Pack Swimming & Diving looks to knock off Mountaineers in season opener

Pack Swimming & Diving looks to knock off Mountaineers in season opener

PUEBLO, Colo. (October 13, 2016) –  For the first time since February, Colorado State University-Pueblo swimming & diving will compete when the ThunderWolves open their season with a home meet against Western State Colorado University. The Pack will open its third season at home against the Mountaineers at the Sam Jones Aquatic Center Friday Oct. 14 at 5 p.m.

After earning its first win in a head-to-head dual meet in 2015-16, the Pack will seek its first home victory against the Mountaineers.  Western State won both head-to-head meetings between the two squads a year ago.

CSU-Pueblo went 3-6  in dual meets in its second season as a program. The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference coaches predicted the Pack would finish sixth in the conference this season.

Junior captain April McDonough (Frisco, Texas) leads a core of 10 returning swimmers. McDonough has posted national B cut times in each of the last two seasons. McDonough finished ninth at the RMAC Championships in the 1000 freestyle last February.

Senior Clarissa Gardella (Bakersfield, Calif.) will lead the Pack's sprinters in the 50 free. She holds four of the five fastest times in the event in school history. Her 25.21 stands as the school record.

Sophomores Arianna Rohde (Anchorage, Alaska) and Jade Irick (Idaho Falls, Idaho) will look to build upon their impressive freshman campaigns. Rohde set Pack records in the both the 50 (27.30) and 200 (2:08.98) backstroke. Irick helped the Pack's 200 freestyle relay team to a school record.

The Pack divers look to make strides in their second season under new diving coach Matthew Fremling. Freshman Kortney Spencer (Pueblo, Colo.) will join sophomores  Stefany Busch (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Lauren Smith (Apopka, Fla.) on the boards.

Five freshmen will jump into the pool for their first meet Friday. Torah Fisher (Estes Park, Colo.) will take over for Pack alumni Emily Foster in the breaststroke. Kaitlyn Hoffman (Aurora, Colo.) will help the Pack in butterfly events.

Kelsey Johnson (Mount Vernon, Wash.) will compete in both breaststroke and fly events. Phoebe Pontious (Caledonia, Mich.) and Angie Randall (Fairbanks, Alaska) add depth to the Pack's strong freestyle contingent.

Fridays meet will be one of just three home events for Pack swimming & diving.

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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics