Swimming and Diving: Lobos Look to Make Gains at 2003 MWC Championships
Improving on last year’s sixth place finish at the MWC Championships in Oklahoma City, Okla. is on the minds of coaches, returning players and newcomers to the UNM swimming and diving team. This week the squad will head to Oklahoma City, for the second straight year, to compete in the 2003 MWC Swimming and Diving Championships. Competition will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 19 and conclude on Saturday, Feb. 22.
The Lobos have made great strides in the 2002-2003 season, including finishing fourth (8-3 overall, 4-3 MWC) in the conference behind powerhouses UNLV, Colorado State and Utah and having six athletes and two relay teams on the MWC’s top-ten times list. Myra Will, Robyn Miller, Whitney Thomson, Nicole Overeem, Tracey Berghian and Becca Barras have all earned individual spots among the conference’s top athletes in their respective events.
The Lobo swimming and diving team has been honored five different times this season with either Swimmer or Diver of the Week recognition from the Mountain West Conference. Sophomore diving dynamo Becca Barras has garnered the award three times, while diving teammate Tracey Berghian was also awarded the same honor. Freshman swimmer Robyn Miller was the only Lobo swim team member to win MWC Swimmer of the Week.
Robyn Miller • Fr-HS • Yountville, Calif.
• Undoubtedly UNM’s top all-around swimmer • On Lobo top-times list for 200 free, 500 free, 200 back, 200 breast, 200 fly, 200 IM, 400 IM - has the best time in six of the seven events • Broke the school record this season in the 400 IM: New time of 4:28.04 was over two seconds faster than the time set by Leslie Eide in 1998 • Won Swimmer of the Week honors after leading UNM to wins over Houston and Air Force • Has four times (the most for any UNM swimmer) that rank among the top-ten best in the MWC: sixth in 200 free, third in 500 free, seventh in 200 back, third in 400 IM • Excellent chance of placing in top-three in at least four events at the MWC Championships
Heather Morsilli • Fr-HS • San Ramon, Calif.
• Versatile competitor for UNM • Made her mark on UNM top-times list in the 1650 free, 100 breast, 200 breast, 100 fly and 400 IM • Will vie for top breaststroke finishes at the MWC Championships
Whitney Thomson • Fr-HS • Allen, Texas
• Versatile competitor for UNM • Set UNM top times in the 100 back, 200 back, 100 fly, 200 fly, 200 IM and 400 IM • Holds two top-MWC times: 10th in 100 free, fifth in 100 back • Has potential to dominate in backstroke events at the MWC Championships
Kelsey Leckovic • Fr-HS • Burnaby, B.C.
• Master of the sprint free events • Has three Lobo top times in 50, 100, and 200 free • Finished second to senior Myra Will numerous times this season in 50 and 100 free • Could vie for top spots in sprint events at championships in Oklahoma City
Aimee Dunavant • So-1L • El Paso, Texas
• Has the best times for UNM this season in the 100 and 200 fly • On track to break Amanda Carson’s 100 fly time of 56.58 set at last year’s MWC Championships • Holds the sixth best time in the MWC this season in the 100 fly
Lindsay Jeter • So-1L • Mesa, Ariz.
• Has made great strides this season in the freestyle events • Set two Lobo top times in the 500, 1000 and 1650 free • Will play a key point-getting role at the MWC Championships
Nicole Overeem • So-1L • Hutchinson, Kan.
• Top performer in distance freestyle events • UNM’s leader in the 1000 and 1650 free, has top time in the 500 free as well • Holds eighth-place spot in MWC ranks in the 1650 free • Could make a run for top spots at the MWC Championships in freestyle events
Becca Barras • So-1L • Kitchener, Ontario
• A force on the boards in the MWC • Holds top Lobo times on the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform events • Sits at third in both the 1-meter and 3-meter in the MWC • Has garnered Player of the Week three times this season • Qualified for the Diving Zones during the fall season • Could qualify for the NCAA Championships
Tracey Berghian • Jr-2L • Phoenix, Ariz.
• Strong all-around diver • Has come on strong in latter portion of the season with top scores on the 1-meter and 3-meter boards • Currently fifth in both springboard events in the MWC ranks • Has garnered Player of the Week once this season • Qualified with Barras for the Diving Zones earlier this season • Will figure into top-3 positioning at the MWC Championships
Myra Will • Sr-3L • Tillamook, Ore.
• Team leader and strong finisher in sprint free events • Has come close to breaking 50 and 100 free school records this season (seven tenths away from 50 free record) • Holds UNM top times in the 50 and 100 free as well as 100 back • Second in the MWC in the 50 free, seventh in the 100 free • Potential to place in the top three at the MWC Championships in free events
LAST MEET RECAP: NEW MEXICO STATE • UNM knocked off in-state rival New Mexico State on Jan. 25, 146-92, racking up 10 first-place finishes in the process. Aimee Dunavant set two new top times in the 100 fly and 200 IM while diver Tracey Berghian and distance freestyle mainstay Nicole Overeem each had two wins.
• Senior Myra Will came up against one of her toughest sprint competitors this season in New Mexico State's Crystal Williams. Although Williams barely edged Will in the 50 free with a time of 24.04 to the Lobo swimmer's 24.06, Will solidly defeated the Aggie in the 100 free with a time of 53.50.
• A master of the distance events, Nicole Overeem was in top form against the Aggies. She grabbed first place in the 500 free (5:17.27) as well as first in the 1000 free in 10:44.50, over 13 seconds faster than the second-place swimmer.
