Swim and dive edges Vandals in opener
The NAU swim and dive team had a more than successful Nov. 5 season opener against the Idaho Vandals in the Wall Aquatic Center, with a final score of 155.5-133.5. Senior swimmers and divers were commemorated in front of an energetic crowd. NAU won 14 of 16 events.
“I was really happy with my performance today,” said sophomore swimmer Rachel Palmer, a winner of two events, including the 200 individual medley. “It’s always hard to step up and race after a hard week of training, and the girls performed amazing. Today couldn’t have gone better, really.”
The Lumberjacks took the lead without any delay, winning the first eight events. Sophomore swimmers Emma Lowther and Jordan Burnes won the 200 medley relay racing with Palmer. Lowther also won the 200 freestyle, while Burnes won the 100 breast with a time of 1:14.31. Palmer won the first 200 butterfly race of her career with a time of 2:22.05.
“We came right out and set the tone right away,” said head coach Andy Johns. “First home meet, senior meet, all of that; it was just a great start to the season. Obviously next week presents a different set of challenges. It’s a whole different ballgame being on the road. Next week we’ll learn a little bit more about ourselves and our team. The girls are definitely excited to race against somebody else.”
Senior swimmer Kristin Jones entered the meet with a plan and it went exactly how she wanted it to. Jones won the individual 800 freestyle with a final time of 9:26.21 and was recognized with the rest of the senior class by their team and friends in the crowd.
“I love swimming, I love competing, and it’s really hard to know that it’s coming to a close.” Jones said. “This is one of our last home meets: we have one more. All and all I think senior day went really well. The team really honored our seniors by competing at the level they did.”
Kristy Ardavanis controlled the diving board, capturing both the 1-meter and 3-meter events with NCAA Zone qualifying scores. She broke the Wall Aquatic 2007 dive score record of 294.15, raising it to 300.60.
“I just go with the flow and do the best I can to see where I end up,” Ardavanis said. “It’s going to be hard to lose the seniors because we’re all a pretty tight dive team this year, so that’ll be tough. We’re all enjoying it now while we’re together.”
The Lumberjacks next meet is Nov. 10 at Colorado State.