Stelow and Cowgirl 200 Free Relay Break Conference Records and Win MWC Championships on Day Two

Feb. 25, 2010


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Continuing their quest for a conference title, the Wyoming swimming and diving teams made huge strides towards that goal on Thursday. Cowgirl senior Cassie Stelow won the 2010 Mountain West Conference Championship in the 50 freestyle and then anchored the 200 freestyle relay that also placed first, as both are school and conference record breaking times. The Cowgirls are currently in second place with the Cowboys in third after day two in Oklahoma City, Okla.

The Cowgirls have scored a total of 288 points and trail only BYU with 320 points. San Diego State (194), Utah (166), Colorado State (141), UNLV (134), TCU (103), New Mexico (92), and Air Force (41) follow the Cowgirls.

On the men's side, the Cowboys sit in third with 236 points. UNLV leads the way with 303 points while BYU is second at 285.5. Following the Pokes are Air Force (212.5), TCU (146), and Utah (136).

To start the winning ways, Cassie Stelow won the 50 freestyle MWC Championship with a time of 22.45. Stelow's blazing time is a new UW school record and is also the fastest time in MWC history in that event.

In the last race of the night, Stelow and the Cowgirls won their second championship on the day in the 200 freestyle relay. Kelsey Conci, Shelby Bull, Kenzie Hewson, and Stelow not only broke the UW school record, but also set a new MWC record with a first place time of 1:30.55. The relay finished over a second ahead of second-place BYU and is also an NCAA provisional time.

"Cassie (Stelow) dominated the 50 freestyle from the start and smashed the old school record," said an excited UW head coach Tom Johnson. "The relay was tremendous to watch and we dominated that from the start as well finishing a full second ahead of second place. Currently we rank 16th in the nation with that time so we will wait and see if we can make NCAA's."

Senior Stephanie Ortiz and junior Lesley Young also broke UW records tonight.

On women's three-meter springboard, Ortiz finished second with a total of 354.05 and crushed the old school record she set last year at the conference meet at 325.90. Young also broke her own school record by placing fifth in the 200 IM at 2:01.93, an NCAA provisional time.

In the women's 500 freestyle junior Stephanie Vint and freshman Paige Fischer contributed greatly today. Vint placed third with a time of 4:49.76 while Fischer finished sixth in her first MWC Championships.

Also on three-meter diving, junior Allie Smith added an important fourth place finish with a total of 322.05.

"Stephanie Ortiz and Lesley Young did great and I was proud of their performances tonight," Johnson said. "They were both against tough competition and battled their way through. Stephanie Vint and Paige Fischer did an awesome job today and had great swims as well. Allie Smith dove very well like she has all year and added great points for us"

The men's 200 IM was full of Cowboys in the final round. Sophomore Brandon Fischer was fifth at 1:49.42 while fellow sophomore Marshall Dilworth was close behind in sixth (1:50.54) and freshman Kendrick Bachman was seventh (1:50.57).

The Cowboy distance swimmers were also strong in numbers in the 500 freestyle. Sophomore Kyle Wemhoff made the final round and finished eighth with a time of 4:34.22. Five Cowboys finished consecutively going 10th through 14th with Tyler Kybartas (4:30:43), Robbie Hilton (4:32.47), Brett Henehan (4:32.83), Tyler Davis (4:34.00), and Sam Holmes (4:34.59) respectively.

The Cowboy diving duo of Mark Murdock and Kyle Bogner had strong finishes on the men's one-meter springboard. Murdock and Bogner were fourth and fifth respectively. Murdock finished with a total of 333.10 while Bogner was close behind with 332.50.

"The men had a very solid day in the pool and on the diving boards," Johnson added. "I was proud of our guys in the 500 freestyle. Kyle Wemhoff came from behind in a swim-off to qualify for the finals and did great. The IM"s were very good swims with Fischer, Dilworth, and Bachman. They raced very well. The divers did an awesome job and I was very proud of Mark (Murdock) and Kyle (Bogner) as they continue to be excellent divers.

"We will be ready for tomorrow and will look to take advantage of the opportunities we have. We look to move up in the standings and separate ourselves from everyone else and we can do that if we continue what we have done so far."

Day three of the 2010 Mountain West Conference Championships will start tomorrow with preliminary rounds at 10 a.m. Central. Final rounds will follow later in the day.