• Lobo freshman Robyn Miller came out of the dual-meet with a first-place finish. She captured the top spot in the 200 free with a time of 1:55.11.
• Rounding out the outstanding Lobo showing was Aimee Dunavant. The sophomore has been quietly accumulating top finishes all season which has moved her onto the Lobo top-times list in several events. She furthered her record-setting ways against NMSU when she won the 100 fly in 58.65, setting a new UNM top time in the event. Dunavant also claimed the second spot in the 200 IM with a time of 2:12.76, which was good enough to give her the season best time.
• On the boards, UNM divers Tracey Berghian and Becca Barras jockeyed for first and second place in the 1-meter and 3-meter events, with Berghian coming out on top in both. She set new personal bests for this season on both boards with a score of 273.52 on the 1-meter and 266.18 on the 3-meter. Barras finished behind Berghian in both events with a score of 269.40 on the lower board and 236.33 on the 3-meter for two second-place spots.
2001-2002 REGULAR SEASON WRAP-UP New Mexico finished the regular season with a number of times that ranked among the best in the Mountain West Conference. The Lobos had the overall top time in one event; two finishes that ranked second in the conference, eight times and dives that ranked in the top-five; 14 that were in the top-10 and 23 that rank in the top- 16.
Senior Amanda Carson shaped up to be one of the top swimmers in the MWC in the butterfly events. She claimed the top time in the 100 butterfly (56.61) and the second best time in the 200 butterfly (2:05.51). She also had top-16 times in the 50 backstroke and the 200 IM.
Quinn Michie also laid claim to several top times. She had the third-best times in the MWC in both the 200 IM (2:06.81) and the 400 IM (4:33.22). Michie also has the ninth-best time in the 50 backstroke and finished in the top-12 in the 100 and 200 backstroke.
Senior Sandra Colburn performed well in the distance freestyle events. She had top-eight times in the 1000 and 1650 freestyle, and had the 11th-best time in the 500 free. Colburn also had the 11th-best time in the 400 IM.
Other notables include junior Myra Will who had the seventh-best time in the 50 freestyle; freshman Nicole Overeem who had top-16 times in the 500, 1000 and 1650 freestyle and freshman Lindsay Jeter who claimed the 14th-best time in the 1000 freestyle.
UNM’s divers continually scored points in the 2001-2002 regular season to rank them with the best in the MWC. Freshman Becca Barras had the second best score on the 1-meter springboard (269.70), the third best score on the 3-meter (449.40) and fourth on the platform. Sophomore Tracey Berghian had the fourth-best score in the 3-meter dive (434.50) and the sixth-best score in the 1-meter (257.40). She also had the third best score on the platform (313.50).
Becca Barras • So-1L • Kitchener, Ont.
UNM sophomore diver Becca Barras has garnered three Diver of the Week honors (Oct. 31, Nov. 15 and Nov. 27) after performances at the UNLV dual meet on Oct. 6, the Lobos’ two home meets Nov. 7 and Nov. 8-9 as well as the Indiana Invite Nov. 22-24. The scores Barras put up at the UNLV meet were good enough to give her two firsts in the 1-meter and 3-meter events as well as a berth into the Diving Zones, March 13-15 in Oklahoma City, Okla. Barras’ performances Nov. 7, 8, 9, helped UNM capture its first-ever win over four-time MWC Champions BYU, as well as accumulate points in the third place Lobo Invitational finish. Her final honor came at the stiffly competitive Indiana Invite. The meet featured numerous top-25 teams including Clemson, Arkansas, Tennessee and Indiana. The sophomore placed third on the 1-meter springboard and fourth on the 3-meter there, proving that she could compete with some of the top divers in the nation.
Robyn Miller • Fr-HS • Yountville, Calif.
Miller made history on Nov. 23 when she broke the UNM school record in the 400 IM at the Indiana Invite in Bloomington, Ind. The freshman swam the event in an incredible 4:28.04, slashing the previous record of 4:30.24 set by Leslie Eide in 1998. Miller currently holds the top time for UNM this year in the 200 free (1:53.12), 500 free (4:58.60), 200 back (2:07.96), and the 200 IM (2:11.65).
LOBO TOP-TEN TIMES IN THE MWC
50 free 2. Myra Will : 23.83
100 Free 7. Myra Will - 52.47 10. Whitney Thomson - 52.89
200 Free 6. Robyn Miller - 1:53.12 500 Free 3. Robyn Miller - 4:58.60
1650 Free 8. Nicole Overeem - 17:56.82 10. Heather Morsilli - 18:00.74
100 Back 5. Whitney Thomson - 58.98 8. Myra Will - 59.59
200 Back 7. Robyn Miller :2:07.96
100 Fly 8. Aimee Dunavant - 58.65
400 IM 3. Robyn Miller - 4:28.04
200 Free Relay 6. UNM A - 1:38.22
200 Medley Relay 7. UNM A - 1:51.29
1-Meter Dive 3. Becca Barras - 280.42 5. Tracey Berghian - 257.85
3-Meter Dive 3. Becca Barras - 293.41 5. Tracey Berghian - 267.83
REGULAR SEASON MWC RANKINGS
Conference |Team|W|L|PCT| |UNLV|7|0|1.000| |CSU|6|1|.857| |Utah|5|2|.714| |UNM|4|3|.571| |BYU|3|4|.429| |Air Force|1|6|.143| |SDSU|1|6|.143| |Wyoming|1|6|.143|