UW Women's Swimming and Diving Places 11th at WAC Championships

March 1, 1999

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

The University of Wyoming women's swimming and diving team competed at the WAC Championships this past weekend, February 25-27, in Oklahoma City.

The Cowgirls improved three spots from last year placing 11th in the WAC with 108 points. The women finished the season at the championships with 6 new school records and 27 final finishes that placed swimmers in the Wyoming All-Time Top Performance List.

The SMU Mustangs ran away with the competition and won the meet with 907.5 points. BYU was the next closest school, placing second with 490.5 points.

After the first day of competiton, the Cowgirls were led by junior Emily Hollon, who broke the school record in the 50 Freestyle with a time of 24.19. Senior Bethany Larsen was right behind her with a time of 24.41, which puts both one and two in the Top Performances. Freshman Jennifer Schurz swam a strong 200 IM with a time of 2:08.97, qualifying her to compete at the Junior Nationals, her first ever qualification. Jen Rice finished 18th in the 500 Freestyle with a 4:59.80 and Jessica Schiffl placed 21st (5:03.00). The relay teams for the Cowgirls placed in the top 12 with the 200 Free Relay placing 10th and the 400 Medley Relay finishing 12th.

The second day of the meet, the Cowgirls continued to improve upon their standings; the 200 Medley Relay placed 12th with a time that was three seconds faster than the time they had been swimming all season. The biggest swim for the Pokes came in the 800 Free Relay where they finished 9th and broke the school record by six seconds (7:40.90). Wyoming finishers were Jen Schurz in the 100 Fly (57.68), and Theresa Nakao finished 12th in the 100 Breaststroke.

The final day of swimming at the WAC Championships, the Pokes placed four swimmers in the top 15. Junior Jessica Schiffl placed the highest for the women in the championships in the 1650 Freestyle, placing 7th with a time of 17:06.04. While swimming the 1650 Free, Schiffl also broke the school record in the 1000 Free. Jen Rice also placed 12th in the 1650 Free (17:13.46). Bethany Larsen finished 15th in the 100 Free, while Theresa Nakao broke the school record in the 200 Breaststoke finishing 12th with a time of 2:22.23. Also the 400 Free Relay team finished 9th and also breaking the school record with a time of 3:32.00.

The UW women's divers also placed and competed well at the WAC Championships. After the first day of competition, Dominy Thompson led the way for the Pokes, finishing 16th in the 1-meter springboard. Wendy O'Connell, who transferred at semester, placed 15th in the 3-meter springboard and also placed 12th in the platform event. Other Wyoming finishes in the 3-meter were Dominy Thompson at 19th, Laura Tierney at 22nd and Sadie West finishing 23rd.

"We have had a great meet and set six new school records," said head coach Tom Johnson. "I am very pleased with the way the girls competed here at the championships and the girls are extremely happy and pleased with their performances as well. I think that this shows that we are headed in the right direction and making a large step towards improvements and future successes. Moving up three spaces in the WAC over a one year period is a very strong move for us and we are looking forward to next year and the season."