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Thursday, March 23, 2023

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SDSU Women's Swimming and Diving (SDSU) SDSU Women's Swimming and Diving (SDSU)

Aztec: Swim and Dive Team Set for MW Championships

The San Diego State swim and dive team looks to defend its conference title this week when it heads to the Lone Star State for the 2023 Mountain West Championships
By GoAztecs

The San Diego State swim and dive team looks to defend its conference title this week when it heads to the Lone Star State for the 2023 Mountain West Championships, set for Feb. 15-18 in Houston, Texas.


The four-day meet gets underway on Wednesday at the CRWC Natatorium on the University of Houston campus and will be streamed live via the MW Network with links available on


SDSU will battle seven other conference foes that sponsor women's swimming and diving, including Air Force, Colorado State, Fresno State, Nevada, San José State, UNLV and Wyoming.


The Aztecs have won six MW Championships in program history (2011, 2013, 2015, 2019, 2020, 2022), capturing the title last season with a league-record 1,541.50 points.


In all, SDSU will have 13 competitors entered in this week's meet that combined for 32 all-Mountain West honors last year, including Lizzie Menzmer (50 freestyle) and Kristina Murphy (200 IM), who took home individual titles in their respective swim races at the 2022 league championships.


In addition, the Aztecs will be seeking to defend conference crowns in four different relay events (200 freestyle, 400 freestyle, 800 freestyle and 200 medley).


Not to be outdone, San Diego State has another ace up its proverbial sleeve in Ximena Lechuga Gonzalez, who was named MW Diver of the Meet at last season's league championships after winning the 3-meter springboard to go with a pair of top-five placements in the platform (2nd) and 1-meter competitions (4th).


Meanwhile, Meredith Smithbaker garnered MW Freshman of the Meet accolades in 2022 after anchoring both the Aztecs' triumphant 200 freestyle relay and 800 freestyle relay teams while logging a pair of all-conference performances in the 100 freestyle (4th) and 100 breaststroke (5th).


Lechuga Gonzalez has claimed six event titles during the 2022-23 campaign (three apiece in the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard), collecting five Mountain West Diver of the Week awards in the process. With her honors, the SDSU senior has received conference weekly recognition on 12 occasions during her illustrious career.


Continuing their success of the last decade, the Aztecs have once again completed a dual-meet schedule without a blemish on their record, posting a 14-0 mark during the 2022-23 campaign. SDSU raised their record to 109-2 since January 2013 and extended their dual-meet winning streak to 50 straight dating back to January 2018.


For the season, the Aztecs have recorded 16 of the top-10 fastest times in program history, including Alex Roberts, who claimed event titles at the highly competitive SMU Invitational (Nov. 17-19) in the 200 backstroke (1:54.91) and 100 backstroke (52.90), both of which rank second on the school's all-time charts. Not surprisingly, Roberts received MW Swimmer of the Week recognition for her accomplishments on Nov. 22.


In addition, Murphy posted a pair of top-10 SDSU swims at the same meet in the 200 breaststroke (No. 3, 2:11.07) and 400 individual medley (No. 4, 4:13.24), while Wilma Johansson logged the third-fastest time in program history in the 200 butterfly (1:59.13).


Elsewhere, Mai McKenna set three Aztec Aquaplex pool records in SDSU's dual-meet victory over USD at home on Dec. 19, emerging triumphant with career-fast times in the 100 backstroke (53.92), 200 backstroke (1:58.32) and 200 individual medley (2:00.30). The Aztec sophomore also established a pool standard in the 50 backstroke after leading off the Aztecs' "C" 200 medley relay team with a split of 25.30 to mark another personal best. Predictably, McKenna merited Mountain West Swimmer of the Week distinction for those performances.


Collectively, the Aztecs took home the team trophy at the aforementioned SMU Invite last fall in Dallas, Texas. Bolstered by 18 top-three placements, including four event titles, SDSU compiled 907 points, easily outdistancing second-place Hawai'i (713 pts), while Miami (FL) (677 pts) finished third, followed by host SMU (666 pts).


With that tournament championship, the Aztecs have recorded four first-place team performances in 13 regular-season invitational meets since the start of the 2017-18 campaign and have not finished outside the top three during that span, notching an additional seven second-place efforts and a pair of third-place results.


Following this week's Mountain West meet, San Diego State will begin preparations for the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships, set for March 6-8 in Federal Way, Washington.


The NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships are also scheduled for next month, March 15-18, in Knoxville, Tennessee.