May 28, 2008
The University of New Mexico women's swimming and diving team completed another successful campaign in 2007-08. The Lobos posted wins over regional foe Northern Colorado and Mountain West Conference rival Air Force while taking on some of the top competition in the country.
Three Lobos were named All-MWC following the season, including seniors Tori Clarridge and Carrie Quinn and sophomore Ashley Grisdale. Clarridge was selected for the fourth year in a row based on her performance in the 100-yard backstroke at the MWC Championships. Senior diver Carrie Quinn was also selected for the fourth consecutive time, following her performances on the 1-meter and 3-meter dives. Grisdale was selected for the second time for her times in the 200-yard butterfly.
Quinn, a two-time MWC Diver of the Week in the 2007-08 season, was the Lobos lone representative in the NCAA post-season. She competed in the NCAA Zone E Championships in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The Lobos also got the job done in the classroom, posting a 3.49 team grade-point-average in the 2007 fall semester. It was the third straight term the swimmers and divers recorded a program record g.p.a. A total of 15 team members were honored at UNM's Academic Banquet for having at least a 3.2 g.p.a. while freshmen Jaclyn Fedors and Nanette Wittenberg were honored for posting a 4.0 in their first semesters at UNM.
The Lobos started out the season defeating Northern Colorado 252-204 in one of only two home meets of the season. Quinn qualified for the NCAA Diving Zones on both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives in her first outing of the season. She earned 284.17 points to win the 1-meter and 289.58 points to win the 3-meter against the Bears.
MWC competition began in October with tough losses to BYU and Utah in Salt Lake City. Grisdale and sophomore Jennifer Patterson both picked up second place finishes in the event, Patterson in the 200-yard free (2nd; 1:57.92) and Grisdale in the 400-yard IM (2nd; 4:36.32).
The Lobos then traveled to Colorado Springs, Colo., where they split a meet against Air Force and Colorado. UNM posted the win against the Falcons 217-77, but fell to the Rams 171-128.
New Mexico's next event took them to Lake Travis, Texas, where they captured a second-place finish at the inaugural American Swimming Association Open Water Swimming Collegiate National Championships. Sophomore Bridget O'Hara led the Lobos in the 5-Kilometer race with a third-place finish and a final time of 59:50.7.
UNM continued the month of November with a trip to the Nike Cup Invitational hosted by UC Irvine. Grisdale again led the team to and eighth-place by placing ninth in the 200 fly in a time of 2:04.65.
The UNM divers closed out the month at the Texas Invitational in Austin, Texas. Quinn was the top finisher for the Lobos, placing 11th in the 1-meter dive with a mark of 232.45. She was followed by freshman Mary-Beth Geeze in 32nd-place with a mark of 173.35. Quinn also competed in the 3-meter dive and placed 18th with a mark of 237.70.
Before taking a winter break the Lobos visited Northern Arizona where they dropped a tough meet, 169-125, to the Lumberjacks. Patterson set a Wall Aquatic Center record in the 100-meter butterfly with her winning time of 1:04.41. The Albuquerque, N.M., native picked up another win in the 200-meter backstroke with a time of 2:26.57.
After the break, UNM competed in the 2008 Ft. Lauderdale Rough Water Swim hosted by the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Fedors won the ocean mile swim with a time of 21:02.
New Mexico returned to conference competition on Jan. 18 against UNLV and Wyoming in Las Vegas, Nev. UNM lost to the Rebels 165-120, and 211-89 to Wyoming. In the final conference meet of the season the Lobos fell to TCU, 137.5-105.5, finishing MWC at 1-6. New Mexico also dropped their final home meet of the season, 159-140 against in-state rival New Mexico State.
New Mexico went on to place seventh at the MWC Championships in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Lobos' final 262 points trailed BYU's 736, UNLV's 622, Utah's 597, Wyoming's 574.5, Colorado State's 359, and TCU's 276.5. Air Force and San Diego State finished behind UNM with 161 and 151 points, respectively. The Lobos did shatter a pair of school records at the MWC meet. Junior Carly Hilo set a new school mark in the 100 breaststroke while Clarridge, Hilo, Grisdale and sophomore Teresa Rogers posted a school record time in the 200 medley.
LOBOS SET SCHOOL RECORDS: Junior Carly Hilo posted a school record time of 1:04.60 in the 100-yard breaststroke at the MWC Championships on Feb. 27 in Oklahoma City, Okla. She broke the 11-year old mark set by Willa Bostock (1:05.37) in 1997. Senior Tori Clarridge, junior Carly Hilo and sophomores Teresa Rogers and Ashley Grisdale teamed up to set a new Lobo mark in the 400-yard medley relay. Their time of 3:51.04 was almost a full second ahead of the previous mark set by Patricia Thompson, Bostock, Laura Theodore and Jenny Engkvist (3:52.01) in 1997.
LOBOS MAKING THE GRADE IN THE CLASSROOM: The Lobo swimmers and divers have set a program record for team g.p.a. in each of the last three semesters. UNM has recorded at least a 3.45 since the fall of 2006, turning in a 3.47 in the fall of 2007.
LOBOS BACK AT HOME IN 2008-09: UNM will back in the newly renovated Seidler Natatorium for the 2008-09 season. The Seidler Natatorium underwent a $6 million upgrade over the last year. Among the upgrades are 14 new deep water lanes, new starting blocks, diving boards and a state-of-the-art scoreboard.