Denver Dominant: Women Picked to Repeat as #SummitSD Champions in 2018

Denver Dominant: Women Picked to Repeat as #SummitSD Champions in 2018

ELMHURST, Ill. – After sweeping every swimming event at The Summit League Championships last year, the Denver Pioneer women's swimming and diving team was selected as the favorite to win the 2017-18 league title. The Denver women earned all five potential first-place votes, garnering 25 points in the poll.

The Pioneers earn the preseason honor for the fifth time in as many seasons as a member of The Summit League and are the league's four-time defending champion. Reigning Women's Swimmer of the Year Bailey Andison returns for her junior season after earning several All-America honors last season.  

South Dakota placed second in the women's poll, gathering 19 points along with one first-place vote. The Coyotes finished third at last year's League Championships.

South Dakota State (17) and Omaha (15) finished third and fourth in the preseason poll, respectively.

#SummitSD Preseason Notes

  • Denver returns 12-of -15 All-League selections including five individual league champions from a season ago. 
  • Two-time Swimmer of the Year Bailey Andison returns to the Pioneers for her junior season after setting championship meet records in the 100 IM, 200 IM and 400 IM. Andison placed 13th in the 200 IM and fifth in the 400 IM at the NCAA Championships, earning Honorable Mention All-America honors in the 200 IM and All-America honors in the 400 IM.
  • South Dakota brings back five All-Leaguers in Quinn Fawcett, Theresa Godlewski, Taylor Kidd, Charlie Mechling and Sabrina Sabadeanu.
  • The Jackrabbits retain four-of-six 2017 All-League honorees, highlighted by two-time All-League selections Richelle Bruyckere and Kristin Erf. Erf holds four school records and grabbed a silver medal in the 100 breast at The 2017 Summit League Championships.
  • Omaha possesses five All-League honorees, four coming from the team's 200 medley relay. Andrea Brosnahan is one-of-two returning divers who were honored as All-League last year. She notched a silver medal on the 1-meter at the Championships in 2017.
  • Western Illinois welcomes two new faces, Megan Carver and Claire Straetker, to the scene.

#SummitSD Schedule Notes

  • The 2017-2018 season begins Oct. 6, with South Dakota at Minnesota State.
  • The first matchup between Summit League teams occurs Oct. 28 with Eastern Illinois hosting Western Illinois and Butler.
  • For the first time, the 2018 Summit League Swimming and Diving Championships will be held at the Midco Aquatic Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., from Feb. 14 – 17.

2017-18 Summit League Women's Swimming & Diving Preseason Coaches' Poll

Rank

School

Points (1st)

2016-17 Finish

1.

Denver

25 (5)

1st

2.

South Dakota

19 (1)

3rd

3.

South Dakota State

17

5th

4.

Omaha

15

4th

5.

Western Illinois

8

6th

6.

Eastern Illinois

6

7th

 


Athletes to Watch

Bailey Andison, Denver – Breaststroke/IM, Jr.
- Earned 2017 All-America honors in the 400 IM, finishing fifth in the country with a school-record time of 4:03.09

- 2017 Honorable Mention All-America honors in the 200 IM with a 1:55.21 time to finish 13th at the NCAA Championships

- 2016 – 2017 Summit League Women's Swimmer of the Year

- 2017 All-Summit League in the 800 free relay, 200 IM, 400 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 IM and 400 free

- Represented Canada at the 2017 World University Games

 

Andrea Brosnahan, Omaha – Diving, So.

- At the 2017 Summit League Championships, earned All-Summit honors on the 1-meter dive, where she was runner-up with a score of 251.20

- Finished fourth on the 3-meter with a score of 250.05 at the Championships last year

Richelle Bruyckere, South Dakota State – Free/Butterfly, Jr.

- Two-time All-Summit League (2016, 2017)

- Holds school record in the 400 medley relay, tied for second in the 200 free

- Ranks sixth in the 500 free and fifth in the 100 and 200 butterfly on the SDSU Top 10 list

- Finished sixth in the 200 free and eighth in the 100 free at The 2017 Summit League Championships

 

Kassidie Cornell, South Dakota – Middle distance, Sr.

- Placed fifth in the 200 breast (2:21.02), sixth in the 100 breast (1:04.69) and 14th in the 100 IM (1:01:22) at the League Championship last year

- Member of the 400 medley relay (3:49.72) that set the school record

- Ranks second in the 100 breast (1:04:69) and fourth in the 200 breast (2:21:02) on the Coyote Top 10 list

 

Kristin Erf, South Dakota State – Breast/IM, Sr.

- Two-time All-Summit League (2016, 2017)

- Holds school and pool record in 100 breast, 200 free relay, 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay

- Ranks third in the 200 breast, seventh in the 200 IM, second in the 50 free and sixth in the 100 free on the SDSU Top 10 list

- Finished second in the 100 breast and third in the 200 breast at The Summit League Championships in 2017

 

Erin Farley, Eastern Illinois – Fr.

- Carmel High School Swim Club (Part of 31-year state champion streak)

- Two-time top eight 500 free finisher at High School State Finals

- Sectional time in the 200 fly and 400 IM

 

Tiril Jensen, Omaha – Breast/Fly/Free, Sr.

- Member of two school record-setting relay teams in the 200 and 400 medley relay teams last season

- All-Summit League in 2017 after placing third in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:44.00

- Set a school record in the 100 breast and placed fourth with a time of 1:03.20 at the League Championships last year

 

Zora Opalka, Denver – Diving, Fr.

- Washington diving state champion in 2016

- Four-year letterwinner at Bainbridge High School

- Two-time club team MVP and three-time zone qualifier

 

Casey Roberts, Western Illinois – Sprint free, So.

- Times in the 50 free (24.08) and 100 free (52.38) at the Championships last year rank second and fourth, respectively, in program history

- Swam a personal best, and third-fastest mark in school history, in the 200 free (1:54:16) at The 2017 Summit League Championships on the front end of the 800 free relay

- Last Championships, swam on the relays in the 200 free, 400 free and 800 free that rank second in school history

 

Sarah Schank, South Dakota – Diving, Jr.

- Finished ninth on the 3-meter dive (237.55) and 12th on the 1-meter dive (212.85) at The Summit League Championships in 2017

- On the Coyote Top 10 list, ranks fourth on the 3-meter (277.25) and fifth on the 1-meter (254.33)

 

Note: Athletes to Watch selected by league's head coaches


ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at eight institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University with the University of North Dakota becoming an official member on July 1, 2018. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced nine NCAA Champions along with over 90 Academic All-Americans, nearly 100 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.

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