Sophomore Rachel Palmer won two events and seven other Lumberjacks were individual event winners as Northern Arizona defeated Washington State, 161-133, on Monday afternoon in Wall Aquatic Center. Both teams broke the previous pool record in the 400 freestyle relay to end the meet, with NAU improving to 5-1 in dual meets this season and Washington State dropping to 0-5.
“It was a tough, gutsy performance for us today,” said NAU head coach Andy Johns. “A lot of the girls swam faster than they ever have in here and that was a great sign. It was a back-and-forth battle and I’m really proud of the way our girls were able to overcome some adversity.”
After the Cougars opened the meet with a win in the 200 medley relay, NAU senior Krista Maier, competing for the last time in her home pool, won the 800 freestyle in nine minutes, 19.08 seconds. Washington State responded with a win in the 200 free before NAU junior Fi Connell overcame a back injury to win the 100 backstroke in 1:04.14. Two more Washington State wins came sandwiched around the first win of the day from Palmer, who took first in the 200 butterfly in 2:20.80.
Two more NAU seniors, Chalene Dirks-Ryan and Kristin Jones, claimed wins in the 100 and 400 free, respectively, while sophomore Stirling Smith placed first in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:43.78. On the diving boards, freshman Katie Dallmann took the 3-meter competition with a 205.60 score while sophomore Jane Wakefield scored 179.80 to win the 1-meter competition to give NAU the lead with two events remaining.
Palmer claimed her second win in the last individual race of the day, finishing in 2:24.43 to win the 200 individual medley. Records fell to close the meet, with Washington State’s “A” team winning the 400 free relay in 3:54.80 with NAU’s “A” team of Maier, Dirks-Ryan, junior Kelsey Loy and sophomore Emma Lowther finishing second in 3:56.20. Both times surpassed the previous pool record of 3:56.39 set by NAU last December.
The win was just NAU’s second all-time against Washington State and was just the third win in 49 all-time NAU duals against schools from the Pac-12. At 5-1, NAU is off to its best season start since the 2007-08 squad opened its season 6-1, losing its first dual to Washington State in Flagstaff.
The Lumberjacks will return to action on Saturday, Dec. 3, in a dual at New Mexico State at 11:30 a.m.
The Washington State swimming team won both relays as well as five individual events at Northern Arizona, Monday.
In the 14 swimming events, the Cougars outscored the Lumberjacks 133-129. However, Washington State does not have a diving program, so Northern Arizona captured all 32 diving points over two events to win the meet 161-133.
The Washington State 200 medley relay team of Emma Johansson, Jessie Craig, Melissa Bogert and Evelina Bieleckaite gave the Cougars the early lead with a time of 1:57.88.
After Northern Arizona took a 19-17 lead through two events, Emma Neely finished first in the 200 free, in 2:06.74 to help the Cougars regain the advantage at 30-25.
Two events later, Craig touched the wall in 1:13.75 for a victory in the 100 breast and Washington State led 50-43. Bieleckaite and Bogert finished 1-2 in the 50 free with times of 26.97 and 27.27, respectively as the Cougars stretched their lead to 71-60 at the midway point of the meet.
The schools scored 19 points each over the next two events with Danielle Palumbo posting a victory in the 200 back at 2:20.78. Over the next two events, Northern Arizona outscored Washington State 28-10 to take a 107-100 lead with three events remaining.
Johansson won the 100 butterfly in 1:03.41 and the Cougars took three of the top four spots to surge back on top at 114-112. The Lumberjacks earned 13 of 19 points in the 200 IM and carried a 125-120 lead into the final event.
Needing to win the 400 free relay and finished second or third as well, the Cougars did just that. The team of Bogert, Johansson, Bieleckaite and Nicole Proulx won with a time of 3:54.80 to set a Wall Aquatic Center record. In addition, the Cougar quartet of Jenna Bekker, Neely, Kelsey Bruggman and Craig placed third with a time of 3:57.10 to give the Cougars 13 of 17 points in the event.
Up next for Washington State is the Hawkeye Invitational in Iowa City, Iowa, Dec. 2-4.