LAS CRUCES, N.M. (March 14)-New Mexico State freshman swimmer Aliena Schmidtke is competing at the NCAA Championships, Thursday, March 15 through Saturday, March 17 in Auburn, Ala.
She qualified in the 200 freestyle with the 31st-best time in the country. Schmidtke won the 200 free at the WAC Championships with a school-record performance of 1:46.38. She is only the second Aggie in school history to compete at the national meet.
"This will be a great experience for Aliena and great exposure for our program," head coach Rick Pratt said. "To compete in the postseason for only the second time in program history is a great accomplishment for Aliena and our program. To have this chance to better her records and race the fastest swimmers in the world is also very exciting."
She was named WAC Freshman of the Year and was the second consecutive Aggie to earn the award. Schmidtke also posted runner-up honors in the 50 free (22.82) and 100 free (49.28) at the conference meet with program-record times and NCAA 'B' cuts, which also allows her to swim in those events at national championships.
Schmidtke opens the national meet with the 50 freestyle, Thursday, competes in the 200 freestyle, Friday, and concludes the meet with the 100 freestyle, Saturday.