Women Eigth and Men Sixth at Conference Swimming Meet

Scott Kretzmann
ASC Sports
Information Director

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Behind a trio of individual top eight finishes from sophomore Jennells Higgs (Socorro, N.M.) and Jessica Palacio (Albuquerque, N.M.), as well as freshman April Cunningham (Leander, Texas), the Grizzly women scored 66 points on the closing day of the 2012 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Swimming & Diving Championships to claim an eight place finish.
Adams State’s women’s squad and concluded the 4-day meet with 186 points,
The Grizzly men scored 137 points during the meet.
Saturday’s morning session saw Higgs, Palacio and Cunningham each earn a spot in the evening’s ‘A’ final of their respective event, which requires that a swimmer post one of the top eight times in the prelims.
Palacio advanced to her final with an eight place finish in the morning in the 200 yard backstroke. Her eight place finish in the final was good for 11 team points.
Cunningham also qualified in eighth for the 200 yard breaststroke final, where she would finish in the same position for another 11 team points for the Grizzlies.
Higgs, who advanced to the ‘A’ final of the 200 yard butterfly in the morning, improved upon her prelim placing of sixth with a fourth place finish in a time of 2:09.20. She was joined in the final by freshman Jordan Shomaker (Littleton, Colo.), who advanced to the ‘B’ final, finishing 15th in 2:19.59 for two points.
Freshman Michelle Hutchins (Houston, Texas) gave ASC its final individual points of the meet, as she placed 14th while competing in the 1,650 yard freestyle for the first time this season with a time of 18:56.65.
The Grizzly then saw two quartets bring in team points in the meet’s concluding event, the 400 yard freestyle relay.
Freshman Maggie Morris (Colorado Springs, Colo.) led off a group that included Palacio, Cunningham and Higgs, blazing the way to an eight place showing and 22 more points with a time of 3:44.15. The all-freshman squad of Sasha Vigil (Albuquerque, N.M.), Samantha Green (Brighton, Colo.), Hutchins and Joy Massey (Colorado Springs, Colo.) finished in 16th with a time of 3:52.36.
Three Grizzly men accumulated points in individual events Saturday, including Nick Mankus (Keller, Texas), Clinton Dierking (Westminster, Colo.) and Benjamin Laxson (Wheat Ridge, Colo.).
Laxson was the first to add to the Grizzlies’ team total, scoring six points in the 200 breast. After qualifying for the ‘B’ final in 10th, his finals time of 2:12.68 was good for 11th.
Mankus and Dierking each scored in the 200 fly. Manksu earned a spot in ‘A’ final where he finished seventh for 12 points. Dierking, advanced to the final in 14th position and finished the same to rake in three more team points.
Adams State’s men concluded their meet with a sixth place finish in the 400 free relay. Mankus led teammates Avery Saxton (Windsor, Colo.), Laxson and Kenan Bussen (Clovis, New Mexico), and the squad touched the wall in a 3:16.44, an eight second improvement over their best of the season.

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