Ashlee Erickson A Two-Time Mountain West Champ
Feb. 23, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Lobo Ashlee Erickson went to the 2012 Mountain West Swimming & Diving championship having never medaled off the boards. When she returns to Albuquerque, the New Mexico senior might not make it through the medal detectors in Oklahoma City.
Erickson now has two gold medals to dangle from her neck.
Erickson won the 3-meter competition to strike gold again off the board. She also won the 1-meter competition. Erickson finished fourth and eighth in those events in 2011.
"Ashlee's performance is not only a reflection of talent and hard work," said Abel Sanchez, UNM's head diving coach. "It also show the poise and confidence of a senior having great faith in her ability. In an intense environment against intense competition, Ashlee was clutch."
Erickson not only medaled for the first time in her career as a Lobo, but she had to dethrone the defending champion in those events, who also was the 2011 Mountain West Diver of the Year.
Erickson's double triumph is the first time since the 2006 conference championships that a Lobo diver has won first place in two events.
Former diver and All-American Becca Barras accomplished the feat when she won both the 1-meter and platform.
Erickson went into the event knowing she had to beat out San Diego State's talented Kristen Meier. Erickson scored 326.35 in the event to edge Meier's 322.10 score. Meier appeared on her way to defending her 3-meter crown, but scored low on her fifth dive, scoring 34.80 points on that dive. Erickson's low dive was 37.80 and she also scored in the 60s twice to seal her win.
Meier won both the 3-meter and 1-meter MW crowns in 2011 and was the that year's Mountain West Diver of The Year.
That probably means there is still another big honor to come Erickson's way.
In the second day of Mountain West competition UNM dropped to fourth in team standings, New Mexico currently has 185 points. San Diego State, the meet favorite, overtook Boise State for the lead. The Aztecs lead the Broncos by four points, the teams sit at 299 and 295 respectively.
Erickson also beat Meier off the 1-meter board, but that win came a lot easier as Erickson had a 311.85 total and Meier got the silver medal at 274.40.
Lobo Megan Harper added points to New Mexico's total by posting a final score of 287.70 to win her the bronze medal off the 3-meter board. UNM Freshman Michole Timm, turned in a score 300.50 in the preliminary round, good enough for second place, but fell to sixth in the finals with a final of 260.60.
Harper and Timm finished fourth and fifth, respectively, off the 1-meter board.
In the 50-yard freestyle, Jorgi Hobson fell just shy of placing in the top eight and finished 10th in the event with a final time of 23.25 her performance still brought in seven points for the Lobos. Junior Marissa Campbell was 11th with a time of 23.36.
In the 400-yard medley relay the UNM team of Hobson, Stelicia Flores, Campbell and Ashley Blanchette came in seventh touching the wall in 3:48.25. Their swim brought in an additional 24 points to the team.
Competition resumes at 11 a.m. Friday. Events taking place include 100-yard back, breast, and butterfly as well as the 400-yard individual medley and 200-yard freestyle.