Las Cruces, NM — Not even a tough loss to one of the top teams in the Western Athletic Conference could damper the day on Saturday afternoon inside the NM State Natatorium. The New Mexico State women’s swimming and diving team lost to conference foe Idaho, 173-127, on what would be the final home meet for five Aggie seniors.
Swimmers Tricia Kiss, Terrin Seaver, Alessandra Zuniga, Briana Zuniga and diver Jaymee Porter were recognized for their Aggie careers during the meet intermission.
NM State did have four wins on the afternoon against a very tough Vandal team. Sophomore Emily Nightingale won the 1,000 free with a time of 10:33.87. Junior Jessica Legge finished the 100 breast in 1:05.93 for a first-place finish while sophomore Dorottya Lennert won the 100 fly with a time of 56.65. Sophomore diver Audrey Ruiz, meanwhile, won the 1-meter event with a score of 262.87.
“Today we had some great swims, but also some bad ones,” Aggie head coach Rick Pratt said. “We've got some [swimmers] that are still very tired and others that have recovered and are already seeing some good progress. We lost a couple of close races, which you cannot do to beat a team like Idaho.”
Although there were no senior victories for NM State, there were some good finishes by the seniors on senior day. Seaver had two second-place finishes during her final home meet. She finished second in the 100 back (56.82) and 100 free (53.48). Kiss, meanwhile, was right behind her senior teammate Seaver in 100 back, finishing third with a time of 57.94. Kiss also finished second in the 200 back (2:05.97) and third in the 200 IM (2:11.12).
On the diving side, Porter concluded her diving career at the NM State Natatorium with two third-place finishes, in both the 1-meter and 3-meter. Ruiz not only won the 1-meter, but finished second on the 3-meter with a season-high score for the Aggies of 268.35.
“Our divers were really impressive today and that was great to see,” Pratt said.
Other top finishers for NM State included: Lennert in second in the 200 fly (2:06.40), Legge in second in the 200 breast (2:26.35), Nightingale in second in the 500 free (5:14.99), freshman Natalie French in second in the 1,000 free (10:37.95) and third in the 500 free (5:15.21) and sophomore Cassandra Rupp in third in both the 50 free (25.18) and 200 back (2:08.38).
The Aggies will continue their three-week marathon in preparation for the WAC Championships with a trip to Phoenix, Ariz., next week to take on another conference opponent. NM State will face off against Grand Canyon University on Saturday, Jan. 25, with dual-meet set to begin at 12 p.m. (MT).
“We've got a couple of meets left before conference, and we're going to have to improve in a couple of areas,” Pratt said, “but I am confident we're headed in the right direction.”