Jan. 12, 2012
The University of Wyoming swimming and diving team will finish preparation for its first dual of the spring season before traveling to Denver, Colo., on Saturday, Jan. 14, to take on the Denver Pioneers. A season ago, Wyoming split the dual with Denver with the Cowgirls defeating the Pioneers and the Cowboys falling on the last event.
"This has been a big meet for us the last couple years," Wyoming head coach Tom Johnson said. "The men's meet the last couple years has come down to the last relay. We were able to beat their women this year (at the DU Relays), but they are very good. It has turned into a great rivalry being as close as we are. They have a tremendous facility and we have always swum well there. My biggest concern is being at sea level as long as we were and coming back up to race at altitude on very short notice."
Previewing the dual: The Cowgirls swept all 16 events last season winning the dual 193-104 against the Pioneers. They have three returning multiple event winners in seniors Kelsey Conci (50 freestyle and 100 backstroke) and Shelby Bull (100 and 200 free) as well as sophomore Claudia Carlson (100 and 200 butterfly). Senior Caroline Wells is also won the 200 backstroke for the Cowgirls at last season's meet. In their last five meetings the Cowgirls are 5-0 against the Pioneers.
The Cowboys lost a close 152-146 decision to DU last season falling on the final event of the meet. Last season's dual came down to the final race the 400 freestyle relay as Wyoming led DU 140-139, but the Pioneer relay team touched out the Cowboys securing the victory. UW won eight of the 16 events against DU with two returning event winners. Senior Brandon Fischer won the 100 and 200 breaststroke, while sophomore Ethan Griffel won the 200 and 500 free. The Cowboys are 2-3 in their last five meetings with the Pioneers, last defeating DU in 2008.
About Denver: The Denver women are currently 5-0 in duals this season after defeating Florida Atlantic and Cincinnati on a training trip to Florida during winter break. The Pioneer men also defeated Florida Atlantic and Cincinnati over the break giving them a 3-1 dual record. On the women's side leading the Pioneers is freshman Sam Corea who leads the Sun Belt Conference in three events. She leads in the 50 free (23.49), 100 back (54.02) and 100 fly (53.97). Leading the Pioneer men is sophomore Kyle Milberg who leads the Sun Belt in four events. Milberg leads the 100 (48.89) and 200 (1:44.57) back, 100 fly (49.28) and 200 individual medley (1:49.55).
Notes about UW: Leading the Cowboys is senior Fischer who has the eighth-fastest 200 breaststroke time in the country of 1:55.75, which is also the fastest in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and an NCAA `B' cut time. Fischer also has two other `B' cuts in the 100 breast and 400 IM. Griffel leads the MPSF in the 200 free with a time of 1:39.30. Senior Cowgirl Conci leads the Mountain West in the 100 back and 50 free, with both times ranked in the top-20 in the nation. Her 100 back time of 52.67 is tied for the seventh-best swim in the country this season and leads the MW by nearly two seconds. Her 50 free time of 22.56 is good enough for 18th in the nation and first in the MW. Both her 100 back and 50 free times are NCAA `B' cut times, she also has a `B' cut in the 100 freestyle.