Lobos Off to Good Start at MW Championships
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The University of New Mexico picked up 107 points on day one of the Mountain West Swimming and Diving Championships and sit in seventh place after three events. The championships are being hosted by the University of Minnesota at the Jean K. Freeman Natatorium.
The Lobos used a strong showing in the second event, the women’s 1-meter dive, to move up in the 10-team standings as the day consisted of time trials for later events as well as two relay finals, the 200-medley and the 800-freestyle, along with the 1-meter diving competition.
While UNM didn’t place anyone into the top-8 finals, the Lobos dotted the leaderboard enough to score 37 points in the competition. That let them leapfrog UNLV and San Jose State into seventh after sitting ninth through the 200-yard medley relay.
In that race, UNM finished ninth behind the quartet of Hedda Øritsland, Asami Terada, Nicholle Toh and Breanna Wiercinski. While UNM finished well ahead of Air Force, UNM was just 1.6 seconds from fourth place. Wiercinski and Toh on the back end nearly pulled UNM into fourth, with Toh recording a 24.11 time and Wiercinski tossing a 23.26 for their 50-yard times.
In the 1-meter diving, both Natasha Dark and Hannah Tiendas qualified for the B-final to determine places 9-16. Dark entered the round near the bottom of the table but was able to boost her score from her preliminary rounds of 251.35 all the way to 264.80, which moved her into 11th place, scoring 16 points. Tiendas also moved her preliminary score as well, going from 255.95 to 259.35 and finishing in 13th place, which earned UNM another 14 points.
Jocelyn Gallais was UNM’s other point-scorer in the diving tank with seven, coming in 18th. Daphne Scheck and Sara Rogers finished 26th and 29th respectively.
After two, UNM was in seventh with 77 points, and that’s where the 800-yard freestyle relay team of Olivia Bishop, Toh, Camila Batista (all freshmen) and Bryndis Bolladottir kept them. The group again was in seconds of a top-five finish, but they did well enough, coming in at 7:25.49 to score 40 points.
San Diego State leads through the first three events with 202 points. UNM has 117 and is just five away from sixth place Colorado State, which has 122.
The competition moves to day two on Thursday with the 3-meter dive, of which UNM will have Dark, Gallais and Rogers as qualifiers, and with three swimming events, the 500-yard freestyle, the 200 individual medley and the 50-yard freestyle.
NOTES: UNM has six of the 58 qualified swimmers in the 500-yard free, seven of 63 in the 200-yard individual medley and seven of 74 in the 50-yard free … UNM is just a little behind its pace of a year ago when the team finished a MW era best of fourth, as UNM has 117 points this season after day one when they had 139.5 last year.