Nov. 30, 2006
AUSTIN, Texas -
In one the toughest meets they have ever competed in, the UW swimming and diving team held its own and sent seven athletes to the finals, Thursday at the Jamail Swimming Center in Austin, Texas.
Leading the way for the UW program were the divers behind strong finishes from junior Brittany Wainwright and senior Kevin Bretting. Wainwright placed seventh in the women's 3-meter event, diving to a finals score of 262.20. She also had an exceptional preliminary round this morning and entered the finals as the third seeded female. Bretting qualified for tonight's finals and recorded the highest finish of the day for UW as he placed sixth in the men's 1-meter event with a score of 279.10.
"Our kids had a great day of diving among a very talented field," said UW diving coach Ben Herdt. "Brittany had an unbelievable preliminary round this morning and really proved that she belongs in the national diving scene. Kevin also had a very good day and finished with a very good sixth place showing. He was very solid on all of his dives and put together a nice couple rounds of diving."
The Cowboy swimmers had a good night as five athletes reached the finals. Leading the way for the Pokes was sophomore Matt Urich. Urich secured the highest swimming finish of the day, placing 24th in the 100 butterfly with a time of 49.88. His preliminary time of 49.28 was a qualifying standard for U.S. Senior Nationals. Senior Ron Fogel also finaled in the butterfly and placed 29th with a time of 50.25. Two Cowboys reached the finals in the 500 freestyle in freshman Robbie Hilton and sophomore Eli Bell. Hilton placed 29th (4:38.73) and Bell placed 30th (4:39.60). Sophomore Sam Shook also reached the finals in the 200 IM as he swam to the 30th best time in the field of 1:54.06.
The Cowboy relays also had a pair of good swims as the 200 freestyle relay placed 11th with a time of 1:25.36 and the 400 medley relay team placed 10th in 3:24.30. Swimming the free relay was freshman Tommy Gregory, Bell and freshmen Sam Holmes and Vinny Crispino. Competing in the medley relay was Shook, sophomore Alex Larkin, Urich and Bell.
"The guys had a good all around day," said UW swimming coach Tom Johnson. "This is a very talented field and we hung in there. Having five guys reach the night swims was great. We had two outstanding relays and made significant progress from where we were last year."
The Cowgirls also had a good night as they placed tenth in the 200 freestyle relay, turning in a time of 1:34.64. Swimming the relay was freshman Cassie Stelow, senior Heidi Thorson, junior Angela DeWolf and senior Tamara Lehnertz. The Cowgirl 400 medley relay placed 17th with the second best time in UW history of 3:51.91. Freshman Olena Moher, senior Erin Spadinger, Thorson and Lehnertz swam that relay for the Cowgirls.
Top individual performances included sophomore Aimee Stinson with a 39th place finish in the 500 freestyle (5:02.05), Thorson with a 43rd place showing in the 100 butterfly (57.54), senior Lauren Beard with a 46th place finish in the 200 IM (2:08.57) and Stelow with a 43rd place finish in the 50 freestyle (24.15).
"The women's meet seems to be a little deeper than the men's. The best teams in the nation are here and we had some nice swims with them," added Johnson. "We turned in some top-ten performances and were much faster as a team than we were at this time last year. We had some great relay and individual performances and our women proved they belong in a meet like this."
The Texas Invite will continue tomorrow with preliminary action slated to begin at 9 a.m. (Mountain Time) and finals set to begin at 5 p.m. Tomorrow's scheduled events include the 400 IM, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, men's 3-meter diving, women's 1-meter diving and the 200 medley and 800 freestyle relays.