NAU's Team Effort Key in Victory at Northern Colorado
GREELEY, Colo. – The Northern Arizona swimming & diving team received contributions from a variety of athletes as it won 12 of the 16 events in defeating Northern Colorado, 178-117. The Lumberjacks improved to 3-0 for the sixth time in program history and for the third consecutive season after triumphing in their first road dual meet of the season.
"We put some people in different events and we saw a lot of different people step up today," said head coach Andy Johns. "Alexa Geiger and Kathryn Palomino each won their first career individual events and Monica Pruett swam the fastest time in the 200 IM. It was a good experience today and we needed to see that from different people."
NAU began the meet with its first relay victory of the season. The quartet of sophomore Brooke Brittain, freshman Urte Kazakeviciute, junior Alexis Juergens and senior Rachel Palmer took first in the 400 medley relay and gave the Lumberjacks the early advantage on Friday.
Individually, the Lumberjacks' received two victories each from Palmer and senior Emma Lowther. In addition to swimming the final leg of the medley relay, Palmer claimed wins in the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly. Meanwhile, Lowther won the 100 and 1,000 freestyles, her team-leading fourth and fifth victories of the young season.
Although the senior duo continued to lead the Lumberjacks, they also got contributions throughout their lineup. Sophomore Kendall Brown and Juergens both continued their strong starts to the season as Brown won her fourth event of the season in the 200 back, her first career win in a backstroke event, and Juergens took the top spot in the 200 fly. Junior Caitlin Wright took her first title of the season in the 500 free after posting top-three finishes in each of her four individual events the last two weeks.
Also in the pool, Palomino captured her first career individual wins in the 200 free and Pruett posted the fastest time in the 200 individual medley. Sophomore Halle Wilson and freshman Caitlin Baker finished second in the 50 free and 200 breast respectively.
The Lumberjack contingent of divers also continued to dominate on the boards as sophomore Chelsea Jackson posted the top score on the 3-meter – her third victory in 2013 – and Geiger won her first career title on the 1-meter. Senior Gwen Smithberg took second on both boards.
NAU hopes to make it four in a row when it returns to the pool Saturday at Colorado State. The Lumberjacks have never had a 4-0 start to their season in school history. The meet starts at 12 p.m. in Fort Collins, Colo.
"We're going to try and repeat our performance tomorrow," Johns said. "We're going to need to be sharp tomorrow because we're taking on a well-rested and well-prepared Colorado State team."