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Swimming and Diving’s Seniors Sent Off with Dual Win Over New Mexico State

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Claire Ferro anchored two relays for Northern Arizona swimming and diving and touched out New Mexico State both times in the Lumberjacks 170-130 win at the Wall Aquatic Center on Saturday.  Ferro along with eight of her teammates were honored on Senior Day in the team's last home event of the season.

"It is big for the seniors and big for everyone on our team to get a win like that against New Mexico State," said head coach Andy Johns.  "This class had not beaten them before.  They are a tough team and brought out the best in us.

"We had great senior leadership on the boards as usual.  Claire Ferro was huge coming from behind on two winning relays.  All of our seniors were great leaders today.  Overall, it was a team victory.  We needed everybody to win."

The meet opened with the 200 medley relay, and the Lumberjacks jumped ahead early as Ferro touched out New Mexico State's Alex Fenton by two one hundredths of a second.

Emma Lowther and Kristin Jones followed the relay win finishing first and second in the 800 freestyle.  Krista Maier and Vivian Landeck did the same in the 200 freestyle and Fi Connell won the 100 backstroke as the Lumberjacks claimed first place finishes in five of the first seven events.

NAU received a boost from its diving team sweeping 3-meter and finishing first and second on 1-meter.  Taryn Harris placed first on both boards and Megan Collier placed second on each as well.

In addition, Harris, Collier, and Lana Christensen qualified for the NCAA Zone Regionals on Saturday.  All three were recognized on Senior Day and continued to show their dominance in dual meets, performances diving coach Nikki Huffman has come to expect.

"For them to go one, two, and, three on 3-meter was pretty awesome," Huffman said.  "They are all great students.  They are doing a lot community service wise.  They are all great leaders and all great young women.  It has been great to see them grow in so many ways."

New Mexico State came out of the first break with consecutive wins in the 100 freestyle and 200 backstroke then followed those performances with first, second, and third place finishes in the 200 breaststroke.

The Lumberjacks answered in the next event, the 400 freestyle, with Maier, Lowther, and Jones taking the top three spots to all but assure the victory.  NAU closed the meet winning the 400 freestyle relay in come-from-behind fashion as Ferro once again caught Fenton in the final leg.

DID YOU KNOW…Northern Arizona finished third in the Sterling Savings Bank Presidents Cup recognizing academic and athletics performances in 2008-09. The award is based on team grade point averages, graduation rates and the number of all-conference performers with a grade point average above a 3.0, as well as Men's and Women's All Sports points.

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