Swim and dive improve to 4–1 after weekend in Colorado
It was a hectic three days of travel for the NAU swim and dive team this past weekend. They competed against four schools (Colorado State, Northern Colorado, Seattle University, and University of Denver) and finished 3–1 overall, dropping one meet to the University of Denver Pioneers (UD.)
During Saturday’s meet, the Lumberjacks beat the Redhawks of Seattle University (SU,) 171–65, and lost their first competition of the season against UD, 192–48.
“By Saturday [the girls] were tired,” said head coach Andy Johns. “But they are motivated because they want to do well in February, and these [meets] are just part of it . . . when you get some wins it’s easier to stay motivated, and when you are swimming well and diving well, you just keep expecting to do well.”
At the Jacks’ second meet of the weekend, 11 was their number. On 11-11-11, NAU won 11 events against University of Northern Colorado (UNC) in Greely, finishing the Bears 160.5–82.5.
Junior diver Kristy Ardavanis placed 1st overall with a final score of 305.78 in the 3-meter diving and 308.70 in the 1-meter diving.
“I feel more confident and my dives were more fun [this weekend,]” Ardavanis said. “I visualize my dives and make sure I have a good attitude and that I’m staying positive . . . that helps me keep the endurance during a weekend [when] we have a lot of meets.”
Junior swimmer Fi Connell won multiple events during Friday’s meet including the 100 backstroke, 200 individual medley and 200 freestyle team relay. NAU 1000 freestyle swimmers captured the top three spots with senior Krista Maier at a time of 10:40.19, freshman Caitlin Wright at 10:48.03 and junior Danielle Palbykin at 10:54.44.
The Lumberjacks had a strong start at Fort Collins Nov. 10th, winning the meet 134–109 against the Rams. This was the first time NAU beat CSU, taking nine out of 13 events.
Sophomore swimmers Emma Lowther and Rachel Palmer each won two events over the weekend — continuing their winning streaks that began at home against Idaho.
Lowther finished with winning times in the 500 freestyle, 5:08.22, and the 1000 freestyle, 10:28.33, at Friday’s meet. During Saturday’s meets against UD and SU, Lowther took the leading 1000 freestyle time again, finishing eight seconds behind the time she recorded against Colorado State.
“It is really hard to get up three days in a row and race a full meet,” Lowther said. “We have to do it for conference so it was good practice and it was hard but everyone realized that this is what we have to do and we worked hard to race well.”
Johns noted the team is coming along just as planned.
“We are happy coming out of it 3-1 — we thought we would come out of it 3-1 and we did,” Johns said. “This kind of creates good momentum for next week’s meet against Washington State . . . right now the most important thing is to be fit and I think [the girls] are in pretty good shape.”
The NAU divers will be competing against UA Wildcats in Tucson Nov. 18-20 and the swimmers will return to the pool for their home meet against Washington State Nov. 21 at 4 p.m. in the Wall Aquatic Center.