Jan. 6, 2004
MWC DUAL MEET, SATURDAY: The University of New Mexico women's swimming and diving team enters 2004 at the sixth spot in the MWC with an 0-2 conference record, but Air Force finds itself in the same position with two conference losses to its name and no wins. Both teams will battle it out for its first conference victory at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday Jan. 10 at the Cadet Natatorium in Colorado Springs, Colo.
LAST OUTING:The last time UNM was in the pool was on Dec. 4-6 at the Notre Dame Invitational. The Lobos had a remarkable fifth place finish out of the fourteen schools that participated. Leading the Lobo squad with outstanding finishes, was sophomore Robyn Miller. The Yountville, Calif. native had a second place finish in the 400 IM, a third place finish in the 500-yard free and a fifth place finish in the 200-yard butterfly.
THE COMPETITION: Last season, UNM defeated Air Force in Albuquerque, 162-135. The Falcons finished the 2002-03 season at the sixth spot in the MWC, just behind New Mexico who finished fifth. This season Air Force is 7-2 and 0-2 in the MWC. Air Force had a strong start to the season, beating North Dakota, Colorado School of Mines, Metro State College and Colorado College at its first home meet of the 2003-2004 season. The squad has also beaten Navy, University of Northern Colorado and Denver. Its two conference losses were against Colorado State and San Diego State. Important returners for the Falcons are seniors Carly Baxter and Sara Crowell. Baxter holds school records in the 200-yard free and the 800-yard free. Crowell was the AFA women's first ever MWC Champion, capturing the win in the 100-yard butterfly at the 2003 MWC Championships.
UNM DIVERS: The UNM diving team has continued to be a powerful force on the boards. Top returning divers Becca Barras and Tracey Berghian have managed to finish in the top three at every meet thus far. UNM's new diving coach, Carlos Castillo has picked up where former UNM diving coach Jeff DiNicola left off, after he accepted a coaching job with the Nebraska Cornhusker's diving team in October. Castillo spent two years coaching women's diving at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan before accepting the job with UNM.
MWC STANDINGS: UNM and Air Force share the sixth spot in the MWC standings with the same record of 0-2. In fifth place is San Diego (3-4) and tied for fourth are BYU and Wyoming at 1-1. UNLV drops in at the third spot (3-1), while Utah sits in second with a 2-0 record. Leading the conference is Colorado State with a perfect 3-0 mark.
LEADING LOBO: Sophomore Robyn Miller has proven to be an outstanding competitor this season. During a dual meet against the NAU Lumberjacks on Nov. 22, 2003, Miller broke NAU's pool records in the 500-yard free (5:04.67) and the 400-yard IM (4:33.17). Last season, the talented Lobo broke UNM's school record in the 400-yard IM with a time of 4:28.04. She then went on to break her own school record in the 400 IM at the 2003 MWC Championships with a time of 4:27.06. Currently, Miller holds top times in the 200-yard free, 500-yard free, 200-yard butterfly and the 400-yard IM.
FRESHMEN FAVORITES:Newcomers Crystal Weiland, Jessica Brown and Corinne Ellis are making tremendous gains in their first year on the UNM swim squad. Weiland (Albuquerque, N.M.) currently holds top times in the 100-yard backstroke (59.61), 200-yard backstroke (2:07.59) and 200-yard IM (2:10.37). She also holds the third best times in the 50-yard free (25.03) and 100-yard butterfly (1:01.17). Weiland lettered three years in swimming at Eldorado High School and swam for the Lobo Aquatic Club before attending UNM. Fellow Albuquerque native, Brown, is also making big waves in the college pools. She currently holds the top time in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:09.71) and has the second best times in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:35.08) and 200-yard IM (2:11.36). Brown lettered all four years in swimming at La Cueva High School. She holds La Cueva pool records in the 200 IM and 100 breastroke. Ellis (San Diego, Calif.) has brought plenty of speed to the UNM swim team. She currently has the second best time in the 400-yard IM (4:36.86) and third best times in the 500-yard free (5:11.04) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:36.40). Ellis was a four-year swimming letterwinner at Mt. Carmel High School in San Diego, Calif. In 2001, Ellis was a U.S. Open Finalist in the 400 IM.