Pete's Ponderings-March 23
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  03/24/2009

There’s good news and achievements popping up all the time for New Mexico State’s athletes and teams. In your haste to fill out your March Madness bracket, you might have forgotten to check out the NM State swim team and all the good news that came from them this season.


A first was recorded last weekend when Aggie freshman swimmer Maria Spies earned a berth in the NCAA Championships. Spies concluded the season with a 2:15.68 showing in the 200 breaststroke. She qualified for the NCAA meet after sweeping the breaststroke events at the WAC Championships while setting school records in the 100 and 200 and a WAC record for the 100. She is a native of Magdeburg, Germany and is studying engineering. Spies is in good company for a tough area of study, but I’ll tell you more about that later.


It was a year of glory all the way around for the NM State swim team. Head Coach Rick Pratt was named league coach of the year and the Aggies set 15 school records. But it is a team effort and this team had its best finish in the WAC tournament to boot.  At the conference meet, sophomore Kelly Conrad broke the 100 free record and junior Meghann Percy set the 200 free record but that was just the beginning, as freshman Ana Smith rewrote the 1,650 free mark and junior Liz Thomson did likewise in the 500 free and the 400 individual medley records. 


Senior Stephanie Peacock didn’t want to be left out so she bettered the 100 backstroke record time as well. The Aggies broke all five relay records and the divers did their thing too. Sophomores Mariesa Cloud and Kristin Pickett led the Aggie divers and qualified for the NCAA Zone Diving competition.  At Northern Arizona, Cloud set a pool record on the 1-meter springboard and took third place on the 3-meter. 


It wasn’t all just records and individual success, the Aggies recorded 10 victories this season, beating New Mexico for the second straight year in the process. Now all of this is great, but ole Pete wants to remind you that this is the same team that was second in the nation’s in team academics as well. Remember Maria Spies tackling a degree in engineering. This whole team is meeting the challenge in the pool or in the classroom. Wherever you look this spring there was new buds a sprouting. Pratt has a bumper crop of talent that he nurtured to bloom at the right time. 


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