Feb. 20, 2013
LOS ANGELES -
The University of Wyoming men's swimming team began the 2013 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships breaking the school record in the 800-yard freestyle relay on Wednesday at East Los Angeles College in Los Angeles. Sophomore Adam Kalms led off the relay with a school-record 200 freestyle split time of 1:34.80 and was followed by junior Ethan Griffel, sophomore Ryan O'Leary and senior Tyler Kybartas who combined to finish in second place with a time of 6:28.62. The Cowboys time was three full seconds ahead of the previous school record (6:31.62) set at the 2012 MPSF Championships. The Pokes currently sit in second place of the 10-team field with 66 team points, 14 points behind leader UNLV (80).
"We had four great swims in the 800 freestyle relay tonight," Wyoming associate head coach Matt Leach said. "Adam's swim to leadoff tonight was blazing fast. Ethan, Ryan and Tyler all three followed Adam's swim with great swims of their own."
The Wyoming women's swimming team began racing at the Mountain West Championships in San Antonio, Texas, also breaking the school record in the 800 freestyle relay. Cowgirl sophomore Jordan Denny, freshman Emily Stucky, senior Jessy Badaracco and senior Paige Fischer combined to break the school record with a time of 7:15.89 finishing the finals in third place. The Cowgirls broke the previous school record by six seconds (7:21.45) that was set at the 2012 MW Championships. After the first day of racing the Cowgirls are in seventh place of the nine-team field with 65 total points.
"Our 800 freestyle was outstanding tonight," Wyoming head coach Tom Johnson said. "Jordan had a great lead tonight, but Emily and Jessy went nuts and both had personal-best swims in their 200 splits. It was a tremendous effort from the whole team."
Other racing at the MPSF Championships was the 200 medley relay with the Cowboys taking third place with a time of 1:28.74. Kalms, sophomore Mike McCormick and juniors Nick Rutecki and Jeff Frey finished in third place just four-tenths of a second behind the school record with the third-fastest time in school history.
"Our 200 medley relay was also a great swim tonight, but just not fast enough to win the championship," Leach said. "Both of our swims were very strong and we are pretty happy with where we are after tonight. We are going to out and get some fast swims to start the day tomorrow and see if we can't win some events tomorrow night."
At the MW Championships, the 200 medley relay was also raced as well as the 1-meter springboard competition. The Cowgirl 200 medley relay squad of juniors Morgan Hartigan and Stephanie Young, freshman Molly Coonce and sophomore Melanie McDonough took fifth place touching the wall in 1:40.54.
In the 1-meter competition, senior Sasha Andrie finished the preliminaries in 12th place with a score of 245.91, which earned her a spot in the consolation final. She finished the consolation final in fourth place with a mark of 253.65, which earned her 12th place overall.
"We were hoping to finish higher today and we got into a little bit of a hole," Johnson said. "There is a lot of swimming and diving competition left to go and we are not panicking."
The Wyoming teams will continue action at their respective conference championships on Thursday. The men's MPSF meet will continue at 11:30 a.m. MT with the 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley and 50 freestyle preliminaries. The MPSF diving competition will begin at 2 p.m. MT in Colorado Springs, Colo., with the men's 3-meter springboard preliminaries. The women's MW meet will follow the same event order for the preliminaries but begin at 10 a.m. MT. The 3-meter springboard preliminaries will begin following the swimming preliminaries at 11:30 a.m. MT.