New Mexico State Dominates Dual Against Northern Colorado

New Mexico State dominated in their dual against Northern Colorado this weekend, winning the meet with a 175.5-116.5 decision. UNC’s Carleigh Barrett swept the distance events, caturing the 1000 with a 10:40 and following up with a 500 win in 5:12.

Northern Colorado:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The UNC Bears had a two-meet weekend in New Mexico, facing New Mexico State and New Mexico. The Bears dropped their Thursday meet against New Mexico State 175.5-101.5 and their Saturday meet versus New Mexico 203.5-96.5.

“In total, we had 30 season best performances for the weekend and we pulled out eight first places finishes between the two meets,” head coach Kelly McClanahan. “Despite the final scores, these girls had two of their best meets of the season. They turned a major corner of pushing themselves beyond the point of exhaustion to create a level of success. So long as they can hold on to this level of confidence and tenacity, great things will happen for this team over the next four months. I am nothing but proud of what the girls were able to accomplish this weekend.”

In their meet against New Mexico State on Thursday night, the Bears took first in six of the 16 events, including the 1000 yard freestyle and 1 meter dive.

In the 200 yard medley relay, Valeria Mihhailova, Leilani Herrera, Laura Ramirez, andSydney Kimura took second for UNC to kick off the meet with a time of 1:50.37.

Carleigh Barrett took the first individual event by storm, finishing the 1000 yard freestyle in 10:40.45 – almost five seconds faster than any other competitor. In the 500 yard freestyle, she ended up finishing second with a time of 5:12.57. Barrett would also finish second in the 200 yard butterfly with a time of 2:08.40.

“Carleigh had a tough fight for the win in the 1000 with how fast the NMSU girls came out. Turning around and pulling out a second place in both the 200 fly and 500 free shows how tough she is.”

Mihhailova finished third in the 100 yard backstroke, one of just three swimmers to finish in under a minute (58.81).

Herrera touched the wall in 1:04.85 during the 100 yard breaststroke to take first for the Bears, adding nine points to the overall team scores. In the 200 yard breaststroke, she would tie a New Mexico State swimmer for first place with a time of 2:22.13. In the 200 yard IM, Herrera touched the wall in 2:11.33, the second fastest of the racers, but fastest of non-exhibitionists.

“Leilani is very competitive, which helped push her to the 100 breast win and then the tie for first in the 200 breast.”

The UNC team of Sydney Kovar, Mihhailova, Kimura, and Karlie O’Connell would take first place in the 400 yard Freestyle Relay with a combined time of 3:39.32.

Savanna Meadows dominated the 1 meter, finishing with a score of 266.78, 32 points ahead of the second place diver. This is also the second time this season she has earned a score that would qualify her for the NCAA Zones.

Taylor Walsh finished highest of the Bear divers in the 3 meter, racking up a score of 235.95 for second place.

“Today brought a lot of adversity and challenge to the girls, but they responded fairly well,” diving coach Chelsea Popplewell stated. “Going first and third on the one meter was great and was something we really needed to do. Corrections are being made and good things are starting to happen – I’m really looking forward to seeing how these girls step up in future meets.”

After taking Friday to rest, the UNC squad jumped right back into action, facing New Mexico on Saturday morning. The Bears took first place in both diving events and one race, and finished second in five events.

Barrett finished second in the 1000 yard freestyle, less than half a second after a New Mexico swimmer (10:39.97).

“Carleigh had a battle on both the 1000 and 500 races, but her 1000 time was her current best by almost nine seconds.”

Kovar had similar success in the 200 yard freestyle, touching the wall in 1:57.54 for second place, .19 seconds after the same New Mexico swimmer, Adriana Palomino.

Mihhailova tied for second in the 100 yard backstroke, again one of three swimmers to finish in under a minute (58.85).

In the 100 yard breaststroke, Herrera touched the wall .35 seconds after a New Mexico senior, finishing second for the Bears in 1:05.40. She would come back for a first place finish in the 200 yard breaststroke, however, with a time of 2:21.79.

“Leilani had yet another good meet with a win in the 200 breast. Jenny also dug in today and put up season bests in both of her events.”

In the 3 meter, Meadows and Walsh took first (273.45) and second (248.55) of the divers, respectively. The combined dive score is Meadows’ best on the season so far. She would also take first place in the 1 meter, with a score of 249.45.

