Wyoming Swimmers Record Top-Ten Finishes At Speedo Championships Western Sectional

July 26, 2011

LARAMIE, Wyo. - With the summer swimming season in full swing, a group of Cowboys and Cowgirls represented the University of Wyoming Swimming program and the Wyoming Aquatics Club in Gresham, Ore., at the Speedo Championship Series Western Sectional on July 19-23. Both the Cowboys and Cowgirls had an excellent week with both finishing in the top-10. The Cowboys placed eighth of 50 teams with 129 points, while the Cowgirls placed ninth of 52 teams with 140 points. The western sectional was hosted by the Mt. Hood Aquatic Center and all races were long course swims.

"This was our best finish ever at this meet," Wyoming head swimming coach Tom Johnson said. "For our kids who are getting ready for nationals next week to swim unshaved and unrested, I was really impressed. (Associate head coach) Matt's (Leach) group of kids really swam awesome this weekend."

Cowgirls Morgan Hartigan, Kelsey Conci, Nikki Finnesand and Hannah Cox started the meet off right for UW with a fifth-place finish in the 200-meter freestyle relay with a time of 1:47.66.

In the 200 breaststroke, Cowboy senior Brandon Fischer recorded a second-place finish in the morning preliminaries with a time of 2:21.02. In the evenings `A' final, Fischer was able to capture UW's first gold medal of the weekend and an Olympic Trial cut with a time of 2:17.91.

Wyoming's Tyler Kybartas had two good swims in the 200 butterfly, placing 11th in the preliminaries with a time of 2:08.50. Kybartas swam in the `B' final where he placed 15th with a time of 2:10.86.

In the 400 individual medley, Cowboy Fischer and Cowgirl Jessy Badaracco each recorded a top-15 finish. Badaracco placed 13th in the preliminaries with a time of 5:05.64. She was able to move up one spot in the finals placing 12th with a time of 5:05.79. Fischer was able to record two top-10 finishes, placing eighth in the preliminaries with a time of 4:36.72. He moved up two spots in the finals placing sixth with a time of 4:37.13.

Cowgirl Conci excelled in the 100 backstroke placing second in both the preliminaries and the finals. Conci swam her way into second in the prelims with an Olympic Trial cut time of 1:02.96. She was able to shave one-tenth of a second off her preliminary time in the finals, still finishing second with another Olympic Trial cut time of 1:02.86.

In the 100 breaststroke the Cowboys would see Fischer crowned champion for the second time of the weekend. Fischer recorded a fourth-place finish in the preliminaries with a time of 1:05.83. In the evenings `A' final Fischer touched the wall in first place with an Olympic Trial cut time of 1:04.05. Hartigan would also record a top-five finish and an Olympic Trial cut time when the women's 100 breaststroke was concluded. She placed seventh in the morning preliminaries with a time of 1:13.44, which put her in the `A' final. In the finals she cut two seconds off her prelim time swimming her way to third place with an Olympic Trial cut time of 1:11.16.

Adding to his already impressive weekend, Fischer recorded his third first-place finish in the 200 IM. He placed third in the preliminaries with a time of 2:10.41 which put him in the `A' final. He was able to knock four seconds off his preliminary time placing first and recording his third Olympic Trial cut time of 2:06.47. Hartