Lowther, Jackson Sweep WAC Swimming & Diving Honors
DENVER, Colo. – The Northern Arizona swimming & diving team swept the weekly awards as senior Emma Lowther was named the WAC Women's Swimmer of the Week and sophomore Chelsea Jackson claimed the conference's Diver of the Week distinction after the duo's superb performances last weekend. The award is Lowther's first of the season and second of her career while Jackson receives her second WAC weekly honor this season.
Lowther showed why she is one of the WAC's top freestyle swimmers this past weekend as she won all four individual events she swam with each victory coming in a different freestyle event. To begin the weekend, Lowther took home two wins in NAU's win over fellow WAC opponent Northern Colorado last Friday. She placed first in the 1,000 free with a time of 10:28.03, nearly seven seconds faster than her nearest competitor and followed that up with a victory in the 100 free with a time of 53.85. The senior from Cockle Bay, Manukau, New Zealand picked up where she left off the following day at Colorado State with a first-place finish in the 200 free with a time of 1:54.74. After she won her fourth race of the weekend in the 500 free with a time of 5:06.46, she nearly propelled the Lumberjacks to the team victory over the Rams, swimming the final leg of the 400 free relay. CSU's relay team would prevail though, out touching NAU's quartet anchored by Lowther by .19 seconds.
Her altitude converted time of 5:01.46 in the 500 free is the top time in the conference this season and is one of four top-12 times she currently owns. Lowther now has seven individual victories through NAU's first three weeks of competition.
"Emma is a team leader and she kept us in the CSU meet," said head coach Andy Johns. "Two more yards (in the relay) in that pool, maybe we come out with the win with the way she was catching up with their girl. Emma is our best freestyler from the 100 to the 1,000. She does what she whatever we ask of her and she does it well. It's a well-deserved honor and I'm proud of her."
Jackson was named the WAC's top diver of the week for the second time this season as she has established herself as the Lumberjacks' top diver in the early going. She continued to lead a strong NAU diving unit on the boards this past weekend by posting two wins led by a career-best performance on 3-meter against Northern Colorado. Her 3-meter score of 316.80 won the event by 26 points and is the second-highest score this season in the WAC. It also moved her into NAU's top-five all-time performers in the event as she now ranks fifth in school history. The local product out of Flagstaff then won her third 1-meter title of the season at Colorado State by 17 points with a score of 299.85 which only trails her own score of 303.15 in the conference this season.
"Chelsea had her high score on 3-meter and that just goes to show that all of her hard work is paying off," said diving coach Nikki Huffman. "Just about every one of her 1-meter scores this season has been between 290 and 300 and that shows her consistency and that's very good at this time of year. It's great to see Chelsea getting the honors she's been receiving because she does everything she can to win every event she competes in."
Lowther and the NAU swimmers will be back in the pool next Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 21-23, at the UNLV Invite in Las Vegas, Nev. Meanwhile, Jackson and the NAU divers will compete at the Wildcat Diving Invite in Tucson, Ariz. next Friday through Sunday, Nov. 22-24.