|Bettis breaks 200 fly record|
MOSCOW, Idaho – Savannah Bettis could catch glimpses of Oregon State’s Aya Fujimura throughout the 200 butterfly and she could think of just one thing: she wasn’t going to lose.
She didn’t and in so doing Bettis, a University of Idaho senior swimmer, broke an Idaho record, swam a personal best by nearly 3½ seconds, and helped the Vandals emerge with a 147-147 tie with the Pac 12 Beavers in Idaho’s first home meet of the season before a raucous crowd at the UI Swim Center.
“I saw her and I knew I wanted to beat her,” said Bettis, who graduated from Redondo Beach, Calif., High School. “I didn’t want to lose. I knew it was fast but I didn’t know how fast. … I had no idea.”
That competitive spirit, Idaho coach Mark Sowa said, was impressive Saturday.
“It’s amazing to see what happens when you’re just competing,” said Sowa, whose swimmers and divers won six of the 14 individual races and one of the two relays. “It’s great to see how far we’ve come.”
Freshman Rachel Millet of Spokane continued her winning ways with victories in the 50, 100 and 200 free as well as a leg of the winning 200 medley relay. Junior Paige Hunt (Mesa, Ariz.) underscored the importance of the diving unit with victories in each event. Her 291.85 in the three-meter event was just .58 of a point off the school record she set just last week.
The Vandals opened an early lead in the meet and held a 145-132 edge going into the final race – the always competitive 400 free relay. Oregon State took first in decisive fashion but nabbed the event-tying second-place finish by just out-touching the Vandals on the final pad. Sowa gave a nod to Oregon State for its ability to take the top to place in the final event and secure the tie.
“We knew we had to try to win one of the relays,” Sowa said. “We did our darnedest. We have nothing to hang our heads about.”
Bettis said a buoyant attitude carried the Vandals throughout the meet.
“There was just a lot of positivity,” she said. “Our team really clicked. It feels good to be competitive against a Pac 12 team.”