Cowgirls Cassie Stelow and Stephanie Ortiz Compete in First Day of NCAA Championships

March 18, 2010


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Against the best competition in the nation, Wyoming Cowgirl swimming and diving seniors Cassie Stelow and Stephanie Ortiz were in action today at the 2010 NCAA Championships in West Lafayette, Ind. Stelow swam in the 50 freestyle while Ortiz competed on women's one-meter springboard.

Stelow, a native of Oneida, Wis., swam the 50 freestyle today against a field of 59 swimmers and closed out her very successful career today with a 29th place finish. Stelow swam her lone event in 22.73, but was unable to advance. Stelow is the first Cowgirl swimmer to qualify for the NCAA Championships since Norma Hughes did so in 1994 and is the first Cowgirl ever to compete in the 50 freestyle at the NCAA meet.

"Cassie had a little slow start on the blocks but had an outstanding back half," said UW head coach Tom Johnson. "I am very proud of her and the tremendous career she has had here at the University of Wyoming. We are going to miss her for a long time but I hope she has set the standard for Cowgirl swimming and in the future we will have more swimmers competing here."

Ortiz, a native of Colorado Springs, Colo., took on a field of 37 divers today on the one-meter springboard and finished with a score of 240.50 in 33rd place. Even with an incomplete second dive, Ortiz still managed to finish strong on her remaining dives and climbed up the leader board.

"Stephanie was very good today. She tried a new dive she learned only two days ago and unfortunately failed it," Johnson said. "The awesome thing about it was that she didn't quit. That's the kind of person she is. Her last four dives were tremendous but I know she is disappointed. Tomorrow she will take to three-meter which is more her forte. It is great being here and I am looking forward to Stephanie's diving tomorrow."

Ortiz will close out her outstanding collegiate career on three-meter springboard tomorrow. The three-meter event will begin at 11:30 Mountain with the preliminary round.

A live web stream of the NCAA Championships in West Lafayette, Ind. is available at