LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Jan. 4)-The New Mexico State swimming and diving team opens 2012 with a five-team dual meet in Tucson, Ariz., Friday, Jan. 6 at 2 p.m. The Aggies face Arizona, Oregon State, Iowa and Northern Arizona.
"The next three meets are great opportunities to prepare and get ready the conference," head coach Rick Pratt said. "We'll get to race some of the best out there Friday and that is exciting. We have had some great training since the team returned and getting outside for training has made things extra special."
This is the third consecutive season that NM State has faced a Pac-12 opponent, while Iowa is the lone Big 10 foe of the year for the Aggies. In its last home meet, NM State defeated Northern Arizona, 161-138, Dec. 3.
"With the break from classes, we are really being able to get a lot out of our training, and the team is certainly confident from our performances this fall," Pratt said. "This should be a fun trip."
The Aggies concluded the fall semester with a third-place team finish at the 10-team field, UNLV Invitational, Dec. 17-19. NM State ended the meet with a win in the 400-free relay with the team of sophomore Terrin Seaver, junior Alex Fenton, freshman Victoria Palombit and freshman Aliena Schmidtke. Junior Beth Cate also dominated the individual medley events with victories in the 200 IM and 400 IM, while freshman Jessica Legge followed in second place in both events.
Currently, the Aggies are ranked No. 12 in the country in the CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major Division I poll. The team was also successful out of the water with a 3.42 team grade point average for the fall 2011 semester.
The Aggies return to Las Cruces for senior day when they host Idaho, Jan. 21 at 11:30 a.m. in the home finale. This season the Aggies have six seniors on the roster including Rachelle Bassen, Brittney Moore, Gina Palombit, Ana Smith, Carly Smith and Maria Spies.
NM State concludes the regular season at in-state rival New Mexico, Feb. 4, and currently, the Aggies have a four-meet winning streak over the Lobos. The Aggies then travel to San Antonio, Texas, for the WAC Championships, Feb. 22-25.