FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Northern Arizona won six of the first seven events and nine of 13 events overall to score a 134-109 win over Colorado State on Thursday in Fort Collins. Sophomores Emma Lowther and Rachel Palmer each won two events for the second consecutive meet and NAU swept the diving events to improve to 2-0 in dual meets on the young season.
"This is such a big win for our program," said NAU head coach Andy Johns. "We have a lot of respect for Colorado State's program and I'm really proud of our girls. After traveling all day to come out and perform so well, I couldn't ask for more."
As they did in their season opener last weekend against Idaho, the Lumberjacks opened Thursday's meet strong with a win in the 400 medley relay. Lowther followed with her first win with a time of 10 minutes, 28.33 seconds in the 1000 freestyle, with teammate Kristin Jones finishing second. NAU extended its lead with a winning time of 1:55.38 from senior Krista Maier in the 200 free before the Rams took the top spot in the 50 free.
NAU would sweep the next three events, with Palmer winning both the 400 individual medley and 200 butterfly and junior Kristy Ardavanis, the reigning Verizon WAC Diver of the Week, winning the 1-meter event with a score of 292.13. After a CSU win in the 100 free, NAU came back with wins from junior Fi Connell in the 200 backstroke (2:04.66), Lowther in the 500 free (5:08.22) and senior Holly Frost in the 3-meter diving (298.58), along with second-place NAU finishes in two of those events, to give the Lumberjacks the win.
The Lumberjacks defeated Colorado State for the first time in six all-time dual meetings, opening a stretch of three meets in three days with an impressive win. NAU will face Northern Colorado tomorrow at 5 p.m. in Greeley before competing with Utah and Seattle in a meet at Denver on Saturday.
"It will be interesting to see how we come back tomorrow after an emotional win," added Johns. "It's part of our preparation for the WAC Championships at the end of the year. Hopefully the momentum from tonight will carry into tomorrow and Saturday and I expect the girls to continue to race well."