LAS CRUCES, N.M. – In what will be the final tune-up before the Western Athletic Conference Championships, the New Mexico State women’s swimming and diving team will split up as the divers participate in the 2014 Air Force Academy Diving Invitational beginning Friday, Jan. 31, in Colorado Springs, Colo., while the swimmers face off against I-25 rival New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M., on Saturday, Feb.
"We've been racing a lot this month," Aggie head coach Rick Pratt said, "and every meet is a chance to practice and prepare for WAC."
The AFA Diving Invite will be a two-day event, running from Friday, Jan. 31, through Saturday, Feb. 1, and will include both men and women divers. On the women’s side, there will be a total of 16 diving teams competing at the Cadet Natatorium.
Teams joining the Aggies include in-state rival New Mexico and fellow WAC members Idaho, Northern Arizona and Northern Colorado (for a complete list of teams participating please see below).
The women divers will compete in three events, the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard as well as the platform event. The 1-meter and 3-meter will have both a preliminary and final round. The 1-meter and platform events will be held on Friday while the 3-meter event will be decided on Saturday.
NM State will be represented by its three divers, sophomores Audrey Ruiz and Lauren Reifel and senior Jaymee Porter, who will be competing in her final out-of-conference meet for the Aggies.
Ruiz has the top scores for NM State in both the 1-meter and 3-meter this season. Both came in individual wins for Ruiz versus Northern Colorado in Las Cruces (Nov. 2). Her performance during the dual meet earned her a WAC Diver of the Week honor. Porter, meanwhile, scored a 139.25 in the platform event during the Phil Hansel Invitational in Houston (Nov. 23), a season high for the Aggies.
While the divers are in Colorado, the NM State swimmers head to the Seidler Natatorium on the UNM campus to face the Lobos on Saturday beginning at high noon. Both teams come into the dual meet in a similar situation as both are coming off consecutive losses to conference opponents and both are looking for some momentum during their final meet before their respective conference tournament.
"This dual is the best way to finish off our dual-meet season," Pratt said. "UNM always brings out the best of our athletes and we're expecting that on Saturday."
The Aggies head to Albuquerque with sophomore Dorottya Lennert leading the team with seven wins on the season. Junior Jessica Legge has four wins including a sweep of the two breastroke events during NM State’s most recent dual meet at Grand Canyon University (Jan. 25).
Last season UNM defeated the Aggies in Las Cruces by a final score of 178.5-121.5. The last time the teams met in Albuquerque, in 2012, the rivals fought to a 150-150 draw.
"UNM has the best team in program history and has a lot of tools," Pratt said. "This should be a great matchup and experience for our team."
For results and recaps from both Colorado Springs and Albuquerque keep logging on to NMStateSports.com.
SCHOOLS PARTICIPATING AT AFA DIVING INVITATIONAL
New Mexico State
San Diego State