LAS CRUCES, N.M. – New Mexico State swimming and diving head coach Rick Pratt recently announced the 2015-16 schedule with Aggie fans having six chances to watch the team compete at home.
The Aggies, who lose only three student-athletes due to graduation, open the year with the annual Crimson and White meet on Oct. 7 before hosting Wyoming on Oct. 23. The team will then host an Alumni meet on Oct. 24 to celebrate Homecoming.
“This year's schedule provides us with some great competition and in terms of traveling is much more forgiving than last season,” said head coach Rick Pratt. “We are really excited to have our four home meets and the schedule is balanced and gives us many chances to get ready for the WAC (Western Athletic Conference) Championships in February."
The Aggies host home events at the Swimming and Diving Complex on campus, which offers a 50 x 25-meter pool with 10 lanes for competition. The outdoor diving area is also great for meets as it offers two 1-meter and two 3-meter boards. The facility also includes a 6 x 25-meter indoor pool if needed.
"It is great to have Wyoming visit Las Cruces to open things up, they're a strong MWC team with some great athletes,” Pratt said. “Northern Colorado was third in the WAC and NAU won so right there in the fall we're facing some of the top teams in our league.”
NM State heads to the Houston Invite, Nov. 19-21 while the divers participate in the Wildcat Diving Invite, Nov. 20-21 in Tucson, Ariz. The Aggies host Northern Arizona in a dual meet on Dec. 5. The squad takes on Arizona, Oregon State, Grand Canyon and BYU on the road Jan. 8-9 before hosting Idaho in its final home meet of the year.
“Heading back to Houston for the Phil Hanson invite will be a great thing for the swimmers as that will be where the WAC Championships are next year as well,” said Pratt. “That invite will be a three day invite which is the same format as WAC so that will give us that needed experience as well. With a couple Pac 12 teams, two more strong WAC teams along with BYU and of course UNM this is a very strong schedule that will provide us with some great racing and chances to get better.”
The swimming and diving team concludes the season with a meet at UNM on Jan. 30 and a diving meet Feb. 5-6.
The 2015 WAC Championships are set for Feb. 24-27 in San Antonio, Texas.
NM State looks to pick up where it left off after losing only three seniors to graduation (Jessica Legge, Kaitlin Hogan and Kara Schweitzer). Coach Pratt and his staff are bringing in another large incoming freshman class to help the team move closer to the top of the conference with 10 newcomers coming to campus in August. The Aggies finished second at the 2015 WAC Championship with the team leaving Houston, Texas hungry for more.
The Aggies, who broke four school records this past season, will look to the seven returning seniors to guide the team closer to the top spot in the league. Coach Pratt is counting on another strong season from senior Dory Lennert who was named the Swimmer of the Year by the team after she was one of the top scorers at the conference meet and ended the year with three new school records (100 fly, 200 fly and 400 medley).
“This senior class is really special,” Pratt said. “They are very strong leaders who have bought into what we've been doing and have sacrificed much through their careers. It's a terrific group of student-athletes and it's bitter sweet that this is their last year.”
“This senior class is a very motivated group, which is going to soak in as much as they can before their career ends,” Pratt mentioned. “Despite having another large freshman class coming in, we're going to have some of the best leadership that we have had, maybe ever, and that is really exciting.”
Go online to www.NMStateSports.com for updates, rosters and schedules for the NM State swimming and diving team. Follow the swimming and diving team on Facebook by searching NM State Swimming & Diving and on Twitter @NMStateSwimDive.
2015-16 NM State Swimming & Diving Schedule
DATE – Opponent (Location)
Oct. 7, 2015 – Crimson & White (Las Cruces, N.M.)
Oct. 23, 2015 – Wyoming (Las Cruces, N.M.)
Oct. 24, 2015 – Alumni Meet (Las Cruces, N.M.) – Homecoming weekend
Oct. 29, 2015 – Northern Colorado (Las Cruces, N.M.)
Nov. 19-21 – Houston Invite (Houston Texas)
Nov. 20-22 – Wildcat Diving Invite (Tucson, Ariz.)
Dec. 5, 2015 – Northern Arizona (Las Cruces N.M.)
Jan. 8, 2016 – Arizona/Oregon State (Tucson, Ariz.)
Jan. 9, 2016 – Grand Canyon/BYU (Phoenix)
Jan. 12, 2016 – Idaho (Las Cruces, N.M.)
Jan. 30, 2016 – New Mexico (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Feb. 5-6, 2016 – Air Force Invite [Divers] (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Feb. 24-27, 2016 – WAC Championships (Houston, Texas)
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