May 16, 2006
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - It was a memorable year for the University of New Mexico women's swimming and diving coaches and athletes. First year head coach Tracy Ljone's goals at the beginning of the season were to build on the team from last year and rebuild with the new one. Her main goal was to have everyone make a difference at conference. Most important, Ljone wanted the women to have fun and just enjoy themselves. All of these goals were accomplished and then some, which made the 2005-06 swimming & diving season a success.
Ljone was named head swim coach on May 5, 2005 after serving as the assistant swim coach at UNM during the 2004-05 season. Ljone was previously the head swim coach at Georgia Southern University from 1999-2002. Going into the season Ljone was truly excited and couldn't say enough great things. She felt the team had great chemistry and spirit. She knew she had a hard-working team and staff, which really showed throughout the season. Ljone chose Leslie Smith as the Lobos' assistant swim coach on Aug. 3, 2004. Smith, a four-year letter winner in swimming at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, spent two years, previous to coming to New Mexico, as a graduate assistant at Duquesne University. In his second year as head diving coach Abel Sanchez expected great things from his athletes from the beginning of the season.
"I thoroughly enjoyed my first year as the head coach here," Ljone said. "I learned a lot of things and hopefully will be a better coach for them. The girls on the team are so much fun to work with and I was so excited that we could finish off the year like we did. Leslie did an amazing job in her first year as assistant coach. It's hard to come into a new program but she really fit in with the team and helped me in all areas. I couldn't have gotten through this year without her."
At the Mountain West Conference Championships New Mexico finished seventh. Going into the MWC Championships the Lobos were 0-8 in regular season conference competition. The Lobos brought home three medals, set one school record and swam to twelve season best times at conference.
"We struggled during the dual meet season but the team really came together for conference," Ljone said. "All the girls stepped it up and swam best times. Going winless in the dual meets made it tough heading into conference, but the girls made a decision to swim better and really got behind each other. It was a great meet for everyone."
Senior Robyn Miller contributed extensively in making it a memorable year for the program. Miller has held top times and records every year of her career and has been honored on the Mountain West Conference first and second teams every year as well. At the 2006 MWC Championships Miller was the only Lobo to medal. She took home two bronze medals, the first in the 500-yard freestyle and the second in the 200-yard butterfly, and a silver medal in the 400-yard individual medley. Miller was honored on the all-conference first team for her finishes in the above events and was also the recipient of the MWC Co-Senior Recognition Award.
Freshman Kristen Naber, sophomore Tori Clarridge and junior Jenna Syverson were all honored on the all-conference second team. Naber was recognized for her eighth place finish in the 200-yard fly, Clarridge was recognized for her sixth place finish in the 100-yard backstroke and Syverson was recognized for her eighth place finish in the 50-yard free. Junior diver Carrie Quinn was also honored on the all-conference second team. Quinn had top-8 finishes on the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform boards.
Quinn was the top diver for the Lobos throughout the entire season. She accumulated ten first place finishes between the 1- and 3-meter boards and had at least four dual meets where she placed first on both the 1- and 3- meter boards. At the Diving Zones Quinn finished in sixteenth place on the 1-meter board and fifteenth on the platform. She came shy of qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Quinn maintained the top score on both the 1- and 3-meter boards the entire season for the Lobos.
"We are going to miss our four seniors so much," Ljone said. "They were a huge part of this team both in the water and out of the water. Kelsey, Robyn and Heather will be sticking around to assist as 5th year coaches which I am very excited about."
Despite the lose of the seniors the Lobos show great promise for the 2006-07 season with seventeen girls returning, which includes five sophomores, six juniors and six seniors to lead the way.
"The season as a whole was fantastic," Ljone said. "The girls were like a big family, everyone worked hard and supported each other. There were no major problems, which make my job a lot easier. It was a fun year and I hope to continue it for seasons to come."
NEW TOP-TIMES SET IN 2005-06 50-yard freestyle, Jenna Syverson-2/23/06-23.80
100-yard freestyle, Tori Clarridge-2/25/06-51.55
200-yard freestyle, Kelsey Leckovic/Robyn Miller-2/24/06-1:52.76
500-yard freestyle, Robyn Miller-2/23/06-4:55.67
1000-yard freestyle, Cassidy Lespreance-11/15/05-10:59.77
1650-yard freestyle, Cassidy Lespreance-2/25/06-17:33.43
100-yard backstroke, Tori Clarridge-2/24/06-57.35
200-yard backstroke, Heather Morsilli-2/25/06-2:09.32
100-yard breaststroke, Rachel Evans-10/22/05-1:08.73
200-yard breaststroke, Andrea Zarins-2/25/06-2:26.15
100-yard butterfly, Kristen Naber-2/24/06-58.07
200-yard butterfly, Robyn Miller-2/25/06-2:04.40
200-yard individual medley, Heather Morsilli-2/23/06-2:10.48
400-yard individual medley, Robyn Miller-2/23/06-4:24.89
200-yard freestyle relay, Clarridge, Leckovic, Miller, Syverson-2/26/06-1:34.45
400-yard freestyle relay, Clarridge, Leckovic, Miller, Syverson-2/25/06-3:27.93
800-yard freestyle relay, Miller, Lespreance, Leckovic, Jen Hale-2/22/06-7:32.76
200-yard medley relay, Clarridge, Zarins, Katrina McLoughlin, Syverson-2/22/06-1:47.41
400-yard medley relay, Clarridge, Zarins, Miller, Syverson-2/25/06-3:53.45
1-meter board, Carrie Quinn-2/03/06-298.19
3-meter board, Carrie Quinn-11/05/05-414.40
Platform, Carrie Quinn-2/25/06-202.50
AWARDS RECEIVED IN 2005-06 MWC Co-Senior Recognition Award, Robyn Miller
All-MWC First team, Robyn Miller (500 freestyle, 400 individual medley, 200 butterfly)
All-MWC Second team, Tori Clarridge (100 backstroke)
All-MWC Second team, Kristen Naber (200 butterfly)
All-MWC Second team, Carrie Quinn (1-meter diving, 3-meter diving, platform diving)
All-MWC Second team, Jenna Syverson (50 freestyle)
TOP 10 PERFORMANCES IN MWC (EXCLUDING MWC CHAMPIONSHIPS) 1st - Carrie Quinn, 3-meter (414.40, Nov. 4)
2nd - Carrie Quinn, 1-meter (298.19, Feb. 3)
4th - Robyn Miller, 500-yard freestyle (4:59.72, Nov. 17)
4th - Robyn Miller, 200-yard butterfly (2:05.95, Nov. 19)
6th - Robyn Miller, 400-yard individual medley (4:31.70, Nov. 18)
8th - 800-yard Freestyle Relay team (7:49.57, Nov. 18)
10th - 200-yard Freestyle Relay team (1:39.08, Nov. 17)