New Mexico Swimming Beats Colorado State In Close Dual Meet Battle

New Mexico swimming
Photo Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

The Colorado State Rams lost their season opener at home against New Mexico, with the margin of victory for the Lobos just eight points. New Mexico won the meet 156-144.

New Mexico press release:
The University of New Mexico swimming and diving team opened its 2015-16 season with a 156-144 victory over Colorado State Thursday night. After CSU won the opening event — the 200-yard medley relay — the Lobos proceeded to win the next five events, starting with Adriana Palomino’s win in the 1000-yard freestyle (10:39.98). It was the first of three wins on the evening for the freshman from Tempe, Ariz., as she immediately followed with a win in the 200 free (1:53.41). She later claimed the win in the 500 free as well (5:09.49).

Senior captain Kristin Walker did her part as well by winning two events: the 100- (1:05.18) and 200-yard breaststrokes (2:24.14). The closest finish of the evening came in the fourth event, the 100-yard backstroke, which Kaela McKee came from behind to win by .01 (57.57) over Jess Shepard of CSU.
In the diving portion of the meet, Allyson Concepcion placed third in the one-meter dives and second in the three-meter to give the Lobos some much-needed points.

Anna Lengyel (200 fly, 2:08.20) and Morgan Ginnis (50 free, 23.86) each won their respective events to give UNM a slim seven-point lead heading into the final event, the 200 free relay. Shayla King, Madison Burns, McKee and Ginnis put together a solid showing to win with a time of 1:35.45 and secure the meet win for the Lobos.

It’s the first of three consecutive days of competition in Colorado for UNM. The Lobos travel south to face Air Force on Friday at 5 p.m. MT.

Colorado State press release:

It came down to the final event, but the Colorado State swimming and diving squad fell to the New Mexico Lobos, 156-144, in the team’s season-opening meet at Moby Pool on Thursday evening.

The Rams knew they needed to finish at least first, third and fourth in the 400 IM and then first and third in the 200 Freestyle to come from behind and beat the Lobos, and they nearly pulled it off.

Junior Allie Jacobs won the 400 IM (4:35.02), while Mackenzie Halligan took third and Gianna Salanitro placed fourth. Still trailing, but within a narrow enough margin to be able to win, the Rams entered the final event with hope for a victory. Ultimately, the Lobos top 200 Freestyle Relay squad would clinch the meet victory for the Lobos, with CSU’s teams placing second and third in the event.

CSU’s divers had a strong opening meet, with senior Ariana Milone winning in both the 1-Meter and 3-Meter events. Junior Emily Williams had a runner-up result in the 1-Meter while placing third in the 3-Meter.

The Rams got off to a good start to the meet. After Milone’s win in the 3-Meter dive, CSU’s 200 Medley Relay A team, consisting of Jess Shepard, Cristina Bassani, Carmen Mand and Katie Kicklighter, won the opening swimming event (1:45.48).

IN THEIR WORDS…
“I think there’s plenty of potential. I don’t think we’ve seen anywhere near our best. In fact, a lot of our top performers, they struggled a little bit. They swam well, but maybe not as well as they hoped.” — Head Coach Christopher Woodard

“The divers crushed like always. I always joke that it should be ‘diving and swimming’ instead of ‘swimming and diving’ because they do a lot of the heavy lifting for us.” — Head Coach Christopher Woodard on the strength of the diving side

STAT OF THE MEET…
290.55 — Ariana Milone posted a score of 290.55 in the 1-Meter dive. Although she already holds the school record in the event (304.05), her score against New Mexico would rank third all-time at CSU.

NOTES…
• Sophomore Katie Kicklighter won the 100 Freestyle with a time of 52.34.
• Freshman Tonicia Thomas won the 200 Backstroke (2:05.07) in her first collegiate event. Jess Shepard took second in the event.
• CSU’s A team needed to win the 200 Freestyle relay to secure the meet victory for the Rams, but finished 1.32 seconds behind the Lobos A squad.

2015 Colorado State Women vs. New Mexico Dual Meet – Results