ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Lobos finish this Super Bowl weekend off with two days of successful competition in Colorado Springs, Colo. and at home. New Mexico welcomed Rio Grande rival, NMSU’s Aggies, to the final home meet of the 2013-2014 season where the Lobos came out victorious with a final score of 154 to 132.
(The overall score indicated includes 15 out of 17 exhibition events)
UNM showed their level of competition and intent to leave a mark as their final time in the Seidler Natatorium this year by taking first place in 12 out of 17 events.
The Lobos kicked the dual-meet off with a first and second place finish in the 200-yard medley relay. New Mexico’s Kaela McKee, Ashley Blanchette, Jorgi Hobson, and Shayla King came in for first place at 1:43.16. The team of sophomores, Kristin Walker and April Chee, and juniors, Amber Amr and Samantha Moss, took second place with a 1:46.89 finish.
Shortly after the first event, McKee contributed to another first place title when she finished at 56.61 in the 100-yard backstroke. Amr took third place in the same event clocking in at 58.76.
McKee didn’t stop there with her first place titles for the Lobos. She came out on top in the 200-yard backstroke touching the wall at 2:05.37.
Blanchette came in first place in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:04.77. Walker took third place at 1:06.84 and Lindsey Englestead took fourth place right after racing at 1:06.87.
Englestead and Walker racked up more placing titles for the Lobos as they finished first and fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke at 2:23.88 and 2:28.65, respectively.
New Mexico continued their dominating trend as they swept first through third place in both the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle events.
In the 50-yard freestyle, King came in for first place at 23.86, Hobson for third place at 23.98, and Chee for third place at 24.19.
King claimed first place once again as she finished with a time of 53.23 in the 100-yard freestyle. Anna Lilliestrom took second place at 53.61 and Caitlin Gardiner came in for third place with a 53.77 finish.
Anna Lengyel and Samantha Moss took first and second place in the 200-yard butterfly clocking in at 2:07.03 and 2:08.01, respectively.
Another second and first place title were claimed by New Mexico in the 500-yard freestyle by seniors Monica Dudley and Heidi Zeiger. Dudley finished the 20 lap event for first place with a time of 5:07.68. Zeiger completed the race at 5:14.57.
UNM not only started up the meet with a bang but finished it in the same fashion as they swept first through third place in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
The team of Chee, Gardiner, Blanchette, and King took first place at 3:32.88. Lucille Chevalier, Sarah Weihe, Jessica Montoya, and Dudley finished for second place with a time of 3:35.31. Lobos Lauren Tinenko, Zeiger, Hobson, and Lengyel came in with a (exhibition) time of 3:38.23.
New Mexico showed impressive performances at home and out of town this weekend. Senior diver, Megan Harper, represented the Lobos at the Air Force Diving Invitational for two consecutive days in Colorado Springs, Colo.
In the 1-meter diving event, Megan Harper took ninth place with a total score of 259.10 after preliminary and final scoring among 54 other athletes.
She finished at second place in the 3-meter championship with an overall score of 303.85 points.
New Mexico proved strong athleticism in their final home meet but an even stronger team bond as they also celebrated Senior Day.
Five senior swimmers, Ashley Blanchette, Monica Dudley, Jessica Montoya, Jorgi Hobson, and Heidi Zeiger were all recognized and given gifts and heartfelt speeches by their teammates. Tears were dropped and voices cracked as their academic and athletic accomplishments were announced as well as their memories made with the Lobo family.
“I think our swimmers and diver had amazing meets. We are in the middle of taper time and saw great performances yesterday that show our training and taper are on the right track,” Head Coach Kono says at the finale of the meet.
The MWC Championships are only two weeks away and Kono believes that his athletes have gained confidence to go into the championships. He includes, “Now we need to rest for the next couple of weeks and get ready for the big show. The championships and conference will be very exciting.”
The MWC Championships will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 19 in San Antonio, Texas.