The University of New Mexico women’s swimming and diving team is back after missing the entire 2020-21 season due to COVID-19 concerns. After missing a whole season, the team has changed in some profound ways, losing top swimmers but also bringing in a good mix of new recruits.

The 2019-20 UNM swimming and diving team finished eighth in the Mountain West Conference Championship, winning three silver medals and one bronze. One of the major departures from the 2019-20 team is Hedda Øritsland, who was the top swimmer for UNM in 4 of the 15 individual swim events at the conference.

Returning is team captain Raine Gavino, a breaststroker who’s importance will have grown with the new team. Newcomers include Katy McCarter, a freestyle swimmer who was rated the third-best in Alaska by SwimCloud, and Laura Benkova, a transfer from East Carolina University who has competed for her native Slovakia in the past.

Matthew Salcido is the sports editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at sports or on Twitter @baggyeyedguy