NAU swim and dive team defeated in Tempe by ASU

 
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BY ELIZABETH SEARS —

The NAU swim and dive team had season-best times in seven events.  Junior Stirling Smith won the 100-meter breaststroke on Feb. 2 at ASU.  ASU won twelve of the thirteen events and defeated the Lumberjacks 146–91.

Smith won NAU’s only race with a time of 1:04.52 in the 100-meter breaststroke. Smith also competed in the 200 medley relay which finished third with a time of 1:47.07.

“We are all starting to get the conference vibe and get really excited,” Smith said.  “We have a couple more weeks of hard work to put in. Everyone is just starting to get focused and excited for conference.”

Freshman Ellie Morrissey finished second in the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 51.67, the fifth fastest time in NAU history. Morrissey also finished the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1:56.43 and swam the lead leg on NAU’s fastest team for the 200 freestyle relay which finished second with a season-best time of 1:36.86.

The Lumberjacks had eight second-place finishes and three swimmers competed in the 1650-meter freestyle for the first time this season.

“They did a great job today. I am really happy with their efforts,” said head swimming coach Andy Johns. “We accomplished what we needed to in preparation for the conference championships.”

Senior Kristy Ardavanis highlighted the meet for the NAU diving team, finishing second on both the one-meter and three-meter boards. Ardavanis beat the second-best ASU diver on both boards with scores of 300.53 on the one-meter and 302.70 on the three-meter.

“I think I put in the training and the hard work. I am ready for it to pay off and I felt really confident going into our last big meet,” Ardavanis said.

Junior Gwen Smithberg placed fourth on both boards, and freshman Chelsea Jackson placed sixth on the one-meter and fifth on the three-meter.

The meet at ASU was the last meet of the regular season, and the Lumberjacks will now focus on the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championships.

Johns stated the team will get lots of rest before they head to San Antonio for WAC Championships on Feb.27. Johns added they would work on all of the little things.

“We have been talking about this all year, but we have to clean up a lot of little things:  starts, turns and little details,” Johns said.

Aradavanis and Smith also agreed with Johns.

“We are just working on all the little things so we can pull everything together and have a great week in San Antonio,” Smith said.

Ardavanis also added she hopes everything comes together at championships if they focus on these aspects.

“Hopefully it will all come together at conference and just being mentally on and on top of my game,” Ardavanis said.

The WAC Championships take place in San Antonio from Feb. 27 to Mar. 2. The preliminary events are in the morning of each day, followed by the finals at night. The top sixteen from each event advance to the finals.

Johns is excited and confident for San Antonio.

“I think today really helped with confidence and all of our returners have a pretty good idea what it is like when we get to San Antonio,” Johns said.

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