Cowboys Remain in Second Place and Matt Urich Wins MWC Championship in 100 Butterfly

Feb. 29, 2008


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Matt Urich won the Mountain West Conference 100 butterfly Championship and the Cowboys remain in second place as the Wyoming swimming and diving team continued its historic run at the 2008 MWC Championships in Oklahoma City, Okla. On the day, the UW swimming and diving program broke five school records and swam six NCAA provisional qualifying times.

The Cowboys trail only UNLV who has scored 575 team points. The Cowboys are in second with 473 points and lead BYU (449.5), Air Force (393), TCU (328) and Utah (243.5).

The Cowgirls fell to third place in the MWC standings following the third day of competition with 399.5 team points. UW trails BYU (544) and UNLV (432). Behind UW is Utah (375), Colorado State (237), New Mexico (192), TCU (173.5), San Diego State (121) and Air Force (97).

Cowboy Sam King placed second in the 400 IM with a time of 3:53.41. (Trevor Brown, Jr./NCAA Photos)

Urich's 100 butterfly was the highlight of the day for the Cowboys. The junior had an electrifying final 25-yards to touch out BYU by .01 seconds and win the 100 butterfly conference championship. His time of 47.65 is the fastest a Cowboy has ever swum the 100 butterfly and is an NCAA "B" cut. The win is also very sweet considering Urich was the runner-up in the event last season. Freshman James Rigg had a great 100 fly consolation swim behind Urich and placed 11th with a time of 50.34.

The Cowboy relays stepped up in a big way in the final event of the night by placing second and scoring some very big points. The team of freshman Nathan Fuller, junior Alex Larkin, Urich and junior Eli Bell turned in a time of 3:18.14.

Senior Sam King had a remarkable 400 IM and placed second with a time of 3:53.41. His time is the second fastest in Wyoming history and is an NCAA "B" cut. Junior Sam Shook also reached the finals where he placed eighth with a time of 4:04.86.

The Cowboy 100 breaststroke contributed a great deal of points on Friday with junior Alex Larkin leading the way. Larkin placed second with an NCAA "B" cut time of 55.04. Senior Will McCallum had a great swim and placed fifth with the fifth best time in school history of 56.28. Senior Levi Bell scored in the consolation final with a 10th place time of 56.46.

The Cowboy diving quartet of junior Tyler Miller and freshmen Mark Murdock, Kyle Bogner and Colter Yancey completed a remarkable feat as all four reached the finals in the platform event. That means that all four reached the top-eight in the MWC in all three diving events. In platform, Miller placed third (274.30), Murdock was fourth (249.20), Bogner was sixth (243.10) and Yancey was eighth (229.65). Those scores are all personal best scores.

A pair of Pokes scored points in the 200 freestyle as Eli Bell placed seventh with a time of 1:39.35 and sophomore Tommy Gregory placed 13th in 1:41.33. Bell's time is second all-time at UW.

Cowgirl Megan Evans swam an NCAA "B" cut time of 4:20.43 in the 400 IM. (Trevor Brown, Jr./NCAA Photos)

Freshman Nathan Fuller chipped in some points in the 100 backstroke as he placed 11th with a time of 50.99.

For the Cowgirls, the race of the day was the 400 IM where sophomore Megan Evans placed second and freshman Stephanie Vint placed fourth. Both Evans and the first place swimmer were under the all-time MWC record time. Evans' huge second place finish came in a Wyoming record and NCAA "B" cut time of 4:20.43. Vint's time of 4:23.82 is the second fastest time in school history.

Freshman Lesley Young turned in another second place finish for the Cowgirls by swimming a record breaking day in the 100 breaststroke. She swam a second place time of 1:03.21 in the night's finals but swam a faster time in the morning preliminaries. Her morning swim of 1:02.90 is a new Wyoming record and NCAA "B" cut. Behind Young, sophomore Jessica Fruhwirth placed sixth (1:05.40), sophomore Cassie Stelow placed 13th (1:06.32) and sophomore Kaella Hartigan placed 16th (1:07.02).

Junior Aimee Stinson continued her excellent career with a fourth place, school record swim in the 200 freestyle. She finished with a time of 1:50.10 and broke her own school record. Junior Krista Jones also reached the finals, where she placed eighth with a time of 1:52.65. Her preliminary time of 1:51.68 is the third best in UW history.

Cowboy Sam Shook placed eighth in the 400 IM with a time of 4:04.86. (Trevor Brown, Jr./NCAA Photos)

The Cowgirl 400 medley relay team swam to a fourth place time of 3:47.66 which is a new school record. Swimming the race was senior Rachel Leyes, Young and sophomores Maggie Bach and Cassie Stelow.

Bach also earned some nice points for the Cowgirls by winning the 100 butterfly consolation heat. She clocked in with a time of 56.27 and her preliminary time of 56.22 from the morning session is the fifth best time in school history.

In the 100 backstroke, two Cowgirls contributed points. Leyes led the way by placing 10th with a time of 57.68. That time puts Leyes in UW's all-time top-five as the fourth best swim. Sophomore Molly Janak placed 11th in a time of 58.87 and freshman Erin Wagner was 16th in 58.87.

"We had a solid day that was really set up by a great morning," said UW head coach Tom Johnson. "Matt's performance was obviously the highlight of the night and was unbelievable to watch. Megan Evans smashed her school record in the 400 IM and we also had some other great record swims from Aimee, Lesley and the women's 400 medley relay. Sam King was also very impressive in the 400 IM.

"Overall, we are in a solid position heading into the final day. We are ahead of BYU on the men's side which is great, but unfortunately UNLV pulled away a little bit on the women's side. We are looking for a big day tomorrow and hopefully we will finish this meet as well as we have started it."

As both UW teams try to make history tomorrow, the scheduled events that stand between them on Saturday include women's platform diving, the 1650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, and 400 freestyle relay. Preliminaries will begin at 10 a.m. and the finals will begin at 6 p.m. (Central Time).