FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The NAU swimming & diving team will officially open its season at 11 a.m. Saturday when it will host fellow WAC member Idaho for a dual in Wall Aquatic Center. The meet will be one of just two home duals for NAU this season and will begin a busy month of November in which the squad will compete in six total meets. The Lumberjacks will honor their five seniors – Cassie Anderson, Holly Frost, Kristin Jones, Krista Maier, and Chalene Dirks-Ryan – during Saturday's meet.
"We're looking forward to opening up our season at home and recognizing our five seniors," said NAU head coach Andy Johns. "The Vandals have some good swimmers, specifically in middle freestyle and backstroke races, so we will have to swim well. I think we have good swimmers in good spots and our divers will challenge as well, so I think it will be a competitive meet."
While Saturday's dual will officially open the season, NAU competed in two intersquad meets, the Pentathlon and Blue vs. Gold events, in preparation for the 2011-2012 season. Sophomore Rachel Palmer won the Pentathlon, setting a meet record in the 200 individual medley and finishing second in the 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke, and 100 breaststroke. Junior Fi Connell claimed first place in the 100 back and finished second overall while sophomore Emma Lowther won the 100 fly and 100 free to finish third among the 17 NAU competitors.
The NAU divers began their season in the Blue vs. Gold meet, with junior Kristy Ardavanis winning both the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions. Ardavanis was a member of the Blue team, which also received multiple event victories from Lowther (200 free and 200 fly) and Dirks-Ryan (50 free and 100 free). Connell (200 back), Jones (200 IM), sophomore Jordan Burnes (200 breast), and freshman Caitlin Wright (400 free) also claimed victories during the event
Idaho began its season on Oct. 8 with a 198-96 dual loss at Boise State. Junior Paige Hunt won the 3-meter diving competition against the Broncos with a score of 249.10 and earned WAC Diver of the Week honors. The Vandals returned to action on Oct. 22 in a double dual with UC Davis at Seattle University, with Idaho defeating Seattle, 159-103, but falling to UC Davis, 169.5-92.5. Freshman Rachel Millet won three events (100 fly, 200 free, and 500 free), setting pool records in the 100 fly and 200 free, and was subsequently named WAC Swimmer of the Week.
Admission to Saturday's meet will be free, with the senior recognition ceremony to take place near the end of the meet after the 100 fly.