Nov. 15, 2012
HOUSTON - The University of Wyoming swimming and diving teams completed the first day of racing and diving competition at the Phil Hansel Invitational in Houston, on Thursday. The Cowboys led the way in second place of the six-team field with 283 points. The Cowgirls are currently in sixth place of the 14-team with 62 points. The Pokes Adam Kalms won the 200 individual medley for Wyoming's one event victory of the day.
"I thought we were outstanding today," Wyoming head coach Tom Johnson said. "We were a little slow this morning but we really came back and swam fast in the finals tonight."
Today's relay events were the 200 freestyle relay and the 400 medley relay. Today's individual events included the 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley and 50 freestyle. The diving competition was on the 1-meter springboard for the men and the 3-meter for the women.
The finals session began with the 200 freestyle relay. The Cowgirl's "A" squad of Emily Ridout, Melanie McDonough, Emily Stucky and Morgan Hartigan finished seventh with a time of 1:33.25. On the men's side, Cowboys Kalms, Jeff Frey, Bryce Carter and Ryan O'Leary finished second with a time of 1:21.93. The Cowboys were just seven-tenths of a second behind the first-place LSU Tigers "A" squad.
The first individual event of the evening's finals was the 500 freestyle. Cowgirls Nicole Hlavacek and Jordan Denny both swam in the "B" final after placing 15th (4:54.71) and 16th (4:55.81), respectively, in the morning's preliminaries. In the final, Denny moved up three places to take 13th overall with a time of 4:54.60, while Hlavacek moved up one place to finish 14th (4:54.60).
In the men's 500 freestyle, Tyler Kybartas (4:29.72), Ryan Nelson (4:30.46) and Ethan Griffel (4:28.80) finished first, second and fourth, respectively in the preliminaries. In the 500 free finals, Griffel was the Pokes highest finisher taking third with a time of 4:28.80. After winning the preliminary, Kybartas finished the final in sixth (4:29.72). Nelson finished one second behind Kybartas in the final touching the wall in seventh with a time of 4:30.46.
"I was very impressed with both team's 500 freestyles," Johnson said. "I think our guys were faster than they ever have been in season tonight."
The next event in the lineup was the 200 individual medley. For the Cowgirls, Hartigan finished the preliminary in 11th place (2:02.62), but fell three places in the final to finish 14th with a time of 2:02.05.
"Morgan had the second best time of her career tonight in the IM today," Johnson said.
For the Cowboys, sophomore Kalms completed the event sweep in the 200 IM winning the preliminary with a time of 1:51.63. He dropped four seconds off his time in the final to win by two full seconds with a time of 1:47.69. Also in the "A" final was Nelson, who finished the preliminary in third (1:52.34), and finished the final in fifth with a time of 1:52.71.
"Both Adam and Ryan had excellent performances in the 200 IM today," Johnson said.
The following event was the 50 freestyle. The Cowgirls highest finisher was McDonough in 15th place with a time of 23.42. Kalms had a quick turnaround after swimming the 200 IM, but came back and finished fourth in the 50 free final. Kalms teammate Frey finished one place behind him in fifth with a time of 20.60. Other notable finishes for the Cowboys were Carter in ninth place (20.75), O'Leary in 11th (21.04), Nick Rutecki in 12th (21.09) and Griffel in 14th (21.46).
The final event of the day was the 400 medley relay, with Cowgirls Denny, Hartigan, Jessy Badaracco and Stucky finishing 10th with a time of 3:45.69. Wyoming's "A" squad of Kalms, Mike McCormick, Rutecki and Frey finished fourth with a time 3:19.53. The Cowboys "B" group of Calhoon, Jordan Turner, Kybartas and Griffel finished fifth with a time of 3:24.03.
In diving, Wyoming's highest finisher was Eric McMillin in 13th on the 1-meter springboard with a mark of 255.70. For the Cowgirls, Wallace finished the highest on the 3-meter in 34th with a mark of 235.50.
UW swimming and diving will continue action at the Phil Hansel-Houston Invitational on Friday, with the preliminaries beginning at 9 a.m. MT.