Aztecs place third at Mountain West Championships, prepare for NCAAs

San+Diego+State+swiming+and+diving+senior+diver+Erica+Sarver+attempts+a+dive+during+the+Aztecs+33-24+pentathlon+win+over+San+Diego+on+Dec.+10%2C+2020+at+the+Aztec+Aquaplex.

Courtesy of Derrick Tuskan, SDSU Athletics

San Diego State swiming and diving senior diver Erica Sarver attempts a dive during the Aztecs’ 33-24 pentathlon win over San Diego on Dec. 10, 2020 at the Aztec Aquaplex.

by Dustin Magallanes, Staff Writer

After a stellar 4-0 start to the season, the San Diego State swim and dive team was able to keep the good times rolling during the Mountain West Conference Championships.  

Headlined by Mountain West Swimmer of the Meet winner senior Klara Thormalm, the Scarlet and Black’s well-rounded performance earned them a third-place finish with 1309 points, falling to first-place UNLV by 40 points and second-place Nevada by just 31 points.  

A few standout performances include sophomore Riley Tapley earning a first-place nod in the 200 back prelims with a 1:58.08 finish, junior Sammy Geyer’s third-place finish in the 100 freestyle with a time of 50.28, and Thormalm’s 2nd-place finish in the 200 breast with a time of 2:12.02. 

Wilma Johansson was also able to leave her mark in the 200 fly finals with a time of 2:01.76, the best of any freshman swimmer in the event and perhaps a preamble to a bright future at SDSU.

While the swim team continued their run of impressive finishes in Las Vegas, the dive team looked to edge out the competition in Colorado. Juniors Ximena Lechuga Gonzalez and Gina Cazares qualified for the championships, which would later see Ximena earning a silver medal with a score of 259.45 while Cazares finished sixth with a score of 225.00.

Having earned 31 All-MWC Honors for their efforts at the tournament, swim and dive associate head coach Stephen Allnutt said he has a lot to be proud of in the wake of the NCAA Championships.

“The positivity that is radiating throughout this team is truly contagious,” he said. “We will look to continue refining the fundamentals and assembling a good game plan for the NCAA Championships. As far as winnings goes, I know this team can accomplish anything they set their minds to.”

When it comes to Thormalm, Allnut said he has the utmost confidence she’ll be able to make a statement in the NCAA Championships.

“Klara [Thormalm] has been an absolute machine this season and a pleasure to coach,” Allnut said. “She always has such a great attitude and is constantly looking to improve.”

Lechuga Gonzalez, Gina Cazares and junior diver Lexi Letts will represent the Aztecs at the 2021 NCAA Zone E Championships on March 8-10 for a chance to qualify for the 2021 NCAA Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina. Meanwhile, Thormalm’s performances have earned her an opportunity to swim in three events at the NCAA Championships on March 17-20.

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