Wyoming Swimming and Diving Sweeps Air Force While Divers Excel at Air Force Diving Invite

Feb. 5, 2005

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The University of Wyoming swimming and diving team swept Air Force in their final dual of the season while the divers finished the Air Force Invite with 12 top-three finishes, Saturday afternoon in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The Cowgirls won their second consecutive Mountain West Conference dual as they defeated Air Force 141-97. They close out the season with an overall dual record of 5-4 and a MWC mark of 4-3. The Cowboys beat the Falcons by a score of 139-102 to finish with an overall record of 5-3 and a MWC record of 2-2.

The Cowgirls won 10 of 13 events on the day including both the 400 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay. In the 400 medley relay, freshmen Rachel Leyes and Lindsey Russenberger and sophomores Heidi Thorson and Katie Bigger swam to a first place time of 4:01.17. The 400 freestyle relay team swam to a top time of 3:38.54 but swam it as an exhibition and received no team points. Thorson, Bigger sophomore Tamara Lehnertz and freshman Angela DeWolf swam the event for the Cowgirls.

Individually, six different Cowgirls won swimming events on the day.Thorson won the 50 freestyle (24.65), sophomore Lauren Beard placed first in the 200 IM (2:12.80), sophomore Lindsay Taylor claimed the 200 butterfly (2:13.51), Lehnertz won the 100 freestyle (53.84), Leyes was victorious in the 200 backstroke (2:13.67) and junior Alex Leziy-Miller swam the top time in the 200 breaststroke (2:25.28) but did so as an exhibition.

Freshman Brittany Wainwright won both boards of diving including today's 1-meter competition (259.45). She also won the 3-meter with her score from yesterday at the Air Force Diving Invite.

The Cowboys won nine of 13 events on the day including the 400 medley relay. In that relay, freshman Carl Marais, senior Scott Usher, sophomore Ron Fogel and senior Grant Kritzinger swam to a first place time of 3:27.33.

Individually, the Cowboys were led by Marais and junior Gene Birks who each won a pair of events. Marais won both the 200 freestyle(1:40.49) and the 200 backstroke (1:55.98) while Birks won the 50 freestyle (21.17) and the 100 freestyle (46.47). Other first place finishes came from Fogel in the 200 butterfly (1:53.56) and Usher in the 200 breaststroke (2:09.56).

The Cowboys swept both boards of diving as sophomore Kevin Bretting won today's 1-meter competition (278.80) and senior Adam Miller's score from yesterday won him the 3-meter competition.

"We did a great job of taking care of business today," said UW head coach Tom Johnson. "Our divers were awesome as usual and did a great job all weekend long. From here on out we have to get ready for conference and close out strong."

The divers, who dove in the Air Force Diving Invite all weekend, competed in the 1-meter and platform events today. For the Cowgirls, Wainwright finished third in the 1-meter with a score of 259.45.Sophomore Saara Haapanen placed sixth (234.20) and freshman Ginni van Katwijk finished eighth (229.70). Haapanen finished third in the platform (327.55), van Katwijk finished fifth (307.50) and Wainwright finished seventh (300.20). The Cowboys swept both boards as Bretting won the 1-meter (278.80), sophomore John Lynch finished second(270.10) and Miller finished third (264.65). On the platform Lynch placed first (424.90), Bretting placed second (397.00) and Miller finished third (352.35).

The swimming and diving team will now have two full weeks to prepare for the 2005 MWC Swimming and Diving Championships. The championships will run from Feb. 23-26 and will be held on the Oklahoma City Community College campus in Oklahoma City, Okla.