Connell Breaks Pool Records in 100 and 200 Backstroke, Swimming and Diving Leads till Final Event

Connell Breaks Pool Records in 100 and 200 Backstroke, Swimming and Diving Leads till Final Event

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona swimming and diving finished second in the 200 freestyle relay while Washington State claimed the first and third spots to lift the Cougars to a 149-142 victory in the last event of the day at the Wall Aquatic Center on Friday. The Lumberjacks led the entire meet as Washington State chipped away at the NAU lead and pulled out the come-from-behind win.

NAU (1-2) jumped out to a 49-25 lead winning the first four events of the day behind strong individual performances from Kristin Jones in the 800-meter freestyle, Vivian Landeck in the 200-meter freestyle, and Fiona Connell in the 100-backstroke, who set a pool record with a time of 1:03.30.   She later set the 200 mark in a time of 2:19.38.  All three swimmers won their respective events while Connell teamed with T.J. Williams, Rachael Foe, and Meredith Egloria to win the 200 medley relay to start the meet.

Washington State (2-1) answered in the next two events finishing in the top three positions in the 100-meter breaststroke behind first-place finisher Talor Whitaker and Michaela Ahlin then notched a win in the 200-meter butterfly. Foe halted the Cougar run with a victory in the 50-meter freestyle, and the Lumberjacks headed into the diving break with a narrow 66-62 edge.

NAU picked up 18 points in the 3-meter competition as Washington State fielded zero divers in the event.  Lana Christensen took the 3-meter scoring 291.38 followed by Taryn Harris and Kristy Ardavanis. The Lumberjacks would total 32 points in the diving portion of the meet.

With a 20-point lead, NAU saw its lead once again dwindle down to five points before the next break for diving. Washington State won four of those five events with Connell earning the only first-place win for the Lumberjacks in the 200 backstroke.

With Harris’ win in the 1-meter and NAU picking up another 18 points in that event, Washington State again answered the call going first and third in the 200-meter individual medley and cutting the NAU lead to 138-136.

With 11 points reserved for first place in the final event, the 200 freestyle relay, the winner of that race would win the meet. Washington State finished first and third picking up its second dual win of the year. The Lumberjacks slipped to 1-2 in duals this season.

In all, five NAU swimmers recorded first-place finishes to Washington State’s seven. The two teams split in the relays.

The Lumberjacks will head to Boise, Idaho next weekend for a road dual meet against Boise State on Friday, November 13 at 1 p.m.