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Swimming and Diving Opens Season with Double Dual Meet

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – After nearly 10 weeks of preparation, the Northern Arizona swimming and diving team opens the 2009-10 season with a double-dual meet against New Mexico State and Northern Colorado in Las Cruces, N.M. The Lumberjacks have competed in two intra-squad meets this year, but finally will race against a pair of talented programs at 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 31 at the NMSU Swimming and Diving Complex.

“It’s going to be nice to race against someone else,” said head coach Andy Johns. “They have been going at it for two months or so. The inter-squads are great, the practices are great, but it is always nice to race against an opponent. It will be really nice to get on the road and go to a dual meet.”

NAU finished last year 7-9 in dual meets and posted its second consecutive runner-up finish at the WAC Championships. The Lumberjacks added another productive year of off-season conditioning to an already experienced team which returns the majority of its roster from the 2008-09 season.

“Our approach to most dual meets is we would like to win, but we can’t be too concerned with what other people are doing or with what they have,” said Johns of the veteran group. “We just need to focus on ourselves. The girls need to race. That’s what we need to practice on. If we spend too much time trying to figure out what other people are doing we are putting our energies in places that just aren’t worth it.”

Prior to the 2007-08 season, NAU had dominated the all-time series against New Mexico posting a perfect 20-0 record. Since then, New Mexico State has defeated the Lumberjacks two years in a row. The Lumberjacks hold a perfect 5-0 record against Northern Colorado in dual meets.

“New Mexico State is very good,” said Johns. “They have beaten us the last two years in dual meets. They have come a long way over the last couple years. They will be a challenge, but we are evenly matched. It will just depend on who performs on that given day.”

We saw Northern Colorado at the WAC Shootout last year. They have a first-year head coach so I know they will be excited. It will be a good opportunity for us to race against some other people. They will be coming down from altitude too so they should swim well and we are looking forward to the competition.”