Feb. 25, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY -
The University of Wyoming Cowgirl swimming and diving team completed the Mountain West Swimming and Diving Championship in fourth place with 470 team points. Freshman Jordan Denny won the MW Championship in the 200 backstroke with a school record and NCAA "B" provisional time of 1:56.20. Her time broke a 20-year old school record set by Norma Hughes in 1992 (1:59.92).
Denny won her conference championship by sweeping both the preliminaries and finals of today's 200 backstroke. Also in the 200 back, Nikki Finnesand and Caroline Wells placed 11th (2:00.84) and 15th (2:01.61), respectively, in the preliminaries earning them spots in the consolation final. In the final, Finnesand touched the wall in 14th with a time of 2:01.59 and Wells finished 16th (2:04.08).
"Jordan's swim in the 200 back was just amazing," Wyoming head coach Tom Johnson said. "She smashed a 20-year old school as just a freshman so I am very excited for her."
In the 100 freestyle, senior Kelsey Conci placed sixth in the preliminaries with a time of 50.20 earning her a place in the championship final. Also in the preliminaries, senior Shelby Bull and Kenzie Hewson placed 12th (51.06) and 16th (51.60), respectively. In the championship final, Conci finished sixth with a time of 50.51. In the consolation final, Bull finished 12th with a time of 50.90 and Hewson took 16th with a time of 51.37.
The next event was the 200 breaststroke with Cowgirls Morgan Hartigan and Meghan Swirzcki placing in the top eight of the preliminaries, which put them in the championship final. Hartigan finished seventh (2:16.65) and Swirzcki took eighth (2:17.41) in the preliminaries. Also in the prelims, Stephanie Young placed 12th (2:18.64) and Mackenzie Norlin placed 16th (2:21.43). In the championship final, Hartigan moved up three places to finish fourth with a time of 2:15.33 and Swirzcki moved up one place finishing seventh with a time of 2:18.22. In the consolation final, Young finished 12th with a time of 2:17.98 and Norlin moved up two places to finish 14th (2:19.45).
"I was really happy with how Morgan was able to move up in the 200 breast finals tonight," Johnson added. "She swam the third-fastest time in school history and Stephanie's time was also a top-10 swim."
Two Cowgirls also made the championship final and consolation final in the 200 fly. Advancing to the championship final from the preliminaries was Jessy Badaracco and Claudia Carlson who finished fifth (2:01.37) and sixth (2:01.49), respectively. Advancing to the consolation final were Leah Roesler, who placed 12th (2:03.19), and Finnesand who finished 14th (2:04.41). In the championship final, Carlson moved up two places to tie for fourth place with a school record time of 2:00.36. Badaracco finished seventh in the championship final with a time of 2:01.80. Roesler moved up two places in the consolation final to finish in 10th place with a time of 2:02.22 and Finnesand finished 14th with a time of 2:04.19.
"We were able to do a lot of damage in the 200 fly today," Johnson said. "Claudia had a great school record swim."
In the 1650 freestyle, three Cowgirls in Kasey Robinson, Aliyah Mikulski and Paige Fischer all placed in the top 16. Robinson placed eighth with a time of 16:50.18, Mikulski finished 10th (16:57.82) and Fischer touched the wall in 14th place with a time of 17:11.44.
"Aliyah and Kasey's times in the 1650 free were both top-10 all-time swims and they both swam great in that event," Johnson said.
Today's diving competition was the platform dive. Sophomore Carolyn Wallace was the Cowgirls highest finisher placing ninth in preliminaries with a mark of 200.00. In the consolation final, Wallace finished fifth (13th overall) with a score of 202.70.
"Carolyn put the best list of her life together today, but came up just short of the championship final," Wyoming diving coach Pat Bukowski said. "I am proud of how my divers performed this weekend and this is great to build on for next season."
The final event of the championships was the 400 freestyle relay. Cowgirls Conci, Denny, Hartigan and Bull placed fifth with an NCAA "B" cut time of 3:22.65.
Winning the MW team championship was Boise State with 747 team points. Following Boise State in the top five were runner-up San Diego State (742), third place UNLV (551.5), fourth place Wyoming (470) and fifth place TCU (374.5). Rounding out the teams in the field were New Mexico in sixth with 285 team points, Colorado State in seventh (276) and Air Force in eighth (192).
After four days of competition, the Cowgirls had a record setting weekend. Two Cowgirl individuals in Conci (100 backstroke) and Denny (200 backstroke) as well as one relay (200 medley) were crowned MW Champions. The Cowgirls also set five school record times in the 200 medley relay, 800 freestyle relay, 200 freestyle (Denny), 200 backstroke (Denny) and 200 butterfly (Carlson). They also swam 35 top-10 of the fastest times in school history. Conci also led off the 400 medley relay with an NCAA "A" cut time of 52.40 giving her a spot at next month's NCAA Swimming Championship meet. For the Cowgirls with NCAA "B" provisional times they will wait to see if their times were fast enough to make the NCAA Championships.
"Overall I am very proud of how my women performed this weekend," Johnson said. "We didn't start the meet great but we got better as the weekend went on and that is all I can ask for."