FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ. – The NM state swim and dive team battled it out for a 132-132 draw with Northern Arizona at the NAU Aquatic and Tennis Complex on Saturday.
On the day, the Aggies finished the day with seven first-place finishes as a sophomore Lindsay Puhalskic and junior Aimee Burton each delivered standout performances for Head Coach Rick Pratt‘s squad. The NM State seniors also delivered a timely performance in the final event of the day to tie the eight-time WAC loggers champion.
In the opening event of the day, the Aggies placed three swimmers among the top four finishers as Lindsay Puhalskic took first place in the 100m backstroke with a time of 58.06 seconds. Maude Boily Dufour followed Puhalski to take second (58.60) and Anabel Ivanov landed fourth (59.16).
An Aggie swimmer also topped the leaderboard in the second event as Aimee Burton led the competition in the 100 breaststroke, finishing with a time of 1:05.48.
· The Aggies then captured the top three in both the 50 free and 200 individual medleys.
In the 50 free, Burton’s time of 23.62 was good for first place while Neza Kocijan and Lina Khiyara came in second and third respectively. Burton’s mark also accounts for the second fastest 50 free time for Aggie this season.
· Puhalski was the fastest swimmer in the 200 IM event, setting a time of 2:07.48. In the meantime, Lauren Hemburrow placed second and Jordan Andrusak finished third.
NM State’s best diver on the day was Italy Aranzabal as she placed third in both the 1-meter and 3-meter events. The junior from Mexico City, Mexico, scored 267.08 points on the 1-meter board and 264.83 on the 3-meter board.
The 100 free was arguably the most dominant event of the day for the Aggies, as NM State landed swimmers in positions one through four. The best finisher was Burton, who reached the wall at 52:35 and was closely followed by Airam Oliva-Aun which finished with a time of 53.21.
· In event number 10, the 200 back, two of the top three racers had NM State caps on. Puhalski led the way with a time of 2:05.66, which was the third fastest 200 back time for the Aggies this season.
· The final event of the day turned out to be the most important event of the day as the Aggies got exactly what they needed from their seniors in the 800 free relay to finish level with the talented loggers.
In the 800 free relay, Airam Oliva-Aun, Lauren Hemburrow, Anabel Ivanov and Neza Kocijan teamed up to set a time of 7:51.19 to secure first place and even win with Northern Arizona.
QUOTABLE | HEAD COACH RICK PRATT
“Despite the draw we had a very successful day today and I am really proud of the way our team fought for every point,” said Pratt. “Aimee Burton, Lindsay Puhalskic and many others were very impressive today and had a few quick swims despite the trip and the environment. That our seniors win that final relay says a lot about their impact and leadership with our team and it was a fun moment for all 12 of them. The energy on deck was intense and our team was not intimidated to compete. We’re in a great spot heading into the final month for WAC.”
· The Aggies return to the friendly confines of the NM State Swimming and Diving Complex on Saturday, January 29, where they host rival New Mexico.
· The meeting with the Lobos will also serve as Senior Day for 12 Aggies. The meeting starts at 11:30 a.m