ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico Lobo swimming and diving team held their first official home meet of the season on Oct. 31st against the University of Northern Colorado Bears. The Lobos prevailed over the Bears, for their first victory of the season, by a final score of 196.50 points to 101.50.
The Lobo athletes dominated the meet from the beginning as they took first and second in the first event. The 200-yard medley relay team made up of freshmen, Kaela Mckee and Fanni Pataki, and seniors, Ashley Blanchette and Jorgi Hobson, took first with a time of 1:46.21. The second-place team made up of UNM’s Amber Amr, Kristin Walker, Samantha Moss, and Shayla King finished shortly after at 1:47.51.
McKee contributed to three more first-place titles while killing the competition in the 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard backstroke, and 200-yard IM coming in at 56.71, 2:05.09, and 2:11.33, respectively.
The Lobos exceptional performance in the 200-yard freestyle caused them to sweep first through third in the event. Caitlin Gardiner for first with a time of 1:55.39. Heidi Zeiger came in second with a time of 1:56.30 and Anna Lilliestrom was third touching the wall at 1:56.40.
Monica Dudley swam the 1000-yard freestyle event .20 seconds faster, 10:28.70, than Northern Colorado’s Carleigh Barrett who clocked in at 10:48.69. She also dominated the 500-yard freestyle coming in first at 5:10.51.
Freshmen Anna Lengyel and Fanni Pataki further added to New Mexico’s numerous wins. Lengyel took first in the 200-yard butterfly finishing at 2:07.20. Pataki won in the 100-yard freestyle event clocking in at 52.87.
This served as senior diver Megan Harper’s first and last home meet of the season as she will be competing in separate invitational meets while the Lobos compete at home. She left an impressive mark in the Lobo pool taking first in both springboard events with her scores of 284.25 in the 1-meter board and 275.33 in the 3-meter board.
Harper describes her final home meet experience as, “It’s sad and really weird to think of it as the last home meet. It’s bitter sweet but I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season. The girls are working really hard and I think we’re going to do some really great things this season.” The Lobo team took the time during one of the breaks to honor her with kind-words, gifts, and a comical diving performance.
New Mexico finished off the meet strong as Jorgi Hobson took first in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.93. The Lobos’ 400-yard freestyle team swam by King, Gardiner, Lilliestrom, and Hobson also finishing for first-place in the final event at 3:34.19.
“Northern Arizona was a tough trip. We competed well for being back only a week and have been training hard,” said head coach Kunio Kono. He believes this win will boost the Lobo’s confidence and impact their performance for the upcoming meet. Kunio adds, “It will help us move in the right direction.”The Lobos proved their ability and potential for more success in their victory over the UNC Bears and will travel next to Tuscon, Ariz. to compete in the Wildcat Diving Invitational scheduled on Nov. 22nd.