell at or on Twitter @Liv_sewell22.

Interested in more sports content? Sign up for Ram Report here for weekly CSU sports updates!

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About the Contributor
Tri Duong
Tri Duong, Co-Photo Director
Tri Duong is a fifth-year journalism student with a minor in chemistry and is profoundly intrigued by the art of documenting life one frame at a time. Duong was born and raised in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where reunification would one day bring about his family move to Loveland, Colorado, in 2007. For 14 years, his family was separated due to the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Coming from a different country has given him a deeper insight to life and the way of being. In fifth grade, Duong discovered photography through an after-school class, which led to his journey to becoming a photojournalist today. Whether it is photographing the ordinary walks of daily life or the harsh rambles of the world, Duong will always adhere to a certain philosophy: The product must preserve the liveliness of a worthy moment in the truest and most authentic way possible, or else it is not life. Working for The Collegian, Duong aspires to bring storytellers and journalists to develop their inspiration of visual communication through an ethical scope. Documentation of fragile and vulnerable reality is fascinating evidence for existence; therefore, it is critical to respect the nature of its realness. In his free time, Duong takes an interest in beekeeping, bartending and traveling as a way to explore the vast unknown of this world. Duong hopes to learn more about the storytellers he comes by at work or school. Everyone carries with them a unique tale of experience, and it would be lovely to hear who they are and how they ended up here.

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