Congratulations to the 2020 Mountain West Swimming & Diving Champions, San Diego State! The Aztecs went wire-to-wire to win back-to-back titles and this year it was a runaway. SDSU scored a conference-record 1463.5 points compared to Nevada who came in second place with 1015.5 points. The Aztecs won 12 of the swimming events, which included all four relays, and diver Ximena Lechuga Gonzalez displayed her dominance by taking gold in the three-meters.
2020 MW Swimming & Diving Championships Swimmer of the Meet belonged to none other than Klara Thormalm of San Diego State who took home first place in seven events, four relays and three individual swims. Thormalm set a Mountain West all-time record and Mountain West Championships record in the 200-yard breaststroke and an MW Swimming and Diving Championships record in the 100-yard breaststroke. She also was part of the 200-yard medley relay team that earned an NCAA “A” time as she swam the breaststroke leg in a time of 26.24.
Everything was coming up Aztecs as they started off the first day winning both the 800-freestyle and 200-yard medley relay events. The SDSU medley team of Elliyana Ferrin, Klara Thormalm, Courtney Vincent, Alma Thormalm earned the only NCAA “A” time of the meet, which also set a school and conference record, by posting a time of 1:36.30, more than two seconds faster than the competition.
The second day of competition had every team chasing the Aztecs in most swimming events. The highlight of the day for San Diego State came during the 50-yard freestyle, in which they captured every podium spot, as well as a fifth-place finish. Klara Thormalm edged out teammate Elizabeth Menzmer for gold by the slimmest of margin of .01 seconds, 22.41 to 22.42. Third place went to Alma Thormalm who swam a respectable 22.55 (all NCAA “B” times).
The 400-yard medley relay was an exciting race against the clock as San Diego State posted a time of 3:33.64, the second-fastest time in Aztec history. This time beat second-place UNLV by over five seconds. Elliyana Ferrin led the SDSU squad with a time of 53.92 in her 100-yard backstroke but soon after, the race was broken open by a 59.61 breaststroke split from Klara Thormalm. Courtney Vincent then swam a 51.91 on the fly leg, and Alma Thormalm finished out as the anchor leg in a blistering 48.20 in her 100-yard freestyle. A truly impressive showing!
At this point, the meet was seemingly well in hand for San Diego State heading into the third day but the Aztecs kept on winning as they had another unprecedented podium sweep. This time it was in the 100-yard breaststroke with Klara Thormalm setting a new Mountain West Championship record time of 59.36. While it did not qualify as an NCAA “A” time, it seems likely she will swim that event next month in Athens, GA. There is a chance that Morganne McKennan who swam 59.73 and Samantha Geyer’s time of 59.78 could earn them an NCAA invite too, as those times were faster than those who qualified last year.
An Aztec fight to the finish-- it's a Scarlet and Black podium in the 100 breast!— SDSU Swimming&Diving (@SDSUswimdive) February 22, 2020
Klara Thormalm takes the crown with a time of 59.36, Morganne McKennan just behind her with a time of 59.73, and Sammy Geyer in third with a time of 59.78!#GoAztecs pic.twitter.com/1BalMmtI0y
The final day of competition saw more of the same with San Diego State taking home titles in three of the six events. The most impressive swim of the day came in the 200-yard breaststroke which saw Klara Thormalm set another Mountain West and school record of 2:08.30, which beat the prior conference record by .14 seconds and topped the Aztecs’ record by nearly two seconds.
SDSU may earn another NCAA invite for Courtney Vincent, who defended her 100 fly title with a time of 52.14. Although her finals performance was impressive, it will be her prelim swim where she clocked in at 51.60 that could get her into the 2020 NCAA Championships, as she is just .68 seconds off of an “A” cut time.
The final race of these 2020 Championships mimicked the opening event, as the Aztecs’ 400-yard freestyle relay crew posted a time of 3:17.24 and topped second-place New Mexico by over three seconds. An honorable mention should also be garnered to diver Ximena Lechuga González. Her victory marks the first Conference title on the 3-meter board and marks the first time since 2011 that an Aztec has taken first in the event. Her score of 382.65 was the fourth-highest in Conference history. We'd like to make a special shout out to the 2020 MW Swimming & Diving Championships Diver of the Meet, Melissa Mirafuentes of Wyoming.
Many of the other Mountain West teams did their best to be included on the podium, as well. Nevada and Wyoming displayed their dominance in the 200-yard freestyle event where the Wolf Pack’s Andressa Lima Cholodovskis and Cowgirl’s Katelyn Blattner both posted a time of 1:47.35. The shared victory marks the first time in MW history a tie for first has occurred at the Championships in an individual event. Fresno State’s Athena Clayson bested the Aztecs’ Elliyan Ferrin in the 100-yard backstroke to mark the Bulldog’s sixth individual MW champion in school history. She also was named Freshman Swimmer of the Meet.
Congratulations to all of the 2020 Mountain West Swimming and Diving All-Conference honorees and thanks for a great season of swimming! Looking forward to 2021.
1. San Diego State - 1463.5
2. Nevada - 1015.5
3. Wyoming - 903
4. UNLV - 875.5
5. Colorado State - 830.5
6. Fresno State - 810
7. Boise State - 807
8. New Mexico - 625.5
9. San Jose State - 490
10. Air Force - 389.5