Hayley Edmond emerged victorious at the NAU Pentathlon with a win in the 100 back at 1:07.73. She sealed her win with multiple top 5 finishes. Also placing in the top 3 were Kendall Brown and Audrey Mann.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Making her NAU debut, junior Hayley Edmond stole the show on Friday, claiming first place honors in the 20th annual Northern Arizona swimming Pentathlon. Edmond won the 100 backstroke and also placed in the top five of the 200 individual medley, 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle on her way to winning the individual crown with a total of 3,730 points. Senior Kendall Brown, last year’s Pentathlon champion, and sophomore Audrey Mann rounded out the top three point scorers in the Lumberjacks’ first meet of the season.
“We have some talented newcomers and that’s evident with Hayley being the overall winner,” said head coach Andy Johns. “Our top returners in their specialty events like Alina (Staffeldt) in the fly and Urte (Kazakeviciute) were so close to breaking the Pentathlon records. All in all, it’s an event where we learn a lot. We learn a lot about them as swimmers and they learn a lot about themselves. Today is a good place to move forward from.”
Brown, who finished with 3,540 points, started the day strong by winning the meet’s first event. With a time of 2:25.91, Brown not only claimed first in the opening heat, but her time held as the fastest through the five heats. Edmond placed second overall to Brown with a time of 2:26.65, while Mann opened with a third-place time of 2:30.09. The overall trio each won their respective heats, while sophomore Kimmy Richter and junior Jori Lindquist claimed first in the remaining two heats.
Brown followed by winning her 100 fly heat in the second event, but the highlight of the butterfly was sophomore Alina Staffeldt. Staffeldt placed first overall in the event with a blistering time of 1:03.67, narrowly missing the meet record of 1:03.48. Staffeldt outraced Richter in their heat, but Richter’s second heat time of 1:05.16 was more than good enough for overall runner-up in the event. Brown’s heat winning time of 1:07.47 was third overall. Edmond and seniors Cassie Ronai and Brooke Brittain were the other heat winners.
Edmond posted her lone event win of the day in the 100 back with a time of 1:07.53 which was nearly two full seconds faster than Brittain’s second-place time of 1:09.51. Brittain won her heat, as did sophomore Claire Hammond who finished third overall with a time of 1:09.99. Brown won her third heat in as many events, while redshirt sophomore Caitlin Baker placed first in her heat.
As Staffeldt did in the 100 fly, junior Urte Kazakeviciute just missed the 100 breast Pentathlon record by mere tenths of a second. Kazakeviciute won the third of five heats with a time of 1:14.69, just off the record of 1:14.33. Sophomore Melanie Harris won the first heat and finished behind Kazakeviciute in the overall standings with a time of 1:15.36 while Mann notched her second top three overall finish of the meet with a time of 1:18.17. Senior Trinity Frazee and sophomores Roni Houck and Allison Mann won their respective breaststroke heats.
Richter proved to be victorious in the day’s final event, the 100 free, in a photo finish fourth heat. Richter out touched Staffeldt at the wall in the same heat, with Richter posting a winning time of 1:00.48 edging out Staffeldt’s time of 1:00.91. Behind Staffeldt was Houck, who won her heat with a third-place overall time of 1:01.35. Brown, winning her fourth heat in five events, and the Mann twins – Audrey and Allison – claimed first in the other three heats.
Despite Brown’s dominance in her heats, Edmond dethroned her from her title with a second-place finish in the 200 IM, fourth-place finish in the 100 fly, fifth-place finish in the 100 free and seventh-place finish in the 100 breast to accompany her 100 back win.
“It was nice to get some racing and some experience in this pool,” Edmond said. “I’m looking to improve the next time though, looking to get some faster times. I’ve swam a couple of meets before with short (recovery) times and you just have to be on to your preparation and warm down. My backstroke felt the best, but there’s a lot to work on in the other strokes.”
Audrey Mann jumped up the overall leaderboard from last year in her second Pentathlon, placing third with 3,300 points. Richter, behind her 100 free victory, was fourth with 3,240 points and Harris rounded the top five with 3,210 points.
“Hayley really impressed me, but this event is made for someone like Kendall,” Johns said. “She’s been a champion in the past and she was solid today. Audrey Mann finishing third was big because she’s had a great summer. All of the swimmers gave great efforts and we’re looking forward to (Blue vs. Gold) in two weeks.”
The NAU swimmers will be joined by their diving teammates in the team’s annual Blue vs. Gold meet on Oct. 9. The meet will once again be free for all fans to attend and will be held in the Wall Aquatic Center at 2 p.m.
Swimming news courtesy of NAU Swimming & Diving.