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Spahn proud of team as season nears end

The UNM swimming and diving team's season ended this weekend, with only the Mountain West Conference Championships Feb. 14-17 in Oklahoma City, Okla., remaining.

Coach Bill Spahn said the conference championship is the most important meet of the year and the team will take 17 swimmers and two divers to the meet with the hope that some will qualify for the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis, Ind.

"We have some swimmers who have an outside shot of getting in," he said.

Spahn said the two most consistent swimmers this season are juniors Quinn Michie, who swims the 200- and 400-meter individual medleys, and Amanda Carson, who swims the 200- and 100-meter butterfly and the 200-meter individual medley. Michie and Carson have been named Mountain West Athletes of the Week this season for their performances. Spahn said both have a shot at qualifying for the NCAA championships.

Other noteworthy performers are junior Sandra Colburn, who has performed well in the distance events, and freshman diver Tracey Berghian, who may prove to be one of the best divers in the conference, Spahn said.

"I am very happy with our team and how they have done," he said. "The best thing about it is they are great girls to have around."

The team includes four seniors and 11 freshmen, with sophomores and juniors rounding out the other nine spots, and Spahn said that he hopes next year's freshmen class is just as large.

The team improved their record to 5-5 overall, and 1-4 in Mountain West competition by defeating Utah 133-108 Friday.

"We have not beat them in a long time," assistant coach Sarah Julian said. "Bill (Spahn) can't remember the last time we beat Utah."

Carson won both 200-meter fly and the 200-meter individual medley, while Colburn won the 500-meter freestyle event and finished second in the 1000-meter freestyle with her best time ever. Additionally, Berghian won the three-meter diving competition.

Weather prevented the team from traveling to their final regular-season meet in Las Cruces, N.M., Saturday and a make-up date has yet to be announced. The divers head to Colorado Springs, Colo., this weekend for their final competition at the Air Force Diving Invitational.

Spahn said the team now has the confidence it needs to continue to move forward as a program.

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"My goal is that two years from now we are going to be able to be up with the best teams in our conference," he said.

More importantly, the athletes on the team have a 3.3 grade point average and participate in activities outside of school, Spahn said.

"All of them you would be proud to be a parent of," he said.

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