Palmer, Connell Lead Swimming and Diving in Annual Pentathlon

Palmer, Connell Lead Swimming and Diving in Annual Pentathlon

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Sophomore Rachel Palmer set a meet record with a time of 2 minutes, 23.41 seconds in the 200 individual medley and finished second in the 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke, and 100 breaststroke to win the 2011 NAU Pentathlon on Friday afternoon in Wall Aquatic Center. Junior Fi Connell, who won the event last year, claimed first place in the 100 back and finished second among the 17 competitors in the 16th annual season opening event.

"I'm pleased with the results," said head coach Andy Johns. "A lot of our returners swam faster than they did last year and our newcomers all competed well. We've got a long way to go and a lot of little things to work on, but today was a good start to the season."

Palmer, a native of New Zealand and a two time All-WAC second team selection as a freshman last season, surpassed the previous meet record in the 200 IM by nearly two seconds in the first swim of the day. Already the NAU all-time record holder in the 100 back, Connell posted a team-best time of 1:04.77 in the event, with Palmer finishing second at 1:07.20.

Sophomore Emma Lowther, the NAU record holder in the 100 fly, was the only Lumberjack to win two events and narrowly missed a pair of meet records, taking the 100 fly in 1:04.87 and the 100 free in 59.78. Lowther finished third overall, while senior Kristin Jones, who placed second in both the 200 IM and the 100 free, placed fourth. Jordan Burnes, a sophomore from Australia and an All-WAC second team honoree in the 200 breast last season, claimed the 100 breast with a time of 1:15.00 and placed fifth overall.

The Lumberjacks will return to the pool in two weeks for the annual Blue-Gold meet on October 7 at 2 p.m. in Wall Aquatic Center.