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September 21, 2012

Palmer Repeats as Pentathlon Champion to Open Swimming Season

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Junior Rachel Palmer broke the pool and meet records with a time of 2:21.67 in the 200 individual medley and also won the 100 backstroke and took second in the 100 butterfly to win the NAU Pentathlon for the second consecutive year Friday afternoon in Wall Aquatic Center. Junior Emma Lowther won both the 100 fly and 100 freestyle and was second in the 200 IM to take second among the 24 Lumberjack swimmers competing in the event.

"I'm absolutely pleased with the overall results top to bottom," head coach Andy Johns said. "They're ahead of where they were last year and that's a great thing. So many people swam so much faster than last year and this is not an easy event."

Palmer, the 2011-12 NAU Female Athlete of the Year, would have also broken the meet record in the 100 fly in 1:04.53 if Lowther had not broken the record in 1:03.59. Lowther also broke the meet record in winning the 100 free in 59.20 while freshman Ellie Morrissey placed second in 1:00.53. Morrissey also placed fourth in both the 200 IM and 100 breast to lead all newcomers with a third place overall finish.

Junior Stirling Smith also broke a meet record and took first place with a time of 1:14.33 in the 100 breast while junior Jordan Burnes was just behind at 1:14.55, a time that also would have broken the program record. Senior Fi Connell placed second in the 100 back in 1:06.25 and was third in the 100 breast to finish in fourth place while Smith added a sixth place finish in the 200 IM and finished fifth overall.

The NAU divers will have their first competition of the season when they join the swimmers for the Blue vs Gold meet on Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. in Wall Aquatic Center.