LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State women’s swimming and diving team will host its final home meet of the season on Saturday, Jan. 18. The Aggies welcome Western Athletic Conference member Idaho to the NM State Natatorium indoor pool for a dual meet beginning at 11:30 a.m.
This will be the final time competing at the NM State Natatorium for four NM State swimmers and one Aggie diver. Seniors Terrin Seaver, Tricia Kiss, Jaymee Porter and twin sisters Alessandra and Brianna Zuniga will be recognized during the meet’s intermission.
“This weekend is special because we will honor our five seniors and that certainly makes things more emotional,” Aggie head coach Rick Pratt said.
Seaver, a native of Lake Geneva, Wis., has won at least three races during each of her four years at NM State. She was on the Academic All-WAC Freshman team during her first year as an Aggie and was an Academic All-WAC member during her sophomore and junior years. As a sophomore in 2012, Seaver broke the NM State record in the 100 back with a time of 55.38, a record that still stands today. She is also part of three relay teams that hold school records. This season Seaver has the fastest time among WAC swimmers in the 200 back (1:59.32) and was named the WAC Women’s Swimmer of the Week for the week of Dec. 2-8.
Kiss currently owns two Aggie school records, the 200 back (1:58.81) and the 400 Individual Medley (4:16.62), while also being part of the 400-medley record-holding relay team. As a freshman in 2011, the Langley, Canada, native broke three school records, including the 400 IM, en route to becoming the first NM State swimming and diving member to be named the WAC Freshman of the Year while also being honored by CollegeSwimming.com as a Mid-Major All-America honorable mention. As a sophomore, she broke her own record in the 200 back. Kiss was also part of the All-WAC Academic team during her sophomore and junior years.
Porter, who also hails from Langley, Canada, is NM State’s only senior diver. She has steadily improved her scores throughout her Aggie career, becoming the leader of a young NM State diving squad. As a junior, Porter provided points in all three diving events during the 2013 WAC Championships, including finishing as the team’s top scorer on the platform event. This season she also has the highest score for an Aggie on the platform. Porter has been named to the Academic All-WAC team after her sophomore and junior seasons.
The Zuniga sisters are no strangers to swimming fans in Las Cruces. The twins were born and raised in the area, graduating from Onate High School in 2010 while also helping the Las Cruces Aquatic Team to a state championship that same year. Both sisters have seen steady improvement in their swim times throughout their time at NM State, Alessandra as a free and fly specialist and Brianna as a free and back specialist. Like their other three senior teammates, Alessandra and Brianna both have been part of the Academic All-WAC team during their sophomore and junior years, showing the emphasis coach Pratt puts on performance both in the pool and in the classroom.
The seniors and the rest of the Aggie squad will have their hands full on Saturday as Idaho comes to Las Cruces as one of the top teams in the conference. The Vandals have a 4-2 dual-meet record and were recently ranked as the 68th-best team in the country, 22nd amongst mid-majors, by the Endless Pool College Swimming power rankings.
“Idaho is one of the best in the WAC and has some key players along with a lot of depth,” Pratt said. “We’re going to have to win some close races to pull off a victory.”
Saturday’s meet begins a three-week stretch where the NM State team will be swimming each weekend in preparation for the WAC Championships at the end of February. The Aggies will next swim in Phoenix, Ariz., versus Grand Canyon University on Jan. 25, before meeting in-state rival New Mexico and participating in the Falcon Diving Invitational the following week.
“We have three meets in a row and all of this racing is going to be a great way to prepare for the WAC meet in San Antonio,” Pratt said. “It has been an amazing couple weeks of training for our team and I am very proud and impressed with our group of individuals. We've set ourselves up for success, now it’s time to get fast!”
The meet is scheduled to have a total of 16 events, including 12 individual swimming events, two relays and two diving events. For a recap of all individual and team results log on to NMStateSports.com after the meet.
EVENT SCHEDULE (ALL AT INDOOR POOL)
400 Medley Relay
200 Individual Medley (IM)
200 freestyle relay