New Mexico Swimming and Diving Picked to Finish Sixth in Mountain West

Sept. 19, 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The University of New Mexico swimming and diving team was tabbed to finish sixth in the Mountain West for the 2012-2013 season after receiving 26 votes.

The voting panel--comprised of the nine swimming and diving head coaches from the conference--picked San Diego State to finish first and to edge out defending MW Champion Boise State by one point. The Aztecs received four first place points and 60 points overall, while the Broncos garnered five place points and 59 points overall.

UNLV and Wyoming picked to finish third and fourth, are also separated by one point with the Rebels receiving 48 votes to the Cowgirls' 47. Colorado State came in fifth with 34, followed by New Mexico with (26), Fresno State (22), Nevada (17) and Air Force (11).

"This is our rebuilding year and this is good start to have for our new era," said first year Head Coach Kunio Kono. "We are definitely building our foundation of success for UNM Swimming and Diving. The team is looking forward to have a great year and they are excited for the future. I believe this team is the strongest I've been with in the last few years."

The Lobos are coming off of one of their more successful seasons and finishes at the conference championships. The 2011-2012 campaign saw UNM with a 7-5-1 record and a sixth place finish at the MW conference championships. The finish was the best for New Mexico since 2004 when they finished fifth.

New Mexico is returning 26 letterwinners, including four All-Conference selections, from last year. The Lobos are also beginning a new era with Kunio Kono taking over as Head Coach on June 26.

The native of Osaka, Japan, comes to the Land of Enchantment after spending the last nine years with UNLV. During his time with the Rebels he coached 16 swimmers to 46 All-America citations.

New Mexico has only had six All-Americans since 1972. The most recent came last year when diver Ashlee Erickson earned All-American status after finishing 16th in the 1-meter dive at the 2012 NCAA Championships.

UNM kicks off its season on Oct. 5 when it travels to Colorado Springs, Colo., to take on the Falcons at 5:00 p.m. MT.