Lumberjacks Drop Dual, 172-114, to Arizona State in Tempe

Urte Kazakeviciute
Urte Kazakeviciute

TEMPE, Ariz. – Senior Urte Kazakeviciute showed she was up to the challenge that Arizona State presented on Friday, winning the 100 breaststroke and finishing second in the 200 breast in Northern Arizona swimming & diving's 172-114 dual meet loss to its Pac-12 rival. The meet was NAU's last before the New Year.

"We were a little rusty, but Urte was really good," said head coach Andy Johns. "We were a little better in the longer races, which is normal for this time of year, and it's tough to swim against a really good opponent. ASU was tough for sure, but it was good experience for us and I'm looking forward to the training this week."

Kazakeviciute had a narrow lead through the first 50 yards in the 100 breast and held on by less than three-tenths of a second for NAU's lone event win on the day, posting a winning time of 1:04.29. She then placed second in the 200 race with a time of 2:18.92.

Junior Alina Staffeldt recorded a time of 2:02.76 in the 200 butterfly and was narrowly edged out by the Sun Devils for first, finishing less than a half second behind ASU's top finisher. Freshman Kate Bier and sophomore Andrea Schmidt finished fourth and fifth respectively in the event behind Staffeldt.

In the first half of the meet, junior Kimmy Richter placed third in the 200 freestyle (1:53.11) as did freshman Fernanda Montiel (59.99) in the 100 backstroke and junior Roni Houck (24.24) in the 50 free. Senior Sara Lenhoff placed third in the 200 back with a time of 2:10.83 in the latter half.

The divers went two-three-four in both springboard events with sophomore Christina Torrente being the top finisher on 1-meter with a season-best score of 277.43. Sophomore Tanya Kurach was third behind Torrente, while sophomore Olivia Payne followed in fourth with her best showing as a Lumberjack, recording a score of 250.43.

Kurach and Torrente alternated finishes on 3-meter with Kurach placing second with a score of 286.95. After Torrente, sophomore Raquel Gonzales wound up in fourth.

The 'Jacks collected first-place points in the day's final three swimming events with Staffeldt (100 fly), junior Audrey Mann (200 individual medley) and Staffeldt, Houck, Montiel and Schmidt (200 free relay) all earning top points for NAU.

The Lumberjacks will remain in Tempe for training before breaking for the holidays. NAU's next meet will be Jan. 6 in Tucson for its annual Pac-12 double dual versus Arizona and Oregon State.