Wyoming Swimming and Diving Continues MWC Championships

Feb. 26, 2009

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -

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After day two of competition at the 2009 Mountain West Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, the Wyoming Cowgirls are in second place, while the Cowboys are currently in third at Oklahoma City, Okla. A total of four school records were broken by the Cowgirls today, and one by the Cowboys, as well as number of top-five performances.

The Cowgirls are trailing BYU by only one point. The Cowgirls have scored a total of 262 points while BYU has scored 263 . Following the Cowgirls are Utah (195.5), UNLV (187.5), Colorado State (151), San Diego State (129), TCU (129), New Mexico (124), and Air Force (48).

The Cowboys are third in the rankings with a score of 222. UW trails UNLV (295) and Air Force (243). Behind the Pokes is BYU (221), TCU (189), and Utah (123).

"All in all it was a solid day for us, possibly one of the best days we have ever had here," said UW head coach Tom Johnson. "I am very pleased with the women today breaking five school records. The men have also started to climb back into it with their performances today."

The women's 500 freestyle race was the highlight of the day for the Cowgirls. Senior Aimee Stinson broke her own school record with a time of 4:50.33 and finished second. Sophomore Stephanie Vint was right on the heels of Stinson and finished in third with a time of 4:50.52, the second best mark in school history. Kristen Flachbarth swam a great race as well and finished in 12th. Her time of 4:57.10 is fourth best at UW.

Sophomore Lesley Young added points for the Cowgirls in the 200 IM by placing fifth. Young's time of 2:03.05 is also a new school record.

Cassie Stelow swam a record breaking time in the 50 freestyle. Stelow's time of 22.93 was a fourth place finish and broke her previous record that she set last year at the MWC Championships. A pair of freshman also added points for the Cowgirls in the 50 freestyle. Kelsey Conci placed 12th (23.57) and Shelby Bull finished in 14th (23.72).

In the only relay of the day, the Cowgirls set their fourth school record of the day. Stelow, Bull, Vint, and Conci swam the 200 freestyle relay in 1:32.59 and finished fifth.

"The women's 500 freestyle was impressive. Aimee and Stephanie were both under the old school record. Kristen Flachbarth was awesome in that event as well and picked up some points for us," said Johnson. "Lesley broke the school record twice, once in the prelims and then again in the finals in the 200 IM and I thought Caroline did very well too. Another great performance was Cassie in the 50 free. She is the only Cowgirl to ever swim that event in under 23 seconds."

For the Cowboys, day two started with a fourth place finish for senior Matt Urich in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:27.05. Behind Urich was freshman Brett Henehan in 12th (4:29.24), and junior Sam Holmes in 14th (4:32.81).

Freshman Marshall Dilworth swam the second best time in school history in the 200 IM. Dilworth hit the wall in 1:48.60 and finished fourth, while sophomore James Rigg was close behind in sixth with a time of 1:50.02, fourth best in UW history.

In the 50 freestyle, junior Tommy Gregory was 20.42 and placed seventh. In the preliminary round Gregory had a personal best time of 20.40, which is now the second best in school history. The Cowboys 200 freestyle relay placed fifth after a time of 1:21.80.

"Matt was a stud in the 500 free today, he moved from eighth to fourth to really help us out. Marshall also did a tremendous job. For a freshman to nearly break the school record and win third place is a great accomplishment. James moved into the top-five all that time in that event today and swam very well in the relay. Tommy had a nice prelim and final round to move his name into the record books too," Johnson continued.

The Wyoming divers continued their MWC Championships as well and contributed greatly to the scores of the team. A day after winning the MWC three-meter championship, Stephanie Ortiz scored 289.20 on one-meter and finished in second place. Emily Huth, who was second behind Ortiz yesterday, placed fourth with a score of 282.50, and Allie Smith was in fifth after a dive total of 271.95.

The Cowboys had three divers in the top-eight in the three-meter finals. Sophomore Mark Murdock led the way in third place with a score of 332.20, only four points behind first place. Fellow sophomore Kyle Bogner came in seventh with a mark of 302.75, while senior Tyler Miller placed eighth with 298.95.

"The divers battled hard all day and Mark nearly won the event on his last dive. They were great today like they have been all year," Johnson said. "We had an overall solid day and I am excited to see how tomorrow will turn on."

Day three will continue tomorrow at the Oklahoma City Community College Aquatics Center. On the schedule for tomorrow will be the 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, women's platform diving, and 400 medley relay. Preliminary rounds will begin at 10 a.m. and the finals will begin at 6 p.m. (Central Time).