Cowgirls Gain Ground At MWC Championships As Both Teams Sit In Third After Day Two

Feb. 24, 2011


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The Wyoming Cowboy and Cowgirl Swimming and Diving teams completed the second day of competition at the Mountain West Conference Championships on Thursday, with both sitting in third place.

The Cowgirls made an excellent move during the second day of the championships moving from eighth place in the morning to third place at the conclusion of the day's events. The Wyoming women currently sit in third with 206 points behind San Diego State in first with 251 points, and just one point behind BYU in second who has 207 points. Following the Cowgirls is, Utah (190 points), New Mexico (170), TCU (149), UNLV (141), CSU (123) and Air Force (64).

"I am really please with the women today making a serious run from eighth to third," Wyoming head swimming coach Tom Johnson said. "We needed to come out and have the session we did in the morning to get ourselves back in contention. We are now in a battle for the conference title with San Diego (State) and BYU."

The Cowboys also sit in third place with 241 points trailing first place BYU with 297 and second place UNLV with 278 points. Behind the Cowboys are Utah (171 points), TCU (157) and Air Force (143).

"The men had some really nice swims today," Johnson added. "Just like the women we are in a good position to come away with a conference title."

Today's sessions featured the 400-yard medley relay, the 500 freestyle, the 200 individual medley and the 50 freestyle.

The Cowgirl 400 medley relay team of Kelsey Conci, Lesley Young, Jessy Badaracco and Morgan Hartigan placed second and broke the UW school record with a time of 3:38.62. Leading off the relay Conci qualified herself for the NCAA Championships in the 100 backstroke with a time of 52.50.

In the women's 500 freestyle Cowgirls Stephaine Vint (5:52.37) and Lizzie Justice (4:52.53) placed third and fourth, respectively in the preliminaries qualifying them for this evenings finals. In the finals, Vint went on to place fourth with a time of 4:51.81 which was good enough for an NCAA `B' provisional cut time. Justice placed sixth in the 500 free finals with a time of 4:53.49.

The 200 individual medley was the next event on the women's side and saw a UW school record fall. Cowgirl Lesley Young broke her own school record in the 200 IM prelims with a time of 1:59.67, which was good enough to give her second place. Jessy Badaracco also competed in the 200 IM for the Cowgirls placing eighth with a time of 2:03.58. In this evenings finals, Young went on to swim a 2:01.50, placing her in fourth and Badaracco placed eighth with a time of 2:04.04.

The final swimming event of the day for the women was the 50 freestyle which saw two Cowgirls post NCAA `B' provisional cut times. In the mornings preliminaries Shelby Bull placed fifth with a time of 23.01, and Kelsey Conci placed seventh with a time of 23.12. In the 50 free finals, Bull placed fourth with a time of 22.89 and Conci placed seventh with a time of 22.94. Both Bull and Conci's times in the finals were NCAA `B' provisional cut times.

On the men's side the Cowboys dropped to third place but are still within striking distance of a conference title.

In the 400 medley relay Cowboys Marshall Dilworth, Nate Ladner, Nick Rutecki and Jeff Frey placed fifth with a time of 3:15.86 which is just off the UW school record of 3:15.66.

This morning's preliminary rounds went in the same order as the women's side. In the 500 freestyle prelims Tyler Kybartas (4:27.58) and Ethan Griffel (4:28.06) placed third and fifth, respectively qualifying them for the finals. In the finals Kybartas placed fourth with a time of 4:26.02 and Griffel placed fifth with a time of 4:28.50.

"I think Tyler really showed huge improvement from a year ago in today's swim," Johnson said. "Ethan also had a very nice swim in the 500 free to place him fifth."

In the 200 IM Brandon Fischer (1:49.02) and Dilworth (1:49.51) placed fifth and sixth in the preliminarily rounds which qualified both for the finals. Fischer went on to another fifth place finish in the finals with a time of 1:48.99 and Dilworth placed eighth (1:51.16). Fischer's time was good enough for an NCAA `B' provisional cut time.

Today's diving action saw Cowboy Mark Murdock crowned conference champion on the 3-meter springboard. Murdock began the day placing second in the preliminary rounds with a score of 345.60. He then went on to win the MWC Championship in this evenings finals with a score of 363.45. Fellow senior Kyle Bogner placed fourth in today's prelims with a score of 313.95. Bogner went on to place fourth in the finals with a score of 342.00. Freshman Cowboy Derek Campbell continued his excellent meet placing seventh (290.15) in the prelims and went on to place eighth in the finals with a mark of 293.80.

On the women's 1-meter springboard Cowgirl Allie Smith placed third in the prelims with a score of 275.45. She then placed fourth in the finals with a score of 275.10. Sasha Andrie was the other Cowgirl to score on the 1-meter placing 15th in the preliminaries with a score of 228.00 and placed 10th in the finals with a score of 263.30.

"Allie had a really great day today," Johnson added. "I am also very proud of Sasha to come back from yesterday and contribute like that."

"I think we are swimming great so far we just are not scoring great." "We are going to try and make our move tomorrow with both the men and women."

The MWC Swimming and Diving Championships will continue tomorrow morning beginning at 9 a.m. Mountain Time with the 400 IM and the 100 butterfly preliminaries.