|Idaho defeated at home|
Idaho Head Swimming and Diving Coach Mark Sowa expected the Vandals to be competitive against Boise State University during the Vandals' home opener Saturday at the UI Swim Center, and they were exactly that.
It was not enough to secure a win, however, as the Broncos defeated Idaho 210-90 in the first dual meet of the season.
BSU won 12 events including both the 200 yard medley relay and the 400 yard free relay to build a comfortable lead over the Vandals. Boise State entered the meet as the defending Mountain West Conference champions and Sowa said they met expectations.
"Basically to me, I look at them and they're a top 25 team in the country, so for us to match up as well as we did, I'm pretty happy with it."
Idaho began the meet on a high note thanks to junior Paige Hunt who earned a top score of 283.80 in the 3 meter dive. Idaho also got a boost from another returner, sophomore Rachel Millet, who started the season in dominating fashion by winning the 100 and 200 freestyle events as well as the 200 IM.
"It's fun to watch Rachel race," Sowa said. "She's a very prepared athlete. She's very thoughtful in her training every day. Some of what you saw is what we see every day."
Idaho's freshman swimmers put up strong performances as well. Janelle Stacy finished third in the 200 yard backstroke and Jamie Sterbis finished second in the 100 yard fly and third in the 50 freestyle.
Sowa said there is much room for improvement but felt encouraged by how hard the team fought.
"We need to get better in a lot of areas," Sowa said. "Our skills need to continue to improve. Our turns were not nearly as good as they should have been. But what I do love is how competitive this team is and the more consistent that we can be with that every day, the better we'll keep getting.
A sizeable home crowd cheered on the Vandals during the early morning race, which occurred right before Idaho's homecoming football game. Sowa said he appreciates the support from the local crowd.
"We love racing in front of our fans," Sowa said. "For an 11 o'clock meet on homecoming - to have this many fans come out, we're pretty darn grateful and excited for that."
Idaho's next meet is at home against Seattle University on Oct. 13.