Niamh McDonagh Has Four-Peated as NAU Pentathlon Champion

2020 Northern Arizona University Pentathlon

  • October 9th, 2020
  • Northern Arizona University, AZ
  • Short Course Meters (SCM)
  • Results

Northern Arizona University senior Niamh McDonagh won the annual NAU Pentathlon for the fourth time in four years. 

At the pentathlon the NAU women competed in all 100’s of stroke and the 200IM. McDonagh captured 1st place in the 200IM (2:24.00) and 100 breast (1:15.44). Her final score of 3,690 points was driven by those victories and her other 3 races:

  • 100 fly – 1:07.96 for a tie for 6th place with senior Elisa Rodriguez
  • 100 back – 1:10.69 for 6th place
  • 100 free – 1:03.62 for 11th place

At last season’s WAC Championships McDonagh claimed 5th in the 200 yard IM (2:03.83), 2nd in the 400 yard IM (4:19.56) and 4th in the 200 yard fly (2:01.79). Going into her final season McDonagh is defending her 400 yard IM NAU record that she set in 2019 at 4:17.12.

The freshmen made stellar debut performances at the pentathlon as well. Futures-level IM and backstroke specialist Abigail Tashlein snagged 2nd place in the 200IM (2:28.27) and 4th in the 100 back (1:09.40). Tashlein’s best 200 yard IM time (2:07.14) would have placed 18th at last year’s WAC Championships. She would have been the 3rd fastest NAU swimmer behind senior Maddie Seidl and sophomore Hayley Mayhew.

In the 100 back, freshmen claimed all of the top five spots. Winter Juniors qualifier Sophie Velitchkov claimed 1st (1:04.84) with a significant lead. After her it was a tight race between Annie Carlton (1:07.73), Emma Hart (1:08.61), Tashlein, and Iliana Moore (1:10.29) for 2nd through 5th place respectively. Carlton holds Futures qualifying times in the 100 and 200 back, along with the 100 and 500 free.

Rodriguez ended the pentathlon with a win in the short course meters version of one of her NAU record-holding events, the 100 free (57.62). She is the two-time defending WAC Champion in both the 100 and 50 yard free. Rodriguez currently holds 4 school records including the 50 yard free (22.63), 100 yard free (48.90), 400 yard freestyle relay, and 200 yard medley relay. This will be her last season to edge out Alina Staffeldt’s NAU 100 yard fly record (53.83) from 2016 as Rodriguez is trailing behind her by less than 0.40 seconds. 

Last season, the NAU Lumberjacks won their 7th WAC Championship title in a row under head coach Andy Johns. The team finished 98 points ahead of Cal Baptist University.

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