Feb. 6, 2010
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -
In the final dual meet of the season, the Wyoming swimming and diving team swept the Air Force Falcons in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Saturday afternoon and broke one diving school record. With the 183-102 win, the Cowgirls finish in second place in the final Mountain West Conference dual standings, their highest finish ever. The Pokes took down Air Force by a final of 167-133 and clinch third in the final standings.
The Cowgirls finish 2009-10 with a record of 14-1 overall and 7-1 in the league. The Cowboys advance to 7-3 overall and 3-2 with the victory in the final dual of the season.
"It was a great team effort on both sides," said UW head coach Tom Johnson. "The men's meet was a dog fight from the beginning and on the women's side we swam very well and had some dominating performances. Our next step is to win a conference title on both sides."
The Cowboys won a total of 10 events, including one swimmer and one diver winning multiple events. On the diving boards, Mark Murdock led the Pokes today and broke Cowboy great Andy Welsh's one-meter school record with a score 358.95. Murdock not only broke the 25 year-old school record, but he also one the three-meter board with a final total of 350.77.
In the pool, the Cowboys were led by sophomore Brandon Fischer who won both breaststrokes he competed in. Fischer swam the 100 breaststroke in 56.32 and the 200 in 2:06.93 for UW. In a close meet, the Cowboys pulled slightly ahead in the 200 freestyle after Christian Johnson, Brett Henehan and Matt Jones finished first, second and third respectively. The Cowboy freestyle swimmers continued their winning ways with Tommy Gregory placing first in the 50 freestyle with a time of 21.20.Tyler Kybartas swam the 200 butterfly in 1:54.34 and was first while Nathan Fuller won the 200 backstroke with a final time of 1:51.96 and Kendrick Bachman won the 200 IM in 1:53.97. The Cowboys 400 freestyle relay made up of Johnson, Jamie Comrie, Jones and Gregory also finished first.
"I felt like the tide turned when we went one-two-three in the 200 freestyle," Johnson added. "I am pleased with the effort our guys had today. I can not tell you how well Mark (Murdock) dove today by breaking the school record on one-meter. We had some super swims and awesome diving in the final meet of the year. Now we focus on the conference championships."
On the women's side, the Cowgirls 183-102 win came thanks to winning nine events, including four Cowgirls winning multiple events. In the water, senior Cassie Stelow, usually a sprint freestyle swimmer, showed her versatility by winning both the 100 breaststroke (1:05.38) and 100 butterfly (59.25) for Wyoming. Fellow senior Molly Janak won both the 100 and 200 backstrokes in her final dual meet of her career. Also in her final dual meet, senior Shauna Nelson won her first event of the season in the 1000 freestyle with a time of 11:04.84. Three Cowgirl freshman stepped up by winning events as well. Paige Fischer won both the 200 freestyle (1:56.21) and 500 freestyle (5:22.81), T.J. Padova finished first in the 100 freestyle (54.18), and Meghan Swirzcki won her first collegiate event in the 200 breaststroke (2:25.49).
On the diving boards, the Cowgirls dominated by placing one through four on both boards. Senior Stephanie Ortiz led the way by winning both boards today. Ortiz scored a 276.75 on one-meter while Emily Huth, Virginia Marcon and Allie Smith placed consecutively behind her. On three-meter Ortiz won again with a final of 276.85 and Smith, Marcon, and Huth again followed respectively.
"The divers as a whole dominated again like they have so many times this season," Johnson said. "Cassie (Stelow) swam events she isn't used to swimming and also dominated. Shauna Nelson and Molly Janak swam great in their final meets as well. It is great to finish second in the conference, but we have always finished higher at the conference championships then in the regular season standings and we hope to do that again this year."
Wyoming swimming and diving will now train and focus on the all-important MWC Championships held in Oklahoma City, Okla. The first day of action will be February 24 and go through the 27th.