Cowgirl Swimming And Diving Falls In Heartbreaker To BYU

Jan. 24, 2004

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Laramie, Wyo. -- In one of the fastest meets inCorbett Pool history, the University of Wyoming fell to BYU on both themen's and women's side of a MWC dual. The BYU men beat Wyoming 149-90while the BYU women edged the Cowgirls 125-118.

A total of five Corbett Pool records were broken on the day, four by theBYU cougars and one by the Cowboys. Wyoming All-American Scott Usher set anew mark in the 100 breaststroke, breaking his own record from a year ago.

The first Cougar record came in the 200 medley relay where Mark Chay,Nicholas Tobler, Kenny Carpenter and James Bekker swam a time of 1:32.12 tobreak Wyoming's record of 1:33.00 set last season. Diogo de OliveriaYabe set a new pool record in the 100 butterfly with his time of 49.87which was previously held by BYU's Rod Strate and was set in 1984. NikkiXanthos broke the only women's record that fell on the day. Her time of1:05.04 in the 100 breaststroke breaks UNLV's Shayna Burns record from ayear ago. The BYU men also set a new Pool record in the 200 freestylerelay when Chay, Bekker, Yabe and Ryan Mullen swam a time of 1:22.49breaking BYU's mark set in 2002.

On the women's side of the dual, The Cowgirls (2-7, 1-4 MWC), wereedged by BYU in the final event of the day. BYU entered the 200 freestylerelay with a two-point lead and Nichole Tolley, Sarah Woodbury, HannahPalmer and Brittany Davis swam a 1:37.36 to edge Wyoming and give BYU thewin.

The Cowgirls won seven of 13 events on the day, five of which coming fromfreshman. Freshman Saara Haapanen started the meet with a bang by winningboth diving events. She finished with a scores of 255.38 on the 1-meterand 267.00 on the 3-meter. Junior Kristin Lewis also was a two-eventwinner, winning both the 500 and 1000 freestyle. She swam to a time of5:20.56 in the 500 and 10:56.28 in the 1000. Freshmen Lauren Beard, HeidiThorson and Tamara went on a three event tear winning the 400 IM, 100butterfly and 100 freestyle consecutively. Beard started things offwinning the 400 IM in a time of 4:43.91, Thorson then swam a 1:00.00 100butterfly and finally Lehnertz swam a 53.51 in the 100 freestyle.

"I am very proud of the way our women battled today," said UW headcoach Tom Johnson. "I feel bad for our girls because they gave so muchbut couldn't get the win. In hindsight, there were a lot of differentplaces we could have won the meet and the girls need to see that and beproud of their effort. I feel like we let one get away from us, hopefullywe can get them at conference."

The Cowboys, (4-5, 0-3 MWC) won just one event on the day, Scott Usher'srecord-breaking 100 breaststroke.

"We knew our guys were going to have a hard time against a very talentedand very deep team," added Johnson. "Scott's pool record is a greatswim, I thought he raced very smart. I also thought Gene Birks gave agreat effort today in both the 50 free and 100 fly."

The Cowgirls will return to action next Friday night as Colorado Statetravels to Laramie. The men won't be back in action until Saturday whenboth teams will host Air Force. Friday's action is set to begin at 5p.m. and Saturday will get underway afternoon with both meets being held atCorbett Pool.