FLAGSTAFF, Arizona, January 19. NAU senior Kristy Ardavanis broke the Wall Aquatic Center records with career-best scores on both 1-meter and 3-meter and freshman Ellie Morrissey broke the pool record in the 100 freestyle as NAU dominated Colorado State in a 177-120 victory. The Lumberjacks ended their 2012-13 home schedule with a perfect 4-0 record in duals.
“I'm really pleased with how our girls raced today and it was a good meet for us,” NAU head coach Andy Johns said. “We're happy for our seniors and happy to finish off our home dual meet season that way. The hard work we've been doing over the last month is paying off.”
In her final home meet Ardavanis opened with a career-high score of 329.93 on 3-meter to break the pool record of 327.83 set by former Lumberjack Taryn Harris in 2008. The score was the second highest 3-meter total in program history as was Ardavanis' winning total of 325.65 on 1-meter which broke her own pool record set in 2011. The scores were also the highest in the Western Athletic Conference this season as Ardavanis won 3-meter by more than 20 points and 1-meter by more than 40 points with NAU freshman Chelsea Jackson placing second on both boards.
“I wanted to go out with a bang and it was cool that my family and friends were there to see it,” Ardavanis said. “I definitely had a good feeling going into it and felt confident. I had good visualization and it all worked out.”
NAU's domination on the diving boards coincided with the home team winning 11 of 14 swimming events. Morrissey began her record breaking day by taking the 50 free in 26.58 seconds, then followed by winning the 100 free in 58.05 to break the previous pool record of 58.15 set by Diane Gu of Rice in 2006.
The Lumberjacks opened the meet by placing first and second in the 200 medley relay and freshman Kendall Brown won the first individual event, taking the 800 freestyle in 9 minutes, 15.68 seconds. Junior Emma Lowther then won the 200 free by nearly seven seconds in 2:06.90 and later added a win in the 400 free in 4:29.45.
After Colorado State took the 100 backstroke and 200 breaststroke – with senior Breann Fuller breaking the pool record in the 100 back in 1:03.02 – the Lumberjacks responded by winning the next three events. Junior Rachel Palmer earned her first win of the meet by taking the 200 butterfly in 2:23.21, with NAU taking the top three sports in the event, followed by the consecutive wins by Morrissey. Palmer later won the 200 individual medley in 2:24.63.
Other individual event winners for the Lumberjacks included junior Stirling Smith, who won the 200 breast in 2:41.45, and sophomore Alexis Juergens, who claimed the 100 fly in 1:04.80 to finish just ahead of Palmer. The Lumberjacks closed the meet with a win in the 400 free relay as the quartet of Lowther, senior Kelsey Loy, sophomore Caitlin Wright, and Morrissey touched first at 3:57.75 — winning by nearly six seconds.
“My goal was just to come out here and have fun and put everything I had in the pool for my last time racing here,” said Loy, who finished second in both the 50 and 100 free while swimming on NAU's winning 200 medley relay and 400 free relay teams in her final home meet. “I've been doing this for four years and it's been awesome that I've had this opportunity and experienced everything.”
The Lumberjack divers will compete at the Air Force Diving Invitational next weekend in Colorado Springs before competing with the swimmers in a regular season-ending dual at Arizona State on Feb. 2.
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