New Mexico Announces ‘Unfortunate’ Decision to Forgo 2020-21 Swim Season

Photo Courtesy: University of New Mexico Athletics

The University of New Mexico announced Wednesday that it will forgo the 2020-21 swimming and diving season, redshirting all swimmers to preserve their eligibility.

The Lobos did not compete in any meets in the fall and did not have any scheduled for 2021 beyond the Mountain West Championships in February. Qualification for championships requires at least four meets prior.

Conditions in the state around COVID-19 have prevented the team from practicing and training due to state health orders. New Mexico’s swimming and diving team is women’s only. The decision follows in the same vein as the preemptive decision made by Arizona State in July to pass up on the season.

The decision, according to a university release, was made with the support of athletes on the team. and

“It’s an unfortunate circumstance for the student-athletes and coaches but one that I support,” said Director of Athletics Eddie Nuñez. “We will continue to support our student-athletes throughout this time and we look forward to a successful return to competition in the 2021-22 season.”

“Every season we want to be able to compete to the best of our ability. We will now focus our training to be better student-athletes for next season, whether that be in the pool or the weight room,” coach Keegan Ingelido said. “… Mental health and academics are very important to our staff and department. We are doing everything in our power to provide our student-athletes with the resources to be successful in these aspects here at UNM.  The hope is that this will afford our team the opportunity to provide additional focus to excel as students and individuals as they do in athletics.”

New Mexico has three seniors on their roster, Brooke Zukowski, Sara Rogers and Hannah Tiendas, and will add nine new signings last year.

“It was truly a tough call for the team and coaches to decide whether or not our team would compete during these unprecedented times,” junior captain Raine Gavino said. “We were dealt unlucky cards and it was a struggle to get into a normal routine during the pandemic. … The only thing we can do now is use what time we have left in this season to grow both individually and as a team and be better for next season. We feel for our seniors, Brooke, Sara, and Hannah as they were unable to finish their collegiate journey. We would not be the team we are today if not for those three.”