UW Men's Swimming and Diving in Third and Women in Fifth Following Third Day of MWC Championships

Feb. 25, 2005

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

The University of Wyoming men's swimming and diving team remained in third place while the Cowgirls fell to fifth place following the third day of the Mountain West Conference Championships, in Oklahoma City, Okla.

UNLV leads the men's field with a total of 571 team points and are followed by BYU (496), Wyoming (390), Utah (379) and Air Force (270).BYU is in first place on the women's side in search of their sixth consecutive MWC title with 477 team points. UNLV is in second place with 463.50 points, followed by Utah (407), Colorado State (345), Wyoming (289), New Mexico (251), Air Force (142.50) and San Diego State (119).The race of the day for the Cowboys came in the 200 freestyle as three swimmers finished in the top-six and one set a new school record.Freshman Carl Marais won the event in a time of 1:36.59 which was more than two second faster than the second place finisher. He swam the race faster in this morning's preliminaries and set a new school record with a time of 1:36.50. Freshman Henry Holmberg placed fourth(1:39.79) and senior Grant Kritzinger placed sixth (1:40.40).Freshman Sam King had a very strong 400 IM as he swam to a fifth place time of 3:59.03. Freshman Piers Blyth's time of 52.00 was good for an eighth place finish in the 100 backstroke. In the night's final event, the 400 medley relay team of Marais, senior Scott Usher, junior Gene Birks and Kritzinger finished in a third place time of 3:15.87, setting a new school record. Marais' opening 100 backstroke split of 49.73 is also new UW record.

The Cowboys struggled in places as they dropped a couple of events that they won last year. Usher was upset in the 100 breaststroke as he finished second in a time of 54.33. Birks, who won the 100 butterfly last year, was also upset as he finished fourth in a time 48.27. Sophomore Ron Fogel also swam in the finals of the 100 butterfly finishing eighth in a time of 50.16. His preliminary time of 49.21 is the third fastest in UW history.

In diving action, all three Cowboys qualified for the finals of the 3-meter springboard competition. Sophomore John Lynch led the way with a fourth place score of 502.45. Senior Adam Miller placed sixth (482.45) and sophomore Kevin Bretting placed seventh (474.05).

The Cowgirls had a great 100 breaststroke as a pair of Cowgirls each broke the school record. Freshman Lindsey Russenberger set the new mark with her second place time of 1:04.28. Sophomore Erin Spadinger placed fifth in the event with a finals time of 1:04.63 and her preliminary time of 1:04.62 is the second fastest time in UW history. Sophomore Lauren Beard was the top finisher in the 400 IM, as she swam a sixth place time of 4:32.89. Sophomore Tamara Lehnertz placed sixth in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:52.82. Her preliminary time of 1:52.56 is the second fastest time in UW history.The 400 medley relay team of freshman Rachel Leyes, Russenberger, sophomore Heidi Thorson and Lehnertz closed out the night with fifthplace, school record time of 3:52.56.

"I felt like we had a great morning today and put ourselves in a good position but then we came out a little flat tonight," said UW head coach Tom Johnson. "I thought that both teams were a little tired, especially tonight but we still set some records including both relay's.

"Lindsey and Erin had a great swim in the 100 breaststrokeas they both broke the school record. I was really happy withCarl's win and record in the 200 freestyle and I think his time should get pulled into the NCAA Championships. Both relay's set records even though they seemed a little gassed, which was good to see."

The final day of the MWC Championships will begin Saturday morning with preliminary races starting at 9 a.m and the finals beginning at 5 p.m. (Mountain Time). Saturday's scheduled events include the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200butterfly, 1650 freestyle, 400 freestyle relay and platform diving.

Men's Team Scores1.  UNLV            5712.  BYU             4963.  Wyoming         3904.  Utah            3795.  Air Force       270

Women's Team Scores1. BYU 4772. UNLV 463.503. Utah 4074. Colorado State 3455. Wyoming 2896. New Mexico 2517. Air Force 142.508. San Diego State 119

*see complete results at www.themwc.com*