Pokes Finish Third at WAC Championship

Feb. 28, 2015

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -

WAC Championship Final Results   Get Acrobat Reader

The Cowboy swimming and diving team wrapped up the Western Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday evening in the Palo Alto College Aquatics Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Cowboys finished third with 691.5 points. UNLV won their second-consecutive WAC title with 715.5 points. Air Force finished second at 705.5 points.

"I'm really happy for our guys, we battled to the end and never quit," UW head coach Tom Johnson said. "All in all the guys battled very hard and I'm just so proud and our guys raced our hearts out."

Senior Adam Kalms won the 100 freestyle with a season-best time of 43.23. It was his second conference championship in the event after winning the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation crown in 2012-13. Freshman Kyle White finished 10th at 44.34.

"Adams race was a tough race and he swam smart and his last turn was the best I have ever seen in my years of coaching," Johnson said.

Freshman Ryan Ball finished second in the 200 backstroke with the second-fastest time in school history of 1:45.22. Junior Brendan Costello finished third with a time of 1:47.26. Sophomore Patrick Jones finished 10th at 1:48.52. Ball was also named WAC freshman of the Year after the meet.

"Ryan is such a tough kid and today to go out and did what he did was great," Johnson said. "I'm just so proud and he was the toughest I've seen him all year in the last 48 hours."

Junior George Eglesfield finished third in the 200 butterfly with a mark of 1:46.98. Freshman Wade Nelson finished sixth with the sixth fastest time at Wyoming of 1:48.21. Sophomore Dylan Sether finished 10th at 1:48.87.

The Pokes opened the night with the 1,650 freestyle. Junior Ryan Nelson finished third at 15:20.49. Ball finished fifth with a mark that was a personal-best and sixth fastest time in school history of 15:29.55. Fellow freshman Eric Oleson finished 10th with a time of 15:52.92.

Senior Rudi Hanekamp placed fifth in the 200 breaststroke with the fourth fastest time in school history of 1:59.84. Junior Kyle Scalise finished ninth at 2:00.57. Senior Michael McCormick finished 10th at 2:00.68 with senior Jordan Turner finishing 12th at 2:01.68.

The Cowboys finished fourth in the 400 freestyle relay to wrap up the championship. The team of White, junior Bryce Carter, Scalise and Kalms finished with a time of 2:58.93.

The Wyoming divers made history, as it marked the first time since 2008 that three UW divers qualified for the finals in two events. Freshman Ryan Russi led the way finishing third on the platform with a career-best 285.60. His mark was the third best in school history. Sophomore Jacob Rehmeier finished seventh at 253.25 with freshman Austin Rettinghouse finishing eighth at 252.40.

"The guys had some troubles in the morning session and overall we recovered and did really well," UW diving coach Chelsea Popplewell said. "Our guys exceeded our expectations this week and were level headed and didn't get overwhelmed."

For Cowboys with NCAA "B" provisional times they will now wait for the NCAA Psych Sheets to come out to see if they will earn spots in next month's NCAA Championship. Rehmeier and Rettinghouse qualified for next month's NCAA Zone "E" Diving Championships on at least one board and will continue training before traveling to Colorado Springs, Colo. on March 9.