Jan. 10, 2013
LARAMIE, Wyo. - The University of Wyoming Swimming and Diving teams will return to Corbett Pool to host the University of Denver Pioneers on Saturday, for Senior Day for both UW squads. UW swimming and diving will honor its five Cowgirl and two Cowboy seniors. The UW seniors include Sasha Andrie, Jessy Badaracco, Paige Fischer, Shayna Swanson, Meghan Swirzcki, Tyler Kybartas and Trevor LeValley. Saturday's meet will begin with both rounds of diving beginning at 10 a.m. in Corbett Pool, while the swimming portion of the meet will begin at 1 p.m.
"I think this is going to be as close of a dual as we have had all season," Wyoming head coach Tom Johnson said. "I told the kids yesterday in our team meeting that every place and every touch-out is going to count. I guess the scary part for us is not having a meet for more than a month, but I know our kids are itching to race and really looking forward to it."
A look at the matchup: The Cowboys are set host their first ranked opponent this season with the Pioneer men entering the meet ranked No. 25 in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Poll. The teams squared off once prior this season at the DU Relays with the Cowboys earning the victory with 201 total points. Although both squads have seen each other this season Saturday will be the first dual meeting between the programs. The Pokes and the Pioneers met once during the 2011-12 season when DU defeated UW 185-115. Wyoming returns one individual event winner from last season in Adam Kalms, who won the 200 freestyle. It also returns two members of the winning 200 medley relay squad in Nick Rutecki and Jeff Frey. On the 1- and 3-meter diving boards Cowboys Dalton Haas and Derek Campbell both finished second, respectively.
The Cowgirls also fell to the Pioneers last season by a score of 208-92. Junior Morgan Hartigan is UW's only returning event winner, taking first in the 100 breaststroke. Andrie finished the 1-meter springboard in second.
About the Pioneers: The Pioneer men enter the meet with a 2-2 overall mark having won their last meet against Florida Atlantic on Dec. 18, 2012. The Pioneer women are currently 5-1 on the season also having defeated Florida Atlantic in their last meet.
A look at the UW seniors: Kybartas, a native of Tucson, Ariz., returned for his redshirt senior season after an injury forced him to sit out the 2011-12 season. During his junior season of 2010-11, Kybartas was the Mountain West runner-up in the 200 butterfly and recorded two other top-five finishes in the 200 (fifth) and (fourth) 500 freestyle. He is a three-time All-MW honoree in the pool and three-time Academic All-MW honoree in the classroom.
"For Tyler to tear his labrum last season and to come off it and contribute at the level he has, it has been remarkable. I applaud his determination, his contributions and his resiliency to want to come back and finish his career on a good note."
LeValley is a product of Lake Stevens, Wash., and has been one of the most improved UW swimmers over his career. During the summer of 2012 LeValley qualified for the US Olympic Team Trails in the 400 individual medley. At the 2012, Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships he finished third in the 400 IM, while also finishing sixth in the 200 butterfly. LeValley is a first team All-MPSF swimmer in the 400 IM and second team in the 200 fly. He also excelled in the classroom throughout his Cowboy career earning two Academic All-MW honors and one Academic All-MPSF honor, while also earning three-consecutive MW Scholar-Athlete awards.
"Trevor is probably one of the brightest kids I have ever coached," Johnson said. "His determination to be good and his work ethic have been awesome all four years."
Andrie is a homegrown product from Gillette, Wyo., and has been a leader for the Cowgirls this season. She has had an excellent 2012-13 season so far winning the 1-meter springboard against Northern Colorado with an NCAA Zone "E" Diving qualifying score of 283.13. Andrie will be making her first career trip to the NCAA Zone Diving Championships in March. She also has excelled in the classroom earning three-consecutive Academic All-MW awards.
"Sasha has taken the divers under her wing this year and they needed that guidance with the change in coaches," Johnson said. "I think that leadership role has really helped her too because I have never seen her dive so well. She is also an excellent student and bright young lady."
Badaracco, a native of Bailey, Colo., has proven herself as one of the Cowgirls' most consistent swimmers during her career. At the 2012 MW Championships she earned All-MW honors in three events. Her best finish came in the 400 medley relay helping that squad to a third-place finish. Individually, she finished the 400 IM in fifth place and the 200 fly in seventh place. Badaracco is a two-time All-MW honoree.
"Jessy is one of the hardest working kids I have ever coached," Johnson said. "She is now swimming the men's intervals. She works so hard and does not want to just break out school records but demolish them. She is a tremendous person and fully committed to this team. She has been a great captain for our team."
Fischer, a native of Arvada, Colo., has established herself as one of the Cowgirls best distance-freestyle swimmers during her four years. Fischer is an All-MW honoree in the 1650 and 500 freestyles. Her greatest successes have come in the classroom earning three-consecutive Academic All-MW and Scholar-Athlete honors.
"Paige is a tremendous academic athlete and is everything that our program should be about," Johnson said. "She is tough and wants to be good. She has been a huge asset to our program."
Swanson is a native of Elbert, Colo., and joined the Cowgirls as a walk on during her freshman season. She earned her first collegiate event victory in a dual this season against Northern Colorado winning the 50 freestyle.
"Shayna is another tough swimmer," Johnson said. "For her to walk-on and continually contribute has been great. She always wants to be better. She has swam every summer she has been here and desperately wants to contribute to this program. I am proud of her that she is going to walk away a letterwinner."
Swirzcki is another Wyoming product from Gillette and has been a versatile swimmer for UW throughout her four years. During the 2012 MW Championships, she earned her first All-MW honor placing seventh in the 200 breaststroke.
"Meghan is a hard-nosed, hard-working and Wyoming tough swimmer," Johnson said. "She is a great racer especially in the 200 breast. She is always positive and always nice to be around. She also has been a great captain for our team."