Feb. 21, 2007
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -
Behind some spectacular diving and some great relays, both the Cowboys and Cowgirls found themselves in second place after the first day of competition at the 2007 Mountain West Conference Swimming and Diving Championships in Oklahoma City, Okla.
BYU leads both the men's and women's fields after the first day with 103 men's points and 120 women's points. The Cowboys are in second with 96 team points and lead Air Force (93), UNLV (86), Utah (84) and TCU (73). The Cowgirls sit in second place with 107 team points and lead Utah (86), Colorado State (76), UNLV (72), New Mexico (63), TCU (59), Air Force (44) and San Diego State (36).
"We finished the first night in great position on both the men's and women's sides. I very happy with our team's efforts," said UW head coach Tom Johnson. "However, there is a lot of swimming and diving left and we must stay hungry. I am excited to see what happens over the next three days."
During the opening day of the championships, Wyoming diving took center stage. For the Cowboys, senior Kevin Bretting led the way and finished third in the 1-meter event, for the second year in a row, with a score of 307.15. Senior John Lynch finished fifth with a score of 286.55. Freshman Tyler Miller won the consolation final with a ninth place score of 266.35.
For the Cowgirls, senior Saara Haapanen set the pace with a fourth place score of 288.40 in the 3-meter event. Fellow senior Emily Keefer was close behind with a fifth place mark of 273.40. After missing tonight's finals, junior Brittany Wainwright won the consolation final, and placed ninth, with a school record score of 311.30.
"The divers were great tonight just like they have been all season," said Johnson. "They racked up a ton of points on both sides."
The Cowgirl 200 medley relay had a stellar race and set a new school record with a third place time of 1:43.20. Competing for the Cowgirls was freshman Molly Janak, seniors Erin Spadinger and Heidi Thorson and freshman Cassie Stelow. In the only other swimming event of the night, the Cowgirls placed fifth in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 7:34.42. Competing was sophomore Aimee Stinson, senior Katie Bigger, sophomore Krista Jones and senior Tamara Lehnertz.
The Cowboy relays also had a solid day and finished fourth in the 800 freestyle and fifth in the 200 medley. In the 800 freestyle, junior Levi Bell, sophomore Matt Urich, senior Ron Fogel and sophomore Eli Bell swam a time of 6:40.37. In the 200 medley, the Pokes turned in a time of 1:31.44 with swims from sophomores Devin Hougardy, Alex Larkin and Matt Urich and freshman Vinny Crispino.
"We had some great relay swims which I am very excited about," added Johnson. "The women smashed the school record in the 200 medley and also had a very nice 800 freestyle. The guys swam the fourth best 800 freestyle and the fifth best 200 medley times in school history."
The championships will continue tomorrow with preliminary action beginning at 10 a.m. (Central Time) and finals starting at 6 p.m. Tomorrow's scheduled events include women's 1-meter and men's 3-meter diving, the 500 freestyle, 200 IM, 50 freestyle and the 200 freestyle relay.