Feb. 25, 2009
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -
After the first day of competition at the 2009 Mountain West Conference Championships, the University of Wyoming women's team is in first, while the Cowboys are in fourth. The Cowboy and Cowgirl divers stole the show in Oklahoma City, Okla., highlighted by junior Stephanie Ortiz winning the women's three-meter diving board.
Ortiz came into the final round ranked first on three-meter because of her fantastic performance in the preliminary round. Ortiz broke her own school record with a dive total of 325.90. In the final round, Ortiz scored 320.95 to earn the MWC Championship. Teammate Emily Huth was right behind Ortiz in second place with a score of 304.55, the third best mark in school history. Freshman Tiffany Izatt added an eighth place finish with a score of 267.85.
"Stephanie was incredible today. She made a mistake on her first dive, but showed a lot of poise to make up for that mistake and still win," said UW diving coach Ben Herdt. "Emily Huth did a tremendous job today as well to place second. Those two have worked very hard and it is great to see their hard work paying off."
The Cowboys also had a successful day as they competed on one-meter board, three of the four Pokes finished in the top-eight. Last year's champion, Kyle Bogner, tallied a final total of 326.40 to finish in second place. Senior Tyler Miller was close behind in third with a score of 311.35, and sophomore Mark Murdock placed eighth with 279.15.
"The men's event was up in the air and I think they performed very well today. Kyle and Tyler were right on the heels of the diver who won it," Herdt said. "I am very excited to see how both the Cowboys and Cowgirls perform tomorrow."
In the swimming pool, the Cowboys broke the school record in the 200 medley relay and finished second with a time of 1:28.35. With that time, Wyoming ranks in the NCAA top-25 in that event. In the only other race of the day, the 800 freestyle relay, the Cowboys were disqualified.
For the Cowgirl swimmers, the 200 medley relay finished fourth with a time of 1:42.65, a new school record as well. The 800 freestyle relay team also had a school record breaking time of 7:24.32, and finished in fifth.
"The Cowgirl relays improved greatly from last time we swam," said UW head coach Tom Johnson. "They were both school records and NCAA "B" qualifying times. On the men's we were obviously disappointed in the 800 free relay, but the 200 medley was the fastest in school history. There are three more days of swimming and a lot more opportunities."
The action will continue tomorrow at the Oklahoma City Community College Aquatics Center. Events that will take place are the men's three-meter diving, women's one-meter diving, 500 freestyle, 200 IM, 50 freestyle, and 200 freestyle relay.