Feb. 21, 2011
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Swimming and Diving teams will be traveling to Oklahoma City, Okla., on Wednesday, Feb. 23 for the 2011 Mountain West Conference Championships, taking place at the Oklahoma City Community College Aquatics Center.
The Cowgirls finished the regular season in a tie for third place with Utah, with an 11-4 overall record and a 5-3 record in the MWC. The Cowboys also finished the season in a tie for third place with Air Force and BYU, with a 6-5 overall record and 2-3 in the MWC.
"We are going into every meet to win," Wyoming head swimming coach Tom Johnson said. "We are a team that is built for conference championships like this. I feel really good about our diving and the talent in our freshmen class. We are going to have to be excellent in the relays. We have set goals that we feel we can break every school record in the relays."
The Cowgirls will be looking to improve on their second place finish from a year ago.
The 400 yard freestyle relay features three of the four individuals from last season MWC champions including Kelsey Conci, Shelby Bull and Kenzie Hewson. They set the MWC record and the UW school record. The same three also are returning in the 200 freestyle relay, which also won a MWC championship last season.
The Wyoming women have one relay and two individuals seeded in the top three of events in this season's championship. The 400 medley relay team is seeded second with a season-best time of 3:45.56. Individually, Lesley Young is seeded in second place in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.83) and third in the 200 breast (2:16.76). Conci is seeded in first in the 50 freestyle (22.95) and second in the 100 backstroke (54.27).
"I think Kelsey could win a couple events; including the 100 back and the 50 free," Johnson added. "Lesley is ranked really high in the 100 breast and she wants to end up a winner and end her career on a high note. They just need to give it a good run and see what happens now."
On the men's side, the Cowboys will be looking to improve on their fourth-place finish from a year ago.
The 'Pokes welcome back reigning MWC platform champion Mark Murdock, who broke the conference and school record at last season's championships.
Individually, the Cowboys have two swimmers seeded in the top four of three events and one relay in the top four seeds. Junior Brandon Fischer is seeded third in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:02.83, while Tyler Kybartas is seeded fourth in both the 500 free (4:30.92) and the 200 fly (1:50.55).
Johnson believes that the Cowboys and Cowgirls have gained respect in the MWC over the last few seasons and feels both of his teams can make serious noise at this season's championships.
"We are going to put our best foot forward this weekend and put all of our eggs in one basket this weekend," Johnson added.
The first day of action will be Wednesday at the OCCC Aquatics Center in Oklahoma City and continue through Saturday.