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February 2, 2013

Swimming & Diving Edged by Arizona State in Tempe

TEMPE, Ariz. – NAU recorded team season-best times in seven events and junior Stirling Smith won the 100 breaststroke as the Lumberjacks were defeated by Arizona State, 146-91, on Saturday in Tempe. The Sun Devils won 12 of the 13 events in the meet as they avenged a relay meet loss to NAU in October.

"I'm really pleased with our results and the effort was great," NAU head coach Andy Johns said. "I think we accomplished what we needed to for our preparation for the conference championships. We had a lot of great individual swims and overall it was a great final tune-up."

Smith touched first in the 100 breast in 1 minute, 4.52 seconds for NAU's lone win during the meet. Her time was more than a second better than the team's previous top time in the event this season while Smith also swam on NAU's top squad in the 200 medley relay that finished third at 1:47.07.

Freshman Ellie Morrissey continued her superb rookie season finishing second in the 100 freestyle in 51.67, the fifth fastest time in the event in program history. Morrissey also had NAU's top 200 free time, touching at 1:56.43, and swam the lead leg on NAU's top 200 free relay team, which finished second with a season best time of 1:36.86.

Senior Kristy Ardavanis led NAU on the diving boards in finishing second on both 1-meter and 3-meter. She scored 302.70 on 3-meter to edge the second best ASU diver and did the same on 1-meter, scoring 300.53. Junior Gwen Smithberg placed fourth on both boards while freshman Chelsea Jackson was fifth on 3-meter and sixth on 1-meter.

Other NAU season best swimming times came from senior Fi Connell in the 100 backstroke, as she placed second in 55.63, junior Rachel Palmer, who finished second in the 400 individual medley in 4:32.92, and sophomore Alexis Juergens as she finished in 56.40 in the 100 butterfly. The Lumberjacks totaled eight second place finishes and had three swimmers complete a 1650 free for the first time this season.

The meet closed NAU's regular season as its sets its sites on the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championships, which begin Feb. 27 in San Antonio, Texas.