Swimming and Diving: Season Review
A great sense of optimism filled the Seidler Natatorium at the beginning of the 2002/2003 swimming and diving season. Head coach Bill Spahn and his staff had recruited a stong class of 15 freshman and retained a talented and motivated group of returning swimmers and divers who were experienced in the ways of collegiate competition. Relentless workouts and training in the off-season as well as pre-season proved to be exactly what the Lobo squad needed to make a re-emergence in the top half of the MWC ranks and dominate several individual events.
FIRSTS FOR UNM A number of firsts came out of the successful 2002-2003 season, most notably a fourth place regular season finish (8-3, 4-3 MWC) for New Mexico as well as a final fifth-place spot at the MWC Championships. As well, the Lobos beat the reigning MWC titleholders, BYU, in a home dual-meet in November. This victory over the Cougars was the first in the history of the Lobo swimming and diving program.
FANTASTIC FRESHMAN Perhaps one of the biggest surprises to come out of the season was the unbelievable success of freshman Robyn Miller. She demonstrated her prowess in the middle distance events by setting a new school record in the 400 IM at the Indiana Invite in November, 2002. The Yountville, Calif. native swam the event in 4:28.04, slashing the previous record of 4:30.24 set by Leslie Eide in 1998. She then broke her own record in the 400 IM at the MWC Championships, swimming the event in a lightning quick time of 4:27.06. Miller also finished the season with top-three Lobo times in a number of events, including the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 200 breaststroke and 200 butterfly. Miller garnered both first and second team All-MWC honors after placing third in the 400 IM and seventh in the 500 free at the MWC Championships.
MWC CHAMPIONSHIPS GO DOWN IN HISTORY Divers Becca Barras and Tracey Berghian had phenomenal seasons for the Lobos on the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards. To cap off a season filled with Player of the Week honors (three for Barras, one for Berghian) and numerous first-place finishes, the duo each captured a conference title at the 2003 MWC Championships. Berghian claimed first-place on the 3-meter board with a score of 485.50. The previous day, Barras clinched the top spot on the 1-meter board with 281.90 points and made history, winning the first Lobo MWC title in more than 12 years. The two earned MWC Co-Divers of the Year along with Kelli Einfeldt of BYU, while coach Jeff DiNicola earned his first MWC Diving Coach of the Year honor.
The MWC Championships also proved successful for freshmen Heather Morsilli and Whitney Thomson, sophomore Aimee Dunavant and senior Myra Will, who garnered second team All-MWC honors for their top-eight finishes at the championships.
LEADERS OF THE PACK
Robyn Miller Fr-HS Yountville, Calif. Undoubtedly UNMs top all-around swimmer On Lobo top-times list for 200 free, 500 free, 200 back, 200 breast, 200 fly, 400 IM Broke the school record this season in the 400 IM - new time of 4:28.04 was over two second s faster than the time set by Leslie Eide in 1998 - broke own record at MWC Championships with a time of 4:27.06 Earned Swimmer of the Week honors after leading UNM to wins over Houston and Air Force Had four regular season times (the most for any UNM swimmer) that ranked among the top-ten best in the MWC: sixth in 200 free, third in 500 free, seventh in 200 back, third in 400 IM Placed third in the 400 IM, seventh in the 500 free to garner first and second team All-MWC honors for each performance, respectively Heather Morsilli Fr-HS San Ramon, Calif. Made her mark on UNM top-times list in the 1650 free, 100 breast, 200 breast, 100 fly, 200 IM and 400 IM Placed fifth in the 400 IM at the MWC Championships to earn All-MWC second team honors
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 Held two regular season top-MWC times: 10th in 100 free, fifth in 100 back Fifth-place 100 back finish at the MWC Championships earned her All-MWC second team award
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
Aimee Dunavant So-1L El Paso, Texas Had the best times for UNM in the 100 and 200 fly and a top time in the 200 IM Was close to breaking Amanda Carsons 100 fly time of 56.58 set at last years MWC Championships Held the sixth best time in the MWC this season in the 100 fly and maintained that at the MWC Championships, getting a sixth-place finish which gave her All-MWC second team honors
Lindsay Jeter So-1L Mesa, Ariz. Made great strides in the freestyle events Held three Lobo top times in the 500, 1000 and 1650 free Had the best UNM finish in the 1650 free at the MWC Championships (9th) setting the best Lobo time this year in the event
Nicole Overeem So-1L Hutchinson, Kan. Top performer in distance freestyle events UNMs leader in the 1000 and 1650 free, had a top time in the 500 free as well Held eighth-place spot in MWC ranks in the 1650 free during the regular season
Becca Barras So-1L Kitchener, Ontario A force on the boards in the MWC Held top Lobo times on the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform events Was third in both the 1-meter and 3-meter in the MWC ranks throughout the season Garnered Player of the Week three times At the MWC Championships, claimed 1-meter title and earned Diver of the Year honors along with Berghian and Einfeldt of BYU Dove on a badly sprained ankle at the Diving Zones to place ninth on the 3-meter and 21st on the 1-meter
Tracey Berghian Jr-2L Phoenix, Ariz. Strong all-around diver Came on strong in the latter portion of the season with top scores on the 1-meter and 3-meter boards Was fifth in both springboard events in the MWC ranks Garnered Player of the Week honors once during the season Won MWC 3-meter title and was named Co-Diver of the Year with Barras and Einfeldt at the MWC Championships Placed 15th on the 1-meter and 24th on the 3-meter at the Diving Zones
Heather DiLuzio Jr-2L Albuquerque, N.M. Was a leader in and out of the pool for UNM Had top times in the 100 and 200 breaststroke which she set at the MWC Championships
Myra Will Sr-3L Tillamook, Ore. Team leader and strong finisher in sprint free events Came close to breaking 50 and 100 free school records this season (seven tenths away from 50 free record) Held 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 (regular season) Fifth place finish at the MWC Championships in the 50 free earned her All-MWC second team honors
Becca Barras So-1L Kitchener, Ont.
UNM sophomore diver Becca Barras 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 previousrecord of 4:30.24 set by Leslie Eide in 1998. She then broke her own record at the MWC Championships with a new time of 4:27.06.