FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Senior Emma Lowther broke her own meet record in the 100 free, the final event of the day, with a time of 59.01 to clinch the NAU Pentathlon title Friday afternoon in the Wall Aquatic Center. Lowther's win in the 100 free capped off a successful season debut for the senior from Cockle Bay, New Zealand that included runner-up finishes in the 200 IM and 100 fly.
"I was really happy with it because I was going to put everything I had into the last race," Lowther said of breaking her own record. "I wasn't feeling as fresh as I could have but I was excited to keep racing. I'm trying to enjoy every moment because this is my last year and moments like this I want to take in and remember forever."
Senior Rachel Palmer, the winner of the last two Pentathlons, began the Northern Arizona swimming & diving team's first intrasquad scrimmage of the season with a win in the 200 IM. Her winning time from the opening heat held through the rest of the event as she edged out Lowther with a time of 2:23.37. Palmer proceeded to also take first in the 100 back with a time of 1:06.22 and was the lone two-event winner on Friday.
Junior Alexis Juergens and senior Stirling Smith rounded out the list of event winners. Juergens posted the fastest time in the 100 fly, winning with a time of 1:04.22, while Smith defended her win in the 100 breast from a year ago with a time of 1:15.01.
"The team did well and they've been working really hard in the pool and in the weight room," said head coach Andy Johns. "This is a tough day for them but I liked the way they battled and the way they encouraged each other when things get tough. It was a great way to start the season."
Despite Palmer's two event wins, Lowther's record-breaking performance in the final event was enough to propel her to the overall meet title. Lowther finished with a Pentathlon-high 4,130 points, besting Palmer by 20 points. Sophomore Ellie Morrissey finished third with 3,690 points while Smith took fourth with 3,650 points and sophomore Kendall Brown rounded out the top-five with 3,240 points.
The NAU swimmers will be joined by the NAU divers in the team's final intrasquad scrimmage on Oct. 11 for the annual Blue vs. Gold meet. The meet will be the Lumberjacks' final tune-up before opening the season on Oct. 26 versus New Mexico.