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Swimming and Diving to Face Washington State in Home Opener

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona swimming and diving will host its first home event of the 2009-10 season with a meet scheduled for 3 p.m. on Friday against Washington State at the Wall Aquatic Center. The Lumberjacks are 1-2 all-time against Washington State and last faced the Cougars a year ago in a close 157-137 loss in Flagstaff.

NAU (1-1) opened the season last weekend in Las Cruces, N. M. in a double dual meet against New Mexico State and Northern Colorado. The Lumberjacks defeated Northern Colorado 224-75 and lost a close decision to New Mexico State 152-147.

At last week’s double dual, freshman Fiona Connell made her collegiate debut and picked up Verizon Wireless Western Athletic Conference swimmer of the week honors after wins in three individual events and one relay.

Washington State (1-1) has competed in two dual meet so far this season. The Cougars lost 178-116 to Boise State on Oct. 17, but rebounded with a victory over Idaho at the Debbie Pipher Invitational a week later.

Connell in Cruces
Last weekend in Las Cruces, N.M., Fiona Connell won the 100-yard backstroke (56.84), 200-yard backstroke (2:05.82) and 200-yard individual medley (2:09.36), while also leading off the winning 200-yard medley relay (1:47.45). Her time of 56.84 in the 100 backstroke is the fastest in the WAC this year, while her 200 backstroke time is the third fastest. Connell’s results earned her WAC swimmer of the week.

More in Las Cruces
Sophomore Kristin Jones and senior Rachael Foe also turned in quality swims in their respective races last weekend against New Mexico State and Northern Colorado. Jones won the 1,000 freestyle with a time of 10:37.84, and finished third in the 500 freestyle as well. Foe swam a 57.44 in the 100 butterfly and picked up first place honors. She also finished second in the 50 freestyle.

Two in a Row
The Northern Arizona women's swimming and diving team has finished second in at the Western Athletic Conference Championships each of the past two years. The Lumberjacks set 11 school records and earned 43 All-WAC awards at the 2009 WAC Championships.

Getting it Done
Under 14th-year head coach Andy Johns, the Lumberjacks have excelled in the student-athlete dynamic. Fifteen members of the swimming and diving team earned Academic All-WAC. Of the nine WAC teams, none had more honorees than NAU. New Mexico State tied the Lumberjacks with 15. To be eligible, a student-athlete must have completed at least one academic year, have at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average and have participated in at least 50 percent of the team’s contests.

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