“We did some really good things today; the girls were definitely tired but they pushed through and got the meet started on a high note with the first, second, fifth finish on three meter,” Popplewell said. “The consistency and confidence are starting to stick and we did a really good job staying focused and keeping our energy up. Overall, we’re going in the right direction, we just need to keep pushing through.”

The Bears have two weeks off, returning to the Butler-Hancock Swimming Pool on November 13th for a meet against Colorado School of Mines (5:00 p.m.) and the 14th for a WAC meet against Northern Arizona (11:30 a.m.).


Swimming news courtesy of Northern Colorado Swimming & Diving.

New Mexico State:

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The NM State swimming and diving team looked dominant in their 175.5-116.5 win over conference-rival Northern Colorado on Thursday evening. The Aggies were looking for redemption after coming up just nine points short of a win in Greeley, Colo. last season.

“There were many great performances again tonight from our ladies,” said assistant coachRachel Judge. “All of our events have some depth, and we got to play with that a little bit in today’s line up. The attitude of our team right now is definitely taking us in the right direction, and the energy is contagious. The team as a whole is getting healthier, and we are looking forward to getting a few more weeks of training in before we head off to the Houston Invite right before Thanksgiving.”

In the first event of the evening, NM State took first place in the 200-yard medley relay. The team of Cassandra Rupp, Lauren Wood, Georgia Brown and Jannah Sonnenscheincombined for a time of 1:47.64, just ahead of Northern Colorado’s 1:50.37.

In the 1000-yard freestyle, the second event, UNC’s Carliegh Barrett took the top time, coming in at 10:40.45. The Aggies’ Natalie French came in second with a time of 10.45.22.

NM State finished one-two in the 200-yard freestyle. Picabo Bender, the Buckeye, Ariz./Verrado HS native, finished with the top time of 1:55.44. Fellow sophomore Cori Molisee came in right behind her with a time of 1:57.30.

The Aggies also took the top two times in the 100-yard backstroke. Sophomore Georgia Brown came in first with a time of 57.71 and senior Cassandra Rupp finished right behind her with a time of 58.05.

Northern Colorado took the 100-yard breaststroke with Leilani Herrera finishing in 1:04.85. Aggie freshman Lauren Wood finished second with a time of 1:05.26.

Aggie standout Dorottya Lennert took the top time in the 200-yard butterfly. The Budapest, Hungary/CSIK Ferenc HS native came in with a time of 2:03.92.

NM State took the top two spots in the 50-yard freestyle. Picabo Bender came in first with a time of 25.17 with sophomore Jannah Sonnenschein right behind her with a time of 25.20.

Northern Colorado’s Savanna Meadows won the 1-meter diving event, the first of two diving events, with a score of 266.78. Aggie sophomore Abigail Watson finished second with a score of 234.45.

NM State finished the 100-yard freestyle with the top two times. Lennert finished first with a time of 53.44 and Molisee finished second with a time of 54.23.

In the 200-yard backstroke, the Aggies took first, second and third place. Cassandra Ruppcame in first with a time of 2:07.95, sophomore Gabrielle Sanchez came in next at 2:08.88 and senior Kenzie Soper in at 2:12.33.

NM State’s Lauren Wood tied for the top time with UNC’s Leilani Herrera in the 200-yard breaststroke. Both swimmers finished with a time of 2:22.13.

The Aggies’ Picabo Bender won the 500-yard freestyle. The sophomore finished with a time of 5:08.83.

In the 100-yard butterfly, NM state took the top two spots. Lennert came in first with at time of 56.64 and Sonnenschein was next with a time of 58.33.

In the final diving event of the evening, the 3-meter diving event, NM State’s Mackinna Hauff took the top score. The freshman from Edmonton, Canada/Vimy Ridge Academy registered a score of 244.28.

NM State’s Rupp took the top time in the penultimate event, the 200-yard IM. The senior from San Antonio, Texas/Brandeis HS came in with a time of 2:09.98.

In the final event of the meet, the Aggies took the top time in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The team of Bender, Molisee, Barbora Krizanova and Lennert combined for a time of 3:36.55.

NM State is back in action as they travel to Houston, Texas for the Houston Invite on November 19.

Swimming news courtesy of New Mexico State Swimming & Diving.


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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She is now coaching for Loggerhead Aquatics in her hometown …

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