SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The New Mexico State women’s swimming and diving team concluded the Western Athletic Conference Championships at the Palo Alto College Aquatic Center on Saturday by remaining at the same spot it has been throughout the conference tournament, third place.
The Aggies finished with 528 total points, the most points they have accumulated at the WAC Championships since 2009 when they also finished in third place with 572 points.
NM State finished behind eventual WAC champion Northern Arizona, which finished with 743 points, and Idaho, which marked 642 points. Rounding out the conference tournament were Bakersfield (442 points), Grand Canyon (438 points), North Dakota (364 points), Northern Colorado (349 points) and Seattle U (154 points).
There is a lot to be proud of this weekend," Aggie head coach Rick Pratt said, "and the efforts and support our team gave to each other was great."
A couple of Aggie seniors left their mark on what would be their final appearance at a WAC Championship meet. For the second-straight day Terrin Seaver wrote her name into the NM State record books. Seaver finished in second place during the 200 backstroke, just over 1/10th of a second behind winner Iryna Glavnyk of Grand Canyon.
Seaver’s time of 1:57.57, however, was good enough to break teammate’s Tricia Kiss’ school record of 1:58.81 she set in 2012. It was the third school record in two days for Seaver, who also set the 100 back and 100 fly Aggie records on Friday. She will leave NM State with three school records.
Kiss was right behind the new record holder, finishing in third during the 200 back with a time of 1:59.15. Both Seaver and Kiss had times that qualified them for an NCAA ‘B’ cut. Sophomores Cassandra Rupp, Mariah Morrell and Tori Bagley also marked points for NM State during the 200 back.
Senior diver Jaymee Porter, meanwhile, also set a new Aggie record after finishing in second place with a finals’ score of 233.75 in the platform diving event. Porter broke former Aggie diver Mariesa Cloud’s five-year-old record of 210.25 points, which she set in 2009.
Also in the platform diving event, sophomore Lauren Reifel finished in fifth place with a score of 202.85 while fellow sophomore Audrey Ruiz was the top scorer in the ‘B’ final with a finals’ score of 193.75.
"Our divers had an incredible showing and (diving) coach (Kyle) Bogner did an amazing job preparing our athletes," Pratt said.
The day started with the 1,650 freestyle in which sophomore Emily Nightingale was the top finisher for NM State. She finished in eighth place with a time of 17:08.40, a season’s best for the team. Also marking points during the 1,650 free were sophomore Nicole Brennecke, freshman Natalie French and sophomore Mackenzie Soper.
Sophomore Chelsey Reber and freshman Erin Giles both marked points for the Aggies in the 100 freestyle. Reber finished in 11th with a time of 52.16, a career best, while Giles finished in 16th place with a finals’ time of 53.00.
Junior Jessica Legge could not defend her crown in the 200 breaststroke. She was, however, the top NM State finisher in the event, finishing in eighth with a time of 2:19.83. Freshman Logan Morris finished the event in 2:22.25 to also score points for the squad.
In the 200 butterfly, sophomore Dorottya Lennert finished in sixth place with a time of 2:04.69 to add 13 points to the Aggie total. French also marked points after finishing in 16th with a time of 2:08.55.
NM State concluded its participation in the 2014 WAC Championships by finishing in fourth place during the final event of the meet, the 400 free relay. The team of Seaver, Rupp, Lennert and Reber finished the relay with a season-best time of 3:25.93.
It was a successful finish to the season for the NM State swimming and diving team. In all, the Aggies had two third-place finishes, three second-place finishes and won two gold medals during the conference meet, with Seaver winning the 100 back and Legge winning the 100 breast.
The NM State relay teams all finished in the top 5 of each event, including a fifth-place finish, two fourth-place finishes and two third-place finishes. The Aggies also broke four school records in San Antonio, three by Seaver.
"It was very bitter sweet to watch our seniors, as all five went out with lifetime-best performances," Pratt said. "They really carried us during this meet and will be greatly missed."