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February 26, 2011

Swimming and Diving Collects School Records, Season Best Results on Day Three at WAC Championships

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Northern Arizona swimming and diving moved up to third place at the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championships on Friday with several top performances.  The Lumberjacks will look to gain on Boise State and Hawaii who hold the top two positions through three days of competition at the championship meet.

The women set a school record in the final event of the day with a time of 3:43.82 besting the previous time of 3:45.44 set at the championship meet two seasons ago.

"That's the way we want our relays to go," said head coach Andy Johns.  "We had fantastic times from all four swimmers and it was a great way to end the night."

Sophomore Fi Connell reset her school record with a time of 54.09 leading off the 400 medley relay helping the Lumberjacks to a fourth place finish.

The relay result was just one of several impressive finishes from the Lumberjacks on the day. 

Senior Vivian Landeck posted a fifth place result in the 200 freestyle and set a program record in the process.  Landeck topped Danielle Fillipp's previous mark by sixth tenths of a second. 

Connell earned a NCAA provisional time and silver medal in the 100 backstroke final with a time of 54.23 and freshman Rachel Palmer finished sixth in the 400 individual medley pushing the Lumberjacks up a spot in the championship standings.

The NAU divers also contributed to the point total placing third, fourth, fifth, and eighth on the 3-meter springboard.  Senior Lana Christensen was the top finisher earning a bronze medal with a score of 291.95.

"The divers showed up like we needed them too," Johns said.  "That was huge for us and the reason we are in the position we are in right now."

The women will continue their pursuit for a WAC title on Saturday with a number of distance events, platform diving, and 400 freestyle relay.

"Today was full of great results," said Johns.  "The divers were awesome.  We had a lot of lifetime and season best times in the swimming events.  It was a great way to set us up for tomorrow.  We have our work cut out for us to hold on to third, but we have done well all year in the distance events so some top finishes there can really help us." 

WAC Championship Standings

Boise State, 585 points

Hawaii, 404 points

Northern Arizona, 353 points

San Jose State, 336 points

New Mexico State, 293 points

Nevada, 198 points

Fresno State, 170 points

Idaho, 146 points