Mark Murdock Crushes Conference Record and Wins Men's Platform Diving

Feb. 26, 2010

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -

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Today's morning session of the 2010 Mountain West Conference Championships was delayed during the meet after reports of gunshots on the Oklahoma City Community College campus. The campus was on lock-down for a period of time and the teams were evacuated until it was determined that the gunshot was an accidental discharge by a security guard. The conference championships continued after the delay, the Wyoming swimming and diving team put the distraction aside and set five school records and Mark Murdock was crowned men's platform champion with a school and conference record breaking performance.

"It was never a terrifying situation for us," said UW head coach Tom Johnson. "It happened in the middle of the IM's this morning and we just thought it was a drill. After we heard about the gunshot we quickly got everyone to a safe location. We were on lock-down for about half-an-hour and were let out. It wasn't a tense situation, just a little weird to have that happen, but we got back in the pool and after a warm-up continued the meet."

The Cowgirls continue to sit in second and are close behind first-place BYU. The Cowgirls have scored a total of 448 while BYU has 484 points. Behind the Cowgirls are San Diego State (400), UNLV (275), Utah (258), Colorado State (237), TCU (165), New Mexico (153), and Air Force (88)

On the men's side the Cowboys slipped to fourth place with 389 points. UNLV leads on the men's side with 555, BYU second at 491.5, and Air Force third with 423.5. TCU (318) and Utah (262) follow the Cowboys.

Murdock stole the show on day three with remarkable diving in the preliminary round and even more impressive diving in the finals. Murdock broke the school and MWC record in the preliminary round with a score of 381.30, but Murdock was just getting warmed up. In the finals, Murdock won the championship by posting a record setting score of 427.90, demolishing his own school and conference record that was a 355.15. Murdock's performance is even more impressive considering the Wyoming divers do not have a platform tower to train on.

"Mark Murdock had the performance of the day for us," said Johnson. "He nailed every single dive and absolutely smashed his old records. I could not be any more proud of him and the tremendous meet he had."

The Cowgirls continued their run towards a title with a number of record breaking swims today. The first to go down came from Stephanie Vint in the 400 IM. Vint broke her own school record with a time of 4:17.82, an NCAA provisional time. Captain Kari Budd also scored for the Cowgirls in the 400 IM by placing tenth (4:25.85).

A day after setting a new school and MWC record in the 200 freestyle relay, Shelby Bull set an individual school record in the 200 freestyle by placing fourth with a time of 1:48.79, also an NCAA "B" cut time.

The women's 100 breaststroke had three Cowgirls reach the finals and two in the consolation. Junior Lesley Young finished the highest in second place with a time of 1:01.64 while Lauren Hewson was fifth (1:03.13) and Cassie Stelow was sixth (1:03.25). In the consolation final, senior Kaella Hartigan finished in 14th and freshman Meghan Swirzcki was 15th.

The school records continued to fall for the Cowgirls as the night went on. Sophomore Kelsey Conci broke an 18 year school record in the 100 backstroke by finishing third with an NCAA provisional time of 54.68. Making her first career final, senior Molly Janak also made the 100 backstroke finals and swam to a solid eighth place finish.

Conci also led-off the 400 medley relay with Young, Vint, and Stelow which set the fifth Wyoming school record of the night and finished third with a time of 3:43.88.

"Kelsey Conci and Stephanie Vint crushed the old school records tonight," Johnson said. "They both had very good swims in their events. Shelby Bull was tremendous with her record setting time as well. She has improved greatly in the 200 freestyle. The breaststroke was a great event for us that we needed."

The Cowboy swimmers also set the morning distraction aside and had four individuals reach the final rounds. Sophomore Brandon Fischer kept the Wyoming breaststroke tradition going with a second place finish in the 100 breaststroke. Fischer touched in at 54.19 with an NCAA provisional time and the second fastest time in UW history.

Fellow sophomore Marshall Dilworth came in fifth in the 100 backstroke with a time of 49.08 while junior Nathan Fuller was 10th (50.28). Freshman Trevor LeValley swam a great 400 IM and placed the highest for UW in fifth (4:01.14) and junior Brett Henehan was close behind in sixth (4:01.20). Also scoring quality points for the Pokes was Tyler Kybartas in the 100 butterfly at 14th (50.28).

The Cowboy 400 medley relay swam a very solid race and finished in third and nearly earned an NCAA "B" cut time at 3:17.94.

"I was very proud of Trevor (LeValley) who raced hard along side Brett Henehan in the IM," Johnson said. "Brandon Fischer had a life-time best in the 100 breaststroke and had a great time, second fastest in school history. Nathan Fuller also had a personal best in the 100 backstroke tonight and I thought Marshall Dilworth was very solid this morning and later in the finals.

"Overall it was a solid day with some great individual performances. We usually have a good final day and we will try and do that again and finish on a high note."

The final day of competition will begin at 10 a.m. Central with preliminary rounds. Final rounds will follow later in the day with the team champions also being announced. Tomorrow's events include the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, 1650 freestyle, women's platform diving, and 400 freestyle relays.