Feb. 26, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -
The Wyoming Cowboy and Cowgirl Swimmers and Divers concluded the Mountain West Conference Championships on Saturday in Oklahoma City, Okla. Today's racing saw no change in the standings for the Cowboys and Cowgirls as both finished the championships in third place. The Cowgirls were able to claim four MWC Championships and set 11 school records. The Cowboys claimed two championships on the weekend and set 29 top-10 all-time school times. Lesley Young claimed her second MWC Championship of the weekend in the 200-yard breaststroke, and Mark Murdock also earned his second MWC Championship repeating as champion on the platform.
On the women's side San Diego State claimed the MWC title with 646 points, followed by BYU with 562 points and Wyoming with 524 points. Following the Cowgirls was, UNLV (448 points), Utah (443), TCU (381), CSU (322), New Mexico (247) and Air Force (141).
"I am really proud of the women," Wyoming head swimming coach Tom Johnson said. "We gave BYU a serious run for second place yesterday and today. For them to overcome the early disqualification in the relay really shows a lot of guts and heart on their part. We really dropped the hammer on our school records this weekend."
The UNLV men earned their seventh consecutive MWC Championship as a team with 770.5 points, followed by BYU with 672 points and Wyoming with 594.5 points. Behind the Cowboys was, TCU (497.5 points), Utah (471) and Air Force (413.5).
"The guys had a great meet this weekend. I think we did a tremendous job with the guys we brought here. We really showed what we can do and improved on our finish from last year."
Today's events included; the 1650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, 400 freestyle relay and the men's platform.
Cowboy diver Mark Murdock claimed his second MWC Championship of the weekend by repeating as champion on the men's platform. Murdock won this morning's preliminaries with a score 334.45. He then went on to claim the platform championship with a score of 367.05 in tonight's finals. Fellow senior Cowboy Kyle Bogner placed seventh on the men's platform finals with a score of 273.65.
"Mark just destroyed the field tonight on the platform," Johnson added. "For us to have two divers in the platform finals is just awesome since we don't even have a diving platform.
Young also claimed her second championship of the weekend in the 200 breaststroke. Young went wire-to-wire in the 200 breast winning this morning's preliminaries with an NCAA `B' provisional time of 2:11.55. She took home the championship in this evening's finals by swimming a 2:11.44, which was good enough to smash her school record by two full seconds. Also swimming the 200 breaststroke for the Cowgirls was Lauren Hewson who placed third and put up the second fastest time in school history of 2:13.42. Both Young and Hewson's finals times were good enough for NCAA `B' provisional times.
"Lesley really just dominated the field today in the 200 breast. Her time was fast enough to get into last year's NCAAs. Lauren also had an awesome couple races in the 200 breast. Going one-three in that event was just awesome for us."
In today's women's 1650 freestyle freshman Lizzie Justice placed third and set a school record with a time of 16:38.89. Kristen Flachbarth placed fifth behind Justice with a time of 16:41.59 which was good enough for second all-time. Paige Fischer also swam in the 1650 free for the Cowgirls placing eighth with a time of 16:53.84.
"Lizzie had an unbelievable swim in the mile (1650-free). To have Lizzie, Kristen and Paige all place in the finals really separated us from Utah and the other that were teams chasing us today."
Kelsey Conci also set a school record for the Cowgirls in the 100 freestyle. Conci set the school record in the morning's prelims with a time of 49.51, and Shelby Bull put up another top-10 all-time race with a time of 49.97. Conci placed third in the finals with a time of 50.00, her teammate Bull placed fifth with a time of 50.16. Both Conci and Bull's times were NCAA `B' provisional times.
"Both Kelsey and Shelby had awesome swims this morning going under our school records. They could not duplicate that this evening but I am still very proud of how those two performed this weekend."
Stephanie Vint also set the other school record for the Cowgirls in the 200 butterfly. Vint set the school record in this morning's prelims with a time of 2:01.20 placing fourth. She then placed fifth in this evening's finals with a time of 2:01.73. Jessy Badaracco also swam in the 200 fly finals for UW placing eighth with a time of 2:03.61.
"Stephanie and Jessy really raced their tails off in today both rounds of the 200 fly."
In the women's 200 backstroke Caroline Wells was the highest finisher for the Cowgirls placing 10th with a time of 2:00.69. This was the second fastest time in the 200 back in school history.
The final event of the MWC Championships was the 400 freestyle relay. Cowgirls Conci, Vint, Kenzie Hewson and Bull placed fourth with a time of 3:21.03.
The Cowgirls on the weekend had four conference championships, 11 school records, one MWC record, an NCAA `A' cut time in the 100 backstroke, and 39 swims in the all-time top-10.
The Cowboys were only able to claim the one championship on the day but still had some excellent performances on the final day of racing.
Three Cowboys made the 200 backstroke finals and placed sixth, seventh and eighth. Nathan Fuller (1:47.59), Marshall Dilworth (1:48.24) and Calhoon (1:49.48) placed sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively, in the 200 back finals.
Freshman Jeff Frey swam in tonight's 100 freestyle `B' final for the Cowboys and placed 12th with a time of 45.43.
In the 200 breaststroke Cowboy Brandon Fischer was just fourth-tenths of a second from a MWC Championship placing second with a time of 1:56.54. Fischer's time was good enough for an NCAA `B' provisional time. Nate Ladner also swam the 200 breast finals for UW placing eighth with a time of 2:02.03.
"Brandon had a super swim in the 200 breast tonight." "That time got into the NCAAs last season. Nate also really gutted out his swim to put himself in the top-10 all-time."
"Tyler had a monster swim tonight. I am pretty sure Narayan ran down that entire heat to place third."
The Cowboy 400 freestyle relay team of Frey, Ethan Griffel, Kybartas and Christian Johnson concluded the championships placing fifth with a time of 3:01.15.All told the Cowboys had two individual conference championships from Murdock on the platform and 3-meter springboard, as well as putting up 29 top-10 all-time swims.
"I am honored to work with Matt (Leach), `Manny' (Noguchi) and Pat (Bukowski) this season. I am really proud of the kids and the staff's effort this season. Everyone really worked hard and put everything they had into this meet."
Up next for the Wyoming Swimming and Diving teams will be the, NCAA Zone `E' Diving Championships in Minneapolis, Minn. on March 10-12. The UW swimmers with NCAA provisional qualifying times, during this weekend or the season, will have to wait and see if their times are pulled into the championship meets. The NCAA Women's Championships will be held in Austin, Texas on March 17-19. The NCAA Men's Championships will be held in Minneapolis on March 24-26.