Women’s WACs Day 4: Northern Arizona Holds Slim Lead with Diving Still to Go

2021 Western Athletic Conference Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships

Team Scores (Through All Swimming Events)

  1. Northern Arizona University – 572.5
  2. New Mexico State University – 564
  3. Northern Colorado, University – 497.5
  4. Grand Canyon University – 444
  5. California Baptist University – 367
  6. Idaho, University of – 335
  7. Dixie State University – 250
  8. Seattle University – 165

Saturday marked the conclusion of the swimming events at the 2021 Women’s WAC Championships, but not the end of the meet. The diving portion of the championships will begin on this coming Thursday, and they will be pivotal in determining which team wins the WAC crown this year. Northern Arizona has held a very tight lead throughout the meet, and will continue to do so as we enter the diving phase of the meet. However, with New Mexico State sitting just 8.5 points behind, the performance of each team’s divers will ultimately deliver the title to one of them. Northern Arizona significantly out-scored New Mexico State in diving last year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have it in the bag just yet.

NAU seniors came up big in their final WAC Champs, as seniors Hope Williams and Maddie Seidl each won a title. Williams made it a sweep of the breaststroke events, taking over the final of the 200 breast to finish in 2:14.96, well over a second ahead of the field. She got out to a roaring start, splitting 29.55 and 33.57 each of the first two laps, for a 1:03.12 on the front 100.

Seidl also posted a decisive victory, taking the 200 fly with a 2:01.63, touching as the only swimmer in the field under 2:03. Also using a speed advantage on the first half of the race, getting out to a 56.53 split on the first 100 (26.42/30.11). There was a tie for 2nd in the race, between Northern Colorado freshman Payten Irwin and Northern Arizona freshman Maddy Rey, both of whom touched in 2:03.05.

Northern Arizona had another freshman win a title on Day 4, as Francesca Criscione finished well ahead of the field in the 1650. Criscione clocked a 16:55.94, swimming a very consistent race, with all of her 50 splits outside of the first and last 50 staying 30.71 and 31.17, a range of only .46 seconds.

New Mexico State’s Maude Boily-Dufour made it a sweep of the backstroke events, racing to a 1:57.65 for victory in the 200 back. Like Williams and Seidl, Boily-Dufour used a front half that was significantly faster than the rest of the field to get out to an early lead, and she held that lead though the finish. Boily-Dufour was out in 26.77 and 28.74 for a 55.81 on the first 100. Also of note in the 200 back, Northern Colorado’s AJ Popp won the B final with a 2:01.30, which would have earned her a 4th-place finish in the A final.

Northern Colorado’s Madelyn Moore posted the fastest split in the field on both 50s of the 100 free to win the race with a 49.35. Moore was out in 23.68 and back in 25.67. Moore also anchored the UNC 400 free relay, which won in a final time of 3:22.47. Moore threw down a speedy 48.49, which was the only split in the field under :50, and was enough to chase down and pass New Mexico State anchor Neza Kocijan (50.00) and GCU anchor Claire Banic (50.12). NMSU came in 2nd in 3:22.80, while GCU was 3rd with a 3:23.06. Alison Jackson led Northern Colorado off in 51.49, Saana Liikonen was 2nd with a 50.32, and Petra Kis swam 3rd (52.17).

 

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Eaglethorpe, destroyer of worlds
3 months ago

Seattle U is consistently bottom of the pack even though they’re the only swim school in the northwest. Really makes you question who’s in charge there.

Coach
Reply to  Eaglethorpe, destroyer of worlds
3 months ago

Very expensive private school, with a terrible facility. Not sure about funding, but wouldn’t be surprised if that was lacking as well. Do they even have diving?

Sometimes there are really valid reasons schools have a tough time competing. Seattle is very different than they other schools in the WAC.

Obviously the decision was not swimming focused, but that’s a school that should have stayed D2.