Aug 12, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Members of the University of New Mexico swimming and diving team had their share of experiences this summer that are sure to come in handy as the second season under Coach Kunio Kono inches closer. From participation in the USA Diving National Preliminary Zone D Championships to swimming at the US Open, the team is sure to use the exposure to world class athletes to their advantage as Kono released the schedule today.
A quick look back at the summer session paves the way for the 2013-14 season.
Senior diver Megan Harper placed first off the 1-meter with a score of 254.25 and fifth off the 3-meter with a final tally of 233.50. Her performance was enough to propel her on to the USA Diving AT&T Senior National Championships that start tomorrow and run through the 18th in Iowa City, Iowa.
The same goes for swimmers Jorgi Hobson and Ashley Blanchette who swam their signature events, the 100 butterfly and 100 breast; these distances being long course as opposed to the usual 100-yards swam at the collegiate level. The competition was world class but the swimmers will no doubt use the experience this upcoming season. Hobson finished 72nd with a time of 1:04.44, while Blanchette was 58th clocking a time of 1:14.47.
One of the newer Lobos, volunteer assistant coach Naoya Tomita, made the biggest splash after the 2010 World Champion in the 200 breaststroke placed third in the same event with a time of 2:11.83. His experience on the world stage will surely come in handy as August gives way to September when the team goes into high gear.
The Lobos' season unofficially kicks off the 14th of September when they have a Cherry vs. Silver intra-squad meet where fans will have a small preview of the hard work the team has been putting in this off-season. The real fun begins however on October 15 when Air Force comes to town.
UNM took down the Falcons last year 167-143, the victory was not only the fourth straight victory over Air Force, but it was the first win of the Kunio Kono era.
The team will head to Flagstaff three weeks later, on the 26th of the month to battle Northern Arizona and have a quick turnaround as they host the Bears of Northern Colorado on Halloween.
A second long break sneaks in as the Lobo swimmers will again train for three weeks before they host a quad meet with Grand Canyon and Mountain West affiliates Wyoming and Nevada Nov. 22-23; during this time the divers will partake in their annual trip to Tucson for the Wildcat Diving Invitational, which has seen them be successful many times in the past.
After the quad meet and the diving invite the Lobos have the standard wintertime break which will be broken on the 4th of January as the team will travel to sunny Miami to face the Panthers of Florida International University for the first time in school history.
The trend of away meets will continue for UNM throughout the first month of 2014 as they battle BYU, Colorado State and participate in the Air Force Diving Invitational before returning home and hosting intrastate rival NMSU on Feb. 1st for Senior Day.
Following the Rio Grande Rivalry Meet the team will do their usual two week taper before heading to the Mountain West Championships taking place in San Antonio, Texas the 19 through the 22 of February.
With the schedule full of tough opponents and the experience of this past summer, the Lobos and Coach Kono are looking forward to a winning season.