Divers Conclude Weekend on Platform, Prepare for Monday Home Dual
TUCSON, Ariz. – Sophomore Gwen Smithberg posted a 10th place finish on the platform to lead five Lumberjacks competing on the final day of the Wildcat Diving Invite. The Lumberjack divers will join their swimming teammates for a home dual against Washington State at 4 p.m. Monday in Wall Aquatic Center, the final home meet for NAU this season.
Sunday's competition was the first on platform for the NAU divers this season, with Smithberg leading the way with a score of 193.85. Senior Cassie Anderson placed 17th with a 177.45 score, with junior Kristy Ardavanis finishing just behind in 21st with a 163.30 total. Freshman Kali Lents posted a 151.50 score and freshman Katie Dallmann totaled 126.00 to complete the NAU scoring.
NAU's swimmers will be back in action along with the divers on Monday against Washington State. The meet will be the final home event for Anderson as well as fellow seniors Holly Frost, Chalene Dirks-Ryan, Kristin Jones and Krista Maier. The Lumberjacks are 4-1 in duals this season while the Cougars enter the meet with a 0-4 dual record, with each of their duals coming against fellow Pac-12 members. Senior Danielle Palumbo leads the squad in the backstroke events, having placed third in both the 100 and 200 back in WSU's last dual against defending national champion California.
"This should be a great final home meet for us," said NAU head coach Andy Johns. "I think we have some confidence after going 3-1 in Colorado and we should be ready to go. They have some very good swimmers but we think we can compete with them. We hope to have a big crowd and send our seniors out on a high note."
Washington State does not have divers on their roster but the NAU divers will compete during the meet. On the swimming side, NAU junior Rachel Palmer is the defending Verizon WAC Swimmer of the Week and will again look to lead NAU to victory. The Lumberjacks scored a 155.5-135.5 win in their only previous home dual against Idaho, but are just 1-6 all-time against Washington State and haven't defeated the Cougars since 1995.
Admission for Monday's dual in Wall Aquatic Center will be free.