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December 19, 2012

Swimming & Diving to Face Northwestern Thursday in Florida

BOCA RATON, Fla. – The NAU swimming & diving team will complete its week of training in South Florida with an exhibition meet against Northwestern at approximately 1:15 p.m. Arizona time Thursday in Boca Raton, Fla. The team was originally scheduled to face Northwestern as well as Denver and Florida Atlantic on Friday but that meet was canceled due to the unavailability of FAU's pool.

"Training has gone really well," NAU head coach Andy Johns said. "The girls are working really hard and swimming fast and we've had a true South Florida experience. It's warm to begin with but almost unseasonably warm for this time of year so it's been nice."

The meet with Northwestern – a member of the Big Ten conference – will be similar to NAU's home dual with Arizona State earlier this season with six nontraditional relays and one individual event. The teams will compete in 300 relays in the backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle, and individual medley before a 200 free relay and a 1000 free. The meet will take place at St. Andrew's Prep School in Boca Raton, which is the facility that both teams have been using for training since Sunday.

"It's always great to race against recognizable teams and with all the training we've been doing it will be fun to race," Johns added. "No matter what the events are swimming Northwestern will be a challenge and it should be good friendly competition and a change from the grueling training."

The Lumberjacks have done pool and dry land training for about five hours each day during their time in Florida as the trip was designed to better acclimate the team to competing at sea level. NAU has had great success this season competing at elevation and the sea level training camp will help prepare the team for the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) championships at the end of February in San Antonio, Texas, which sits at an elevation of just 650 feet.

NAU and Northwestern have never before met in competition. The Wildcats have dual wins this year over Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and placed first in their own TYR Invitational and were fourth out of seven teams at the Iowa Invitational.