COLLEGE STATION, Texas -
Led by three podium appearances during the final evening, the University of Wyoming Cowgirl swimming and diving team finished fourth overall as the Mountain West Championships concluded Saturday at the Texas A&M Natatorium. UW earned 457 points over the four-day meet, in addition to being the tenth-straight season UW has finished within the top-four at the championships.
In the first event of the evening, Kelly Sheldon took fourth in the 200 back finals for the Cowgirls. She recorded a time of 1:57.28 in the final, after swimming a 1:58.01 in the prelims. Sheldon finished 22nd in the 200 back at the championships a year ago as a freshman. Emily Stevens and Abby Sullivan each competed in the consolation final for UW. Sullivan (1:58.50) took 12th overall, while Stevens claimed 15th (2:00.52). Marcela Gramcko finished fourth in the 200 back bonus final for the Cowgirls with a time of 2:00.96.
“Kelly (Sheldon) had a great meet for us,” UW head coach Tom Johnson said. “From where we were at this time last year, to three finals this weekend was outstanding. She’s worked hard and deserved to have a great weekend.”
Keely Bishop claimed third place on the platform event for the Cowgirls. Bishop scored a 248.70 in the final after she notched 256.10 during the prelims. Kari Campbell took sixth in the platform final (233.85). It was the third-consecutive year Wyoming had an individual place third in the event. Campbell finished third in both her sophomore and junior seasons.
“I’m so proud of the divers,” Johnson mentioned. “We don’t even have a platform, but it just shows how hard they have worked to finish third and sixth for this team. It was tough diving field and all of our divers did a tremendous job over the weekend.”
Emily Ridout and Isobel Ryan continued their successful championship by taking part in the 100 free final. Ridout took third with a time of 49.17, while Ryan touched the pads in 50.02 to take eighth. Samantha Burke swam in the 100 free bonus final, and had a time of 51.71.
“Emily (Ridout) got out pretty well to begin with,” Johnson added. “She raced hard and has improved so much in that event. Isobel (Ryan) was great for us with another final event and it shows her hard work is starting to pay off.”
Up next for the final session of the championships was the 200 breast finals. Maria Harutjunjan took second place in the event with a time 2:12.18. As a freshman last season, Harutjunjan had a time of 2:13.63 in the event to also claim second place. Emma Dow swam in the consolation final and placed 13th overall (2:17.71).
“Maria (Harutjunjan) had her best time and swam really well. It was a tough weekend for her, but she handled it all great,” Johnson said. “Molly (Coonce) once again has shown improvement from not just a year ago but from this morning. She was also a finalist for the senior recognition award, and that means a lot to me and this university.”
Molly Coonce represented the Cowgirls in the 200 fly championship event. She claimed fifth place with a time of 2:00.87, while Shannon Chelsvig finished 14th overall with a final of 2:04.30. In the final event of the championships, the Wyoming 400 free relay quartet of Ryan, Danielle Badger, Emily Stucky and Ridout finished in fifth place with a time of 3:20.32.
"I'm proud of our seniors and how everyone raced all week,” Johnson said. “It was a good weekend for us and now it’s on to Zones for diving & hopefully NCAAs."
The Cowgirls will next compete in the NCAA Zone “E” Championships March 7-9 and then the NCAA Women’s Championships, which are set to begin March 17.