Feb. 18, 2013
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming men's and women's swimming and diving teams finished preparations for their respective conference championships that begin on Wednesday and continue to Saturday. The Wyoming men's team will split up for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships with the swimmers off to Los Angles, Calif., to swim at East Los Angeles College and the divers will travel to Colorado Springs, Colo., to dive at the Air Force Academy. The women's team will travel to San Antonio, Texas, for the Mountain West Championships that will be hosted at Palo Alto College Aquatic Center. Both meets are set to begin on Wednesday, with the women beginning at 12:30 p.m. CT with the 1-meter springboard and the men beginning at 6 p.m. PT with the 200-yard medley relay final and 800 freestyle final.
A look at last season's championships: Mountain Pacific Sports Federation: The Cowboys finished the 2012 MPSF Championships in third place with 556 total team points, less than 75 points behind champion BYU. Junior freestyle swimmer Ethan Griffel, returns after having an excellent meet winning two championships in the 200 and 500 freestyle. The Cowboy 800 freestyle relay squad of Adam Kalms, Ryan O'Leary, Griffel and Jayce Calhoon also all return as conference champions after setting the MPSF Championship record in that event. At last season's meet, Wyoming head coach Tom Johnson was named the conference coach of the year in his team's first season in the conference.
Griffel and the 800 freestyle relay team earned first team All-MPSF honors and the Pokes return three other individuals who earned first-team honors including Kalms in the 200 freestyle, Calhoon in the 200 backstroke and senior Trevor LeValley in the 400 individual medley. Earning individual second team All-MPSF at last season's meet were Calhoon in the 500 freestyle and 400 IM, Kalms in the 200 IM and 200 backstroke, LeValley in the 200 butterfly, junior Nick Rutecki in the 50 freestyle, sophomore Jordan Turner in the 400 IM and junior diver Derek Campbell on the 1-meter springboard and the platform dive. Returning second team all-conference relay performers are Rutecki and Frey in the 200 and 400 medley relay. Kalms joins Rutecki and Frey returning as second team all-conference in the 200 freestyle. All four members of the second team 400 freestyle relay team in Kalms, Griffel, O'Leary and Frey also return for the Cowboys.
Mountain West: At the 2012 Mountain West Championships, the Cowgirls finished in fourth place with 470 team points. Sophomore Jordan Denny returns to defend her 200 backstroke conference championship. Juniors Morgan Hartigan and Mackenzie Norlin return as two of the four members of the 200 medley relay conference champions.
The Cowgirls return seven individual All-MW performers including at least one member of two All-MW relay teams. Leading the way were Hartigan and Denny who each earned three individual all-conference accolades. Denny earned All-MW for her victory in the 200 backstroke and she also earned the honor in the 200 and 500 freestyle. Hartigan earned individual all-conference in the 100 and 200 breaststroke as well as the 200 IM. Senior Jessy Badaracco and sophomore Claudia Carlson each finished with two all-conference honors. Badaracco earned individual honors in the 200 butterfly and 400 IM, while Carlson garnered honors in both the 100 and 200 butterfly. Other returning all-conference honorees are Kasey Robinson (1650 freestyle), Meghan Swirzcki (200 breaststroke) and Stephanie Young in the 100 breaststroke. Returning to all-conference relay teams are Hartigan and Badaracco in the 400 medley relay and Hartigan in the 200 freestyle relay.
Notes about the Cowboys: The Cowboys finished the season with an 8-1 overall record in duals and their 88 percent win rate was the best ever under Johnson. The Pokes also knocked off No. 25 Denver on Jan. 12 for their first dual victory against a ranked opponent since defeating No. 24 UNLV on Jan. 22, 2005.
Leading the way for the Cowboys is Kalms, who has two top-50 times in the nation, three in the top three of the MPSF and has earned MPSF swimmer of the week honors once this season on. His best time comes in the 200 freestyle of 1:35.53, which is No. 12 in the nation and first in the conference. His 200 IM time of 1:47.69 is also ranked in the top 50 of the nation at No. 40 and is currently third in the MPSF. He also has the second fastest time in the MPSF in the 100 freestyle of 44.17.
Griffel currently has three top-seven times in the conference and has also earned a MPSF Swimmer of the Week honor during the week of Jan. 20, 2013. He is currently third in the 200 freestyle (1:38.02), fourth in the 500 freestyle (4:28.80) and seventh in the 100 freestyle with a time of 44.99.
Freshman Ryan Nelson has proven himself early for the Cowboys with four top-10 MPSF times in the 1650 and 1000 freestyle, 200 butterfly and 400 IM. His 1650 freestyle (15:37.77), 1000 freestyle (9:22.33) and 400 IM (3:54.50) are all ranked fourth in the conference. His 200 butterfly time of 1:50.82 also ranks No. 10 in the league.
Three other Cowboys are ranked in the top 10 of at least two events. Frey is No. 10 in the 50 freestyle (20.60) and ninth in the 100 freestyle with a time of 45.07. Calhoon is currently seventh in the 200 backstroke (1:47.48) and his 400 IM time of 4:00.07 is 10th. Redshirt senior Tyler Kybartas has the seventh-fastest time in the 200 butterfly of 1:50.15 and is sixth in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:29.72.
Junior diver Derek Campbell has qualified for the NCAA Zone "E" Diving Championship in all three diving events for the second time in his UW career.
Notes about the Cowgirls: The Cowgirls finished the season with just one dual loss (5-1 overall) which included a four-dual winning streak from Oct. 7, 2012 to Jan. 7, 2013.
Hartigan leads the Cowgirls after having an excellent season earning MW Swimmer of the Week honors three times. She has three top-10 times in the MW entering the championship meet. Her 100 breaststroke time of 1:02.36 is second, followed by her 100 freestyle (50.55) that is sixth and her fourth-ranked 200 IM of 2:02.05.
Denny has four top-10 MW times. Her best time of 1:57.19 comes in the 200 backstroke, good for third in the conference. She has the fourth-best times in the 100 backstroke (54.80) and in the 200 freestyle of 1:49.54. Her 500 freestyle time of 4:53.48 is currently eighth in the conference.
Badaracco also has four top-10 MW times. She has the fourth-fastest 200 butterfly (2:03.87), the fifth-fastest 400 IM (4:20.75), the seventh-fastest 100 butterfly (55.15) and the ninth-fastest 200 IM with a time of 2:03.98.
Two other Cowgirls in Young and freshman Nicole Hlavacek each have two top-10 times. Young has the third-fastest 100 breaststroke (1:02.61) and the 10th-fastest 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:18.94. Hlavacek has the fourth-fastest 1650 freestyle (16:39.13) and the sixth-fastest 1000 freestyle time of 10:11.31.