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The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Courtesy of Fresno State Athletics
Bulldog Aliz Kalmar swims in race at the Aquatics Center.

Fresno State swim and dive splashes its way to program records

It was a record-breaking week for several women athletes as ‘Dog’s traveled to Houston, Texas to compete at the swim and dive Mountain West tournament.

The ‘Dogs went into the tournament with an 8-2 overall record, staying undefeated at home throughout the season. 

The ‘Dogs set a milestone early in the season, defeating the University of Nevada for the first time in program history 177-123 on Oct. 27.    

The season began on a 3-game win streak for the Bulldogs before falling in a conference matchup against San Diego State on Jan. 8. Its other loss came at the end against San Jose State on Feb. 3.

Bulldog twin sisters Aliz and Laura Kalmar were key players on this year’s roster. In the regular season, Aliz broke the program record on the 100-meter breaststroke twice. Laura broke an Aquatics Center record on the 1000-meter freestyle with a time of 10:07.65.

Aliz also became the only player to earn a Mountain West Player of the Week recognition on Nov. 7. 

After a dominating season, the Fresno State women’s swim and dive team finished the Mountain West Tournament in fourth place, scoring 886.50 total points from Feb. 21-24 at the University of Houston in the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center Natatorium.

Although the Bulldogs fell short of the win, they completed its best program finish in the Mountain West since 2012.

Day 1 (Feb. 21)

The first day of the tournament kicked-off with three events: 1-meter springboard, 200-yard medley relay and the 800-yard freestyle relay.

Grace Ally and Jaden Fagundes were the first divers for the ‘Dogs to compete in the 1-meter springboard.  

Ally set the tone early, finishing her dive in sixth-place with 225 points that secured her a spot in the finals A round. This was her personal best on the 1-meter, outsourcing her previous points by 20. 

Fagundes couldn’t stay in the top 10, earning a total of 227 points to close off the 100-meter race in 12th place.

The second race of the day was the 200-yard medley relay competed by Bulldogs Aliz, Korrie Tengan, Julia Matney and Mackenzie Hutler.

The four nearly set a program record, falling 0.07 seconds short of concluding the event in 5th place with a time of 1:39.38. 

The Aztecs took first-place with a 1:37.94 time in the relay.  

Laura, Matney, Wiktoria Dabrowska and Samarah Melia closed off Day 1 for the ‘Dogs with the 800-yard freestyle relay. 

The Bulldogs ended the race in eighth-place with a time of 7:26.69, far behind the University of Wyoming who won at 7:11.15.

The Bulldogs wrapped up Day 1 of the Mountain West Tournament in eighth-place out of nine conference teams. They earned a total of 116 points, trailing behind San Jose State who finished with 119 points. 

Day 2 (Feb. 22)

The second day began with Ally in the diving well who had another strong performance for the ‘Dogs. 

She achieved her second A standard round in the 3-meter springboard finishing with 292 points. Ally finished in sixth-place but earned a spot in the Championship A final round. 

The achievements continued in the 200 individual medley. Jenna Pulkkinen and Tengan competed in the fourth heat taking 2-out-of-3. 

The ‘Dogs had five players move on to finals from the individual medley.  

The biggest event of day came at the end for the Bulldogs in another 200 individual medley.

Sera Hanagan held an extensive lead ending with a time of 2:01.16, being the first to break a program record in the tournament so far. 

At the end of Day 2, the ‘Dogs moved up three rankings to take 5th place with a total of 313.5 points, trailing behind Colorado State who had 336 points. 

Day 3 (Feb. 23)

The third day consisted of yet another record-breaking day for the Bulldogs. 

Aliz started the day by surpassing the program record twice in the 100-meter breaststroke. The first time was in a preliminary race where she timed in at 1:00.19 qualifying her for Championship A. 

The second one only came a few moments later, breaking her own record in the final round of the 100-meter at 1:00.05 minutes. 

Keeping the momentum, Hanagan finished at 4:17.20 on the 400 individual medley earning an NCAA B cut. 

The Bulldogs still trailed behind Colorado State ending Day 3, but moved up to fourth-place with 572.5 points. 

Day 4 (Feb. 24)

The final day of the Mountain West Championship Tournament featured 13 Bulldogs who qualified as finalists, four of those being Championship A finalists. 

In the backstroke event, Pulkkinen took fourth-place, improving her time by two seconds beating teammate Aliz, who went into the race in second place. 

After big performances in the three days of the tournament, Amy ended the last day even bigger.

In the diving well, she finished the preliminary matchups in third place to set her up for a podium finish. 

Ally took second place earning a silver medal at the end of the tournament. 

Despite all the personal accomplishments, the Fresno State women’s swim and dive team could not finish on top, accumulating a total of 886.50 points to end in fourth-place. 

San Diego State took the Mountain West Tournament title for the third consecutive time totaling 1,487.50 points. 

The ‘Dogs await to see if they make the NCAA Zones Diving tournament from March 11-13 at Wall Aquatics Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.

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About the Contributor
Alexis Bruno
Alexis Bruno, Sports Editor
Alexis Bruno is class of 2025 and the Sports Editor for The Collegian. Alexis has been writing for The Collegian since 2023 and specializes in writing sports. Alexis is an MCJ broadcasting major and wants to pursue a career in sports sideline reporting.
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