Cowboys to Begin WAC Championships Wednesday

Feb. 22, 2016

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

Championship Central | Live Video

The University of Wyoming Cowboy swimming and diving team travels to Houston, Texas, on Wednesday to compete in the 2016 Western Athletic Conference Championships. The four-day event will be held at the University of Houston's Campus and Recreation Wellness Natatorium.

The championships begin Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. MT with women's 1-meter diving prelims followed by the men's 3-meter diving prelims. The first finals events will begin in the evening session on Wednesday at 5 p.m., with the 200 medley and 800 free relays and finals for diving. The WAC will be streaming the finals of all four nights. Viewers can watch for free by clicking the link above.

A voting panel comprised of the seven WAC head men's coaches chose Air Force as the favorite to win this year's championship title. The Falcons were picked with four first-place votes and 34 points overall. Grand Canyon captured second place with 32 points and three first-place votes, as the Pokes grabbed 27 points to finish third. UNLV was fourth with 21 points, followed by CSU-Bakersfield (16), North Dakota (12) and Seattle (6).

The Cowboys hold several top-five conference times on the season. Ryan Ball (4:30.87) is second in the league in the 500 free, while Eric Oleson (4:31.33) is third, Ryan Nelson (4:32.49) is fourth and Jack Herron (4:34.03) is fifth. Ball is also second in the WAC in 1,000 free with a mark of 9:24.44, as Oleson is third (9:32.85).

Ball is also the team leader and second in the WAC in the 200 back. He has an NCAA "B" qualifying time of 1:44.70, while Gabe Rooker also has NCAA qualifying times in the 100 and 200 breast. His times are 54.45 and 1:58.99, respectively. Wade Nelson has the WAC's fourth-best time in the 200 fly with 1:48.15, as Ryan Nelson has the second-best time in the WAC in the 400 IM with 3:52.59.

At last year's meet, the Cowboys took third with 691.5 total team points. Adam Kalms won both the 100 and 200 free events to lead the Pokes, while Ball was named the WAC Freshman of the year after finishing second in the 200 back with a time of 1:45.22. Jacob Rehmeier won the 3-meter diving event with a tally of 324.75, as Austin Rettinghouse came in second for Wyoming.