SAN ANTONIO, Texas -
Freshman Maria Harutjunjan became the first Cowgirl freshman to win an event at the Mountain West Championship since Jordan Denny won the 200 backstroke in 2012 on Friday at the 2015 MW Championship in the Palo Alto College Aquatic Center in San Antonio, Texas. Harutjunjan won the 100 breaststroke to help the surging Cowgirls on the third day of the MW Championship.
San Diego State is in the lead after the third day with 493 points. Defending Champion Boise State is in striking distance with 446.50 points with Nevada in third place with 368 points. The Cowgirls stand in fourth-place with 268 team points.
"Every session we seem to be getting better," head coach Tom Johnson said. "I was happy with the way we started tonight and it was great getting to the podium in the first race."
Harutjunjan recorded a career-best time of 1:00.84 in the 100 breaststroke on her way to the win. It was the second-fastest mark in school history and was an NCAA "B" cut time. She won an event at the championship for UW for the first time since Morgan Hartigan won an event in 2013.
"Maria had a great swim and I thought she had a chance to go under a minute and to have a freshman do this is very special," Johnson said.
She also paced the 400 medley relay team to a school record and third place finish. The group of Denny, Harutjunjan, junior Molly Coonce and junior Emily Ridout swam a 3:37.63 in the race, the best time since the 2011 MW Championship.
Also in the 100 breaststroke Ridout recorded a time of 1:02.57 to finish fifth. Coonce finished 14th in the race with a mark of 1:03.52. Coonce had a big day in the 100 butterfly finishing third clocking in at 54.04. Senior Claudia Carlson finished fourth at 54.38. Senior Karen Hendrick also placed finishing 14th at 55.63.
In the 200 backstroke, Denny finished fifth with a mark of 54.85. Sophomore Abby Sullivan swam a career-best 55.47, the fifth fastest time in school history in the event, as she finished 10th. Sophomore Emily Stevens finished 11th with a career-best mark and sixth fastest time in school history of 55.52.
"I was really happy with the effort of our backstrokers and all-in-all it was a good day," Johnson said.
Junior Emma Dow finished sixth in the 400 individual medley with a career-best time of 4:22.64, Her mark is the fourth fastest time in Cowgirl history. Redshirt junior Emily Stucky finished 16th in the 200 freestyle at 1:51.39.
The Cowgirls wrap up the championship tomorrow with the platform dive, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke and 200 butterfly.
Live results, team scores, event highlights and more information for Saturday is available on the MW Women's Swimming & Diving Championship Central page at TheMW.com. In addition, fans can monitor results through the Meet Mobile app on their handheld devices. The Active Network application can be downloaded from the Apple App Store for iPhones and iPads, and from Google Play for Android phones and tablets for nominal fee of 1.99 per month.
The MW Championships features a live webstream of all sessions. The live stream is available on the Mountain West Network. There is no charge for the video streams.