Palmer, Jackson Lead Blue to 58-46 Win in Blue-Gold Meet
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona swimming & diving team saw four of its athletes win two events in the Blue vs. Gold meet on Friday, a meet that the Blue team claimed victory to by a score of 58-46. Seniors Emma Lowther and Rachel Palmer as well as sophomores Kendall Brown and Chelsea Jackson were each multiple event-winners as the quartet combined to win eight of the 10 individual events in the team's final intrasquad meet before the start of its 2013-14 season.
"I'm really impressed with some of the times that were put up there by our returners," said head coach Andy Johns. "For us to be ahead of where we were at last year's Blue and Gold meet in some events is really exciting. The girls are working hard and I think it's good for them to see the times because it gives them good positive feedback. I'm encouraged and really proud of their efforts today."
The Blue team scored first by winning the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:59.72 and it would not look back on the scoreboard. The Gold team closed within three points after three events courtesy of wins from Lowther in the 200 free with a time of 2:05.50 and sophomore Ellie Morrissey in the 50 free with a time of 26.68. However, Palmer and Jackson's first of two victories of the day for each of them gave the Blue team a comfortable advantage. Palmer's time of 2:24.73 in the 200 IM was nearly four seconds better than her teammate, freshman Caitlin Baker, while Jackson won the NAU divers' debut with a score of 317.25 on 3-meter.
After the Gold Team claimed consecutive victories in the 150 fly courtesy of Brown and the 100 free courtesy of Lowther, the Blue team wrapped up the individual events by winning three of the final four. Palmer won the 150 back and Jackson finished off the sweep on the diving boards winning the 1-meter before Baker took home the title in the 150 breast with a time of 1:56.97. Brown's win in the 400 free and the Gold team's triumph in the day's final event, the 200 free relay, concluded the meet.
In all, nine athletes registered multiple top-three scoring finishes led by Lowther and Brown who posted three each. Three freshmen – Baker, Jori Lindquist and Alexa Geiger – also had solid showings on Friday scoring in two events apiece.
With the Blue vs. Gold meet behind them, the Lumberjacks now turn their focus to their first regular season dual meet at home on Oct. 26 against New Mexico.
"Overall we are deeper as a team than we were last year," Johns said. "They push themselves in practice and it's a competitive environment every day."