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Swimming and Diving’s Connell and Lowther Named Mid-Major All-America

SOMERS, Wis. – Northern Arizona swimmers Fi Connell and Emma Lowther were selected 2010-11 Division I Mid-Major All-Americans, College Swimming announced on Monday.  The Lumberjack swimmers earned All-American honors after NCAA 'B' qualifying time standards at the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championships in February.

Connell earned a gold medal and All-WAC first-team honors after winning the 200-yard backstroke in a time of 1:57.05 at the WAC Championships.  She repeated as the 200 backstroke champion and recorded the NCAA qualifying time in the event. 

The sophomore from Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia also won a silver medal and an All-WAC selection in the 100-yard backstroke at the WAC Championships with a time of 54.97, also a NCAA qualifying time.  She swam a season-best 54.09 in the 100 backstroke leading off the 400 medley relay and reset school records in the 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke at the WAC Championships

Lowther won a silver medal and All-WAC first-team honors in the 1,650-yard freestyle in a NCAA "B" qualifying time of 16:39.56 at the WAC Championships.  In her first championship meet, the freshman from Cockle Bay, Manukau, New Zealand earned two more All-WAC selections with second-team honors with a pair of sixth place finishes in the 200-yard butterfly and 500-yard freestyle.

Connell and Lowther combined for four medals, three school records, three NCAA "B" qualifying times, and seven All-WAC awards in leading the Lumberjacks to a third-place finish at the WAC Championships.  The pair also collected 12 individual first-place finishes during the 2010-11 dual meet season.

The two Lumberjack swimmers were part of an additional 118 male and 161 female swimmers who were awarded honorable mention selections and entered with NCAA 'B' standards, but not selected for the 2011 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships. Those 279 swimmers represented 87 teams at sixty-two mid-major schools.  

Mid-Major institutions are designated as colleges or universities that are not affiliated with a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) conference as well as those institutions awarding less than half of the maximum-allowable scholarships.

DID YOU KNOW…The NAU men's basketball team earned a bid to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) and played at Santa Clara in the first round. NAU went 19-13 on the season and was the No. 4 seed in the Big Sky Tournament after finishing 9-7 in league play. The Lumberjacks advanced to the Big Sky semifinals before losing to eventual champion Northern Colorado. The Lumberjacks were the second-best three-point shooting team in the country and ranked fifth overall in field goal percentage.