Lobo Swimmers Head To Their First U.S. Open
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/29/2006
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Nov. 29, 2006

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico women's swimming team is headed to West Lafayette, Ind. Thursday Nov. 30 - Saturday Dec. 2 to compete in the U.S. Open. Twenty-one U.S. Olympians will compete among the nearly 1,000 swimmers from all over the world. Highlighting the line-up are world record-holders Michael Phelps, Aaron Peirsol, Ian Crocker and Cullen Jones. In addition, four-time Olympic gold medalist Lenny Krayzelburg will swim in his first major competition since the 2004 Olympic Games.

On the female side, 10 U.S. Olympians will participate including American record-holders Katie Hoff, Amanda Weir and Kaitlin Sandeno.

The Lobos are making their first appearance at the U.S. Open this year. Five swimmers will compete. Robyn Miller will swim the 400-yard freestyle, 400-yard individual medley and 200-yard butterfly. Seniors Jenna Syverson and Kelly Soldow will swim in the 50-yard free. Syverson will also compete in the 100-yard free. Junior Tori Clarridge will also race in the 50- and 100-yard free along with the 100-yard backstroke. Freshman Ashley Grisdale has qualififed to swim in the 100- and 200-yard fly.

"It is quite an accomplishment to qualify for this meet," head coach Tracy Ljone said. "We are excited to be there this year. It will be an amazing experience to compete against so many world class swimmers and Olympians."

The swimmers are not the only Lobos in action this weekend. The divers will be in Austin, Texas, Nov. 30-Dec.1, to compete in a diving invite hosted by the University of Texas.

These meets will conclude the fall half of the season for the Lobos. The spring half begins with back-to-back home meets. The first will take place on Friday, January 19 when the Lobos will face conference competitor TCU beginning at 12 p.m. The following day the Lobos will take on Utah. Competition begins at 2 p.m.

REVIEW: The Lobo swimmers participated in the Speedo Cup Invitational, finishing tenth with 349 points, in Long Beach, Calif. Nov. 16-18 hosted by the University of California-Irvine. Last year the Lobos finished the invitational in 11th place with a total of 300.5 points. The Lobos are currently 5-3, four wins ahead of the total wins they had last season. The athletes and coaches are extremely excited and proud of the success they are having thus far.

UNM played host to BYU, New Mexico State and Northern Arizona in the Seidler Natatorium on Nov. 2. The Lobos were victorious over New Mexico State (190 - 103) and Northern Arizona (175.5 - 123.5), but fell to BYU with a final score of 221.5 - 75.5. The Lobos had not defeated Northern Arizona in over six years.

In a Triple Dual meet hosted by Colorado State the Lobos squared off against host CSU as well as Air Force, and San Diego State winning two out of the three. New Mexico beat Air Force 188-112 as well as SDSU 168-131 but fell to CSU 178-111.

The Lobos also fell to the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyo. with a final score of 144-99. The Lobos finished the meet with a total of four first place finishes and six second place finishes.

In the first meet of the season, the Lobos defeated the women of Northern Colorado, 105-104, in an all relay competition that took place in Greeley, Colo. The Lobos captured five first place finishes out of a total 12 events and sealed six second place finishes and four third place finishes.

TOP SWIMMERS: Freshman Ashley Grisdale (Gig Harbor, Wash.) is currently one of the top swimmers for the Lobos. She earned two first place finishes against Wyoming, the first in the 200-yard individual medley (2:27.77) and the second in the 100-yard butterfly (1:05.53). Grisdale continued her success as she again took home two first place finishes this time in the triple dual meet against Colorado State, Air Force and SDSU. Grisdale's victories were in the 100-(58.12) and 200-(2:06.68) yard fly. She also had the best individual finish for the Lobos on day two of the Speedo Cup invite, placing tenth in the 400-yard IM (4:31.28). Grisdale currently hold the fifth best time in the conference in both the 200-yard fly (2:06.68) and 400-yard IM (4:31.28). She also holds the seventh best time in the 100-yard fly with a time of 00:58.12.

Another top swimmer for the Lobos is senior Jenna Syverson (Soldotna, Alaska). Syverson has earned a total of two first place finishes this season. The first was in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 00:27.89 against Wyoming. The second was also in the 50-yard free, this time against Northern Arizona, New Mexico State and BYU. Syverson finished with a time of 00:24.43. Syverson currently holds the tenth best time in the conference in the 50-yard free with a time of 00:24. 43.

TOP DIVER: Junior diver Carrie Quinn (San Clemente, Calif.) is currently the top diver for the Lobos. Quinn has solidified a total four first place finishes this season. Her top score on the 1-meter spring board is 257.93 and on the 3-meter board 273.25. Quinn currently holds the eighth best score in the conference on the 3-meter springboard (273.25).

The Lobos currently only have two divers competing, Quinn and senior Joanna Garcia. Freshman diver Mary-Beth Geeze is currently not competing due to injury.