Wyoming Swimming And Diving Finishes First Day At The MWC Championships

Feb. 23, 2011


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The Wyoming Swimming and Diving teams competed their first day at the Mountain West Conference Championships with the Cowgirls calming a new MWC record in the 200-yard medley relay.

With three championship events completed the Cowboys currently sit in second place and the Cowgirls sit in eighth place. On the men's side the Cowboys are behind only BYU who sits in first with 121 points, followed by the 'Pokes with 105 points. Following UW on the men's side, is Utah (91), TCU (80), UNLV (74) and Air Force (64). Leading on the women's side is San Diego State with 99 points, followed by New Mexico (97), BYU (78), UNLV (74), TCU (72), Utah (68), CSU (58), Wyoming (57) and Air Force (42).

The Cowgirls opened up the meet with a bang in the 200 medley relay. The UW relay team of Kelsey Conci, Lesley Young, Shelby Bull and Kenzie Hewson broke the MWC and the UW school records in the relay with a time of 1:39.62.

"The 200 medley relay time was unbelievable," Wyoming head swimming coach Tom Johnson said. "Kelsey's leadoff was probably the fastest 50 back I have ever seen. Every one of those girls really got better this year."

After starting the meet with a bang the Cowgirls slipped up in the 800 freestyle relay being disqualified because of an early jump.Coach Johnson was disappointed by this because it would have broke the UW school record time in the 800 free relay and would have kept the Cowgirls in the top four in the team standings.

On the men's side the Cowboys swam themselves into second place after day one of the championships. The 200 medley relay team of Marshall Dilworth, Nate Ladner, Nick Rutecki and Jeff Frey placed fourth with a time of 1:29.44. The 800 freestyle relay team of Ethan Griffel, Tyler Kybartas, Brett Henehan and Christian Johnson also placed fourth with a time of 6:34.68. Both of the men's relays were the second fastest times in school history.

"I thought Nick, Jeff and Ethan did really well today," Johnson added. "All and all I thought the men did really well and I am happy where we are at."

In today's diving action Cowgirl Allie Smith had the highest finish of the day for UW. Smith placed fourth in the preliminary rounds on the 3-meter springboard with a mark of 297.35 which was good enough to put her in today's finals. In the 3-meter finals Smith placed second with a mark of 309.50.

"Allie was tremendous today," Johnson said. "For her to come out through her injuries and perform like that really proves her toughness and work ethic."

On the men's 1-meter springboard Mark Murdock, Kyle Bogner and Derek Campbell all placed in the top six of the preliminary rounds which secured them a spot in this evenings finals. In the finals Murdock placed third with a score of 330.65, while Bogner placed fifth (307.00) and Campbell placed sixth (285.05).

"Our divers were super I am very proud of Mark and Kyle they always contribute really well for us," Johnson added. "I was especially proud of Derek today, finishing in the top six is really a step in the right direction for him."

"We are going to have a heck of a battle the rest of the meet. We just need to keep swimming fast and see how the score turns out the rest of the week."

The Cowboys and Cowgirls will continue action tomorrow at the MWC championships beginning at 9 a.m. Mountain Time, with the women's 1-meter prelims and the men's and women's 500 freestyle.