Wyoming Swimming and Diving Opens Notre Dame and Texas Invitationals

Dec. 1, 2005

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

The University of Wyoming swimming team had a solid opening day at the 2005 Notre Dame Invite while three divers dove in the finals of the Texas Invite, Thursday in South Bend and Austin.

Following the first day of swimming action at the Notre Dame Invite, the Cowgirls are in fourth place with 295 team points. Notre Dame leads the women's field with 555 points followed by Utah (526), Truman State (435), the Cowgirls, North Dakota (246), Indianapolis (227) St. Louis (187) and Hillside (98).

The swim of the day came in the 500 freestyle as freshman Aimee Stinson broke a 15 year old school record with her fourth place time of 4:58.70. She betters UW Hall of Fame member Norma Hughes' time of 4:50.00, which has stood since 1990.

Other Cowgirls who finished in the top-ten of their events were junior Lauren Beard and sophomore Brittany Wainwright. Beard swam to a sixth place finish in the 200 IM with a time of 2:08.36 and Wainwright dove to a sixth place score of 278.85 on the 3-meter springboard. The Cowgirls 200 freestyle relay placed sixth (1:37.79) and the 400 medley relay placed eighth (3:58.80).

The Cowboys are currently in sixth place with 242 team points. Notre Dame leads the men with 878.5 points and are followed by Utah (474), North Dakota (317), Truman State (258.5), Indianapolis (244), the Cowboys and St. Louis (119).

The best event for the Cowboys was the 500 freestyle as two swimmers finished in the top-10. Junior Ron Fogel placed eighth in the "A" final with a time of 4:40.26 and sophomore Henry Holmberg won the "B" final with a time of 4:35.34, the ninth best time in the field. Sophomore Sam King also had a strong day as he swam to a ninth place finish in the 200 IM with a time of 1:55.13. The Cowboys best relay was the 400 medley, where they swam to a fifth place time of 3:29.08.

In diving action at the Texas Invite, a pair of Cowgirls qualified for the finals in 1-meter springboard action. Sophomore Ginni van Katwijk dove to a sixth place score of 245.35 and junior Saara Haapanen placed eighth with a score of 226.80. Van Katwijk's score earns her a trip to the 2006 NCAA Zone "E" Diving Championships this spring.

Junior John Lynch was the only Cowboy to dive in the finals of the 3-meter springboard where he finished eighth with a score of 271.10.

"We had some great performances today, but overall I feel like we are holding back a little," said UW head coach Tom Johnson. "I don't know exactly what it was today, but overall we didn't seem to race as well as we are capable.

"Aimee had a great race as she set a new school record in the 500 and I am very happy that Ginni got her zone qualification out of the way. As a team we were very strong in the 500's and IM's but need to get a little better in some other areas."

Both invites will continue tomorrow with preliminary action in the morning and finals beginning tomorrow evening. Both invites will conclude on Saturday.

"The first day of these invitationals is always the toughest, "added Johnson. "We just need to get better every session and every day, from here on out."

* see complete results at www.und.com and www.texas sports.com*