Northern Arizona Tops Idaho in WAC Showdown

The defending WAC Champion Lumberjacks took to the road and delivered a 185-115 defeat to the Idaho Vandals, taking 11 of 16 events and picking up their first dual meet win of the season. Northern Arizona’s victory charge was led by a pair of double event winners and a solid sweep of the diving events against their WAC conference rivals.

The Vandals started the meet off with a win in the 200 Medley Relay from the Idaho A team (1:45.88). Northern Arizona’s A team touched second in 1:47.35.

Lumberjack junior Kendall Brown got Northern Arizona’s first event win in the 1000 Free (10:20.04), finishing ahead of Idaho’s Christine Renzini (10:24.76). Northern Arizona’s Eva-Lotta Pold was third with a 10:31.22).

Idaho responded, as Vandal senior and 2014 WAC Swimmer of the Year Rachel Millet won the 200 Free (1:51.94). Millet finished ahead of a Northern Arizona 2-3-4 charge that matched Millet’s first-place point score. Freshman Lumberjack Claire Hammond took second (1:53.94) ahead of teammates Caitlin Wright (1:56.07) and Kimmy Richter (1:56.98).

Lumberjack sophomore Jori Lindquist pulled a narrow victory in the 100 Back (58.05) over Millet in her second swim in a row (58.53). Her Vandal teammate Victoria Papke was third in 59.16.

Vandal senior Erica Anderson took the 100 Breast in 1:05.07, and Lumberjack freshman Melanie Harris followed up for second(1:05.98) ahead of Idaho freshman Cara Jernigan (1:06.08).

The momentum changed at this point in the meet, as the Lumberjack women went on a four-event winning streak.

Northern Arizona’s Alina Staffeldt took the 200 Fly for the Lumberjacks (2:01.02) ahead of Idaho’s Jamie Sterbis (2:02.52). Staffeldt and Sterbis were almost seven seconds ahead of the rest of the field, with Northern Arizona’s Kendall Brown finishing third in 2:09.13.

Staffeldt went on to pick up her second event win of the meet in the 100 Free (52.59) ahead of the Idaho 2-3 finish by Sami Hendricks (53.20) and Kirah Monks (53.64).

Another Northern Arizona double event winner was senior Alexis Juergens, whose first win was in the 50 Free (24.22). She was just two one-hundredths of a second ahead of Idaho’s Sami Hendricks (24.24), who finished nine one-hundredths of a second ahead of third-place Lumberjack Roni Houck (24.33).

Juergens went on to take home the win in the 100 Fly (55.93) ahead of teammate and 200 Fly/100 Free winner Staffeldt (56.07), for a 1-2 Lumberjack finish. Idaho’s Jamie Sterbis was third in 56.20.

Northern Arizona completed a 1-2-3 sweep in both the 1-meter and 3-meter platform events, led by junior Chelsea Jackson in the 1-meter (300.30) and sophomore Alex Geiger in the 3-meter (267.07).

Idaho’s Millet took her second event win in the 200 Back (2:03.61) ahead of a 2-3 Lumberjack finish by 100 Back winner Jori Lindquist (2:05.63) and freshman Sara Lenhoff (2:08.82).

Lumberjack freshman Melanie Harris brought home a win in the 200 Breast (2:20.84) ahead of Idaho’s Erica Anderson (2:22.51). Northern Arizona’s Urte Kazakeviciute followed up for third in 2:24.30.

Senior Caitlin Wright took first for the Lumberjacks in the 500 Free (5:03.69) ahead of teammate Kimmy Richter (5:05.70) for a 1-2 sweep. Idaho’s Christine Renzini was third in 5:07.85, just .15 seconds behind second-place Richter.

Lumberjacks Monica Pruett (2:09.51) and Kendall Brown (2:11.13) took first and second for another Northern Arizona sweep in the 200 IM. Idaho’s Victoria Papke was third in 2:12.08.

The Vandals pulled off a win in the final event of the meet, with the Idaho A team taking first in the 400 Free Relay with a 3:33.96.

“It was a big win for us and we had great team energy and team effort,” Northern Arizona Head Coach Andy Johns said in a statement to NAU Athletics. “To come to the Vandals’ home pool and win 11 events is huge.”

Click here for full meet results.

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