Rio Grande Rivalry meet ends in tie

Feb. 4, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - This afternoon the University of New Mexico swimming and diving team battled rival New Mexico State on Senior Day, a contest that ended in a tie. The Lobos and the Aggies both ended the day with final scores of 150 in front of a packed house.

The Lobos set the tone early when they won the day's first event, the 200-yard medley relay, with a final time of 1:33.55. Heidi Zeiger, Hannah Mercier, Jessica Montoya and Monica Dudley comprised the team that racked up the first win for New Mexico. Dudley then went on to place third and second in the 1,000- and 500-yard freestyle swimming the events in 10:52.40 and 5:15.94, respectively.

Sophomore Stelicia Flores picked up four points for UNM when she finished second in the 100-yard backstroke behind Aggie Terrin Seaver. Seaver's time of 57.46 was only 48 hundredths of a second faster than that of Flores who finished in 57.94. Amber Amr also reached a second place finish for the Lobos in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:08.93.

In the 100-yard butterfly, Jorgi Hobson was up to her usual tricks. The sophomore cruised to an easy victory touching the wall in 56.72. In the 200-yard butterfly, Samantha Moss lost a tight race and fell just short of the victory. Her time of 2:09.83 was over five seconds faster than NMSU's Kata Schweitzer who was third.

"This day could not have been any more emotional," said senior Nicole Peirce. "I'm so happy with the way the team pulled through today. The depth of our team really came through today and that's what's important, we have so much depth and I'm really proud of not only how I swam, but this team."

Peirce had a solid showing in the 100-yard breaststroke taking second place in the event with a time of 1:07.48. Teammates Ashley Blanchette and Hayley Martin placed third and fourth respectively, with times of 1:07.82 and 1:08.00.

Off the boards freshman Michole Timm had one of her best showings, winning the 3-meter with a final score of 302.25. Teammate Megan Harper was second with a score of 299.10; Harper was also second in the 1-meter with a mark of 283.10. Senior Ashlee Erickson continued her dominance in the 1-meter and placed first with a score of 290.10.

"The girls did great today," said diving coach Abel Sanchez. "Our seniors went out on top in the 1-meter board and it was good to see. Gabby has done a great job being a role model and a senior and I think that the way Michole and Megan performed today was a symbolic passing of the torch. We have a lot to look forward to for years to come from those girls."

Following the 1-meter diving, New Mexico State was ahead of the Lobos by two points with only the 200-yard individual medley and 400-yard freestyle relay left.

NMSU's Beth Cate, Tricia Kiss and Katie Hack placed first, second and fourth in the event with UNM's Lindsey Morris and Carlie McGregor finishing third and fifth. State's swimmers increased the lead with one race, the 400-yard freestyle relay, left.

With the sound of the horn, Lobos and Aggies both splashed into the water and provided the home crowd the most exciting race of the day. Senior Tesse Maciejko led the way for teammates Jorgi Hobson, Heidi Zeiger and Marissa Campbell and the relay team grabbed first in convincing fashion. The UNM team of Sarah Weihe, Megan Gugerty, Taylor McGregor and Amber Amr finished third and brought in the last two points that would even the scoreboard.

"We are really excited with the result today," said Tracy Ljone. "The girls really stepped up today and proved that they can compete not only against New Mexico but all of the other good teams in our conference. We're going to keep training the girls hard and we're looking forward to conference."

The Lobos will train and then taper (rest) in the weeks leading up to the Mountain West conference championships that will take place Feb. 22-25 in Oklahoma City, Okla. Check for a preview heading into the conference championship.