Utah Swims Past Wyoming In MWC Dual Action

Jan. 22, 2004

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Laramie, Wyo. -- Both the University of Wyomingwomen's and men's swimming and diving teams lost to Utah, in MountainWest Conference dual action, Thursday night at Corbett Pool. The Utahwomen knocked off the Cowgirls 135-102 while the Utah men beat the Cowboys150-93.

The Cowgirls (2-6, 1-3 MWC), swam to event victories in five of 13 events,including the 400 freestyle relay. In that event, Katie Haywood, KatieBigger, Heidi Thorson and Tamara Lehnertz swam a first place time of3:34.91. Lehnertz also led the Cowgirls in the 100 freestyle. She won theevent with a time of 53.69. Alex Leziy Miller came away with a first placefinish in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:24.74.

Two Cowgirl divers qualified for the 2004 NCAA Zone "E" DivingChampionships en route to winning both boards of diving. Saara Haapanenturned in qualifying marks on both the 1 and 3-meter boards. Tonight washer first qualification in the 1-meter and her second in the 3-meter. Shewon the 1-meter, with a lifetime best score of 269.73 and placed second onthe 3-meter board with a score of 272.63. Shea Boyle qualified on the3-meter board by winning the event with a score of 281.55, a lifetime best.

"We are pleased that we are closing the gap on one of the top women'steams in the MWC," said UW swimming and diving coach Tom Johnson. "Iwant to give a lot of credit to Shea and Saara for qualifying for theNCAA's. I also thought that Tamara battled like a star tonight, she hasdone some great things for us this year. "

The Cowboys (4-4, 0-2 MWC), won three of 13 events on the night. Thefirst two Cowboy wins came from Gene Birks in the 200 and 100 freestyleevents. His time of 1:42.47 won the 200 and a 46.61 was good for the winin the 100. Scott Usher came away with the final Cowboy event victory withhis win in the 200 breaststroke. His time of 2:03.10 was more than sixseconds faster than the second place finisher.

"I am pleased with the way our guys battled," added Johnson. "Wehave to continue to get better and keep our focus on the conferencechampionships. I know it is hard for the kids to lose these meets but wehave to focus on whats important. We are always there come conference timeand we will be this year too."

The swimming and diving team will return to the pool this Saturday as theyhost the BYU Cougars. The meet is scheduled to begin at noon at CorbettPool.