NAU Swim and dive continue dual meet winning streak against Northern Colorado
By Chelsea Martin
The Northern Arizona University (NAU) swimming and diving team continued their winning streaks for the season with a victory against the University of Northern Colorado on Nov. 3, easily sweeping the Bears in relays, diving events and nine individual races, finishing with a final score of 178–119.
The Lumberjacks are now 3–0 in dual meets this season.
“The girls really enjoy racing in their home pool, and I think it really showed today,” said head coach Andy Johns. “A lot of different people were asked to step up and they did a great job at that.”
The Lumberjacks held nothing back from the very start. The 400-medley relay was an impressive beginning to the meet, with NAU placing first and second. Junior Emma Lowther led the Lumberjacks by winning two individual events. Lowther won the first event of the day, the 800 freestyle, in 9:14.88 and the 100 butterfly in 1:04.74. Sophomore Caitlin Wright displayed excellence in the water, earning two individual wins in the 200 freestyle in 2:09.27 and the 400 freestyle in 4:34.69.
NAU continued to display superior performances in the water and on the boards. Junior Andrea Derflinger was more than pleased with the outcome of the meet for her team and for herself, winning the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:24.35.
“I was so excited. That was the first time I’ve ever won a race in a dual meet and I almost had a heart attack,” Derflinger said.
The diving boards held the same amount of excitement and opportunity for the Lumberjacks, who easily placed higher than the Bears for both events. NAU senior Kristy Ardavanis dominated the boards, placing first in both the 3-meter with a 308.25 score and the 1-meter with a 290.78.
Freshmen Chelsea Jackson took second in the 1-meter with a 258.08 after placing fifth in the 3-meter. Junior Gwen Smithberg had quite the successful meet, finishing second on the 3-meter with a 282.98, a score that qualifies her for the NCAA Zone Regional meet, and placed third on the 1-meter with a 257.33.
“I tried to be pretty relaxed all this week and just have confidence in my dives,” Smithberg said. “I’ve been doing them really good all week, so I was ready to display everything out in the pool today. I tried to stay relaxed and took a deep breath before every dive and it worked.”
Other first place finishes for the Lumberjacks included freshmen Brooke Brittain in the 100 backstroke in 1:06.21, senior Kelsey Loy in the 100 freestyle in 1:00.00 exactly and freshmen Ellie Morrissey in the 50 freestyle in 26.81. Loy, Lowther, senior Fi Connell and freshmen Molly Elkins finished the successful meet in style, winning the 200 freestyle relay in 1:48.62.
Johns said he could not be happier with his team and the high level of performance they have competed at in this season.
“Even our swimmers in the second and third heats are swimming lifetime bests and that’s exactly what were shooting for,” Johns said. “We’re better than we were two weeks ago and way better than we were a month ago, so that’s nice to see.”
The Lumberjacks will return to the pool Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. at Washington State.