LOBOS SEEING DOUBLE IN MWC, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY: The University of New Mexico women's swimming and diving team heads for Utah this weekend to face two more MWC foes. UNM's first stop is Salt Lake City, Utah where they face University of Utah (2-0,MWC) on Fri. Jan. 16 at 6 p.m. The Lobos then travel to Provo, Utah for a meet against BYU (1-1,MWC) on Sat. Jan. 17 at noon. Recaps of each meet will be posted at www.golobos.com.
JUST SHY: Last Saturday the Lobos fell to conference competitor Air Force, 154-144. New Mexico had the lead going into the 10th event, but the Falcons pulled ahead quickly after placing first in three of the last five events. Despite the loss, the UNM diving team remained undefeated. Junior Becca Barras placed first in both the 1-meter and 3-meter dive while sophomore Kaley Knaflec came in a distant second in both events. The loss brings UNM's record in the Mountain West to 0-3 while AFA improves to 1-2.
A LOOK AT THE COMPETITION: Last year, Utah went 10-8 overall and 5-2 in the conference with a fourth-place finish at the 2003 MWC Championships. During the regular season, the Lobos fell to the Utes 130-104 in Albuquerque. This year, Utah looks to come out as one of the top two teams in the conference with the help of star returners Kristen Kaiser, Neringa Statkeviciute and Tessa Greegor. Kaiser broke the conference and Utah's school record in the 400 IM (4:21.22) at the 2003 MWC Championships. She also set new school records in the 500 free (4:54.57) and 200 fly (2:05.11). Statkeviciute is also a record holder as she set the conference record in the 800 free-relay (7:23.03) last year at the conference championships and broke the school record in the 200 free- relay (1:34.75). Greggor rounds out the list of top returners with a few accomplishments to her name. She had a strong finish at the MWC Championships last season where she finished second and broke the school record in the 100 breast (1:02.88).
Defending MWC Champions BYU will make another run for their fifth straight title this year. Last season, the Lobos crushed the Cougars 142-101 at UNM's first home meet of the 2003 season. New Mexico hopes to do the same this weekend, but will have to battle hard as BYU is still hungry for the no. 1 spot. The Cougars face the season without the talent of Tamber Covington, Cortnee Adams and Amanda Grant. Covington and Adams had strong showings at the 2003 MWC Championships which qualified them for the NCAA Championships and Grant was presented the Outstanding Female Athlete Award by the Cougar Club. Currently, BYU shares fourth-place with Wyoming in the MWC. Each with a record of 1-1.
MWC STANDINGS: After the loss to AFA, New Mexico remains i seventh place with an 0-3 record. Air Force is in sixth place (1-2), while San Diego sits safely in fifth place (3-4). BYU and Wyoming are in fourth with an 1-1 record and UNLV ranks at no. 3 (3-1). Utah stays in the second position (2-0) and leading the conference is Colorado State (3-0).
HOME VS. ROAD: By this time last season, UNM already had five wins under its belt. Three of those wins were at home. This season, the Lobos face a schedule that has them on the road more times than at home. The demanding road scehdule could be a reason for the struggling 0-6 record. At the opening of the season, the Lobos hosted two meets. They fell to NAU and placed fifth at the Lobo Invitational. After the invite, UNM hit the road and have not been on New Mexico territoy since. Last season's schedule was evenly distributed with seven home meets and eight road meets. This year the schedule is vastly different with only two home meets and 10 road meets. The Lobos finished the 2002-03 season with an overall record of 8-3, 4-3 in the Mountain West. Four of the wins were at home.
TOP LOBO PERFORMERS: There were several Lobos who had solid perfomances at the meet against Air Force last Saturday. Sophomore Robyn Miller once again led the pack with three first place finishes in the 200 free (1:54.34), 500 free (5:10.07) and 400 IM (4:39.79). Following Miller's strong outing was junior Nicole Overeem with a first-place finish in the 1000 free (10.47.89), sophomore Lindsay Fagrelius with a top finish in the 100 breast (2:14.00) and junior Aimee Dunavant with a gold in the 200 fly (2:13.56). Freshman favorites were Crystal Weiland, Corinne Ellis and Kelly Soldow. Weiland took second in the 100 breast (2:14.50) and 100 back (1:00.87) while Ellis finished third in the 200 fly (2:15.40). Soldow also had a third-place finish in the 50 free with a time of 25.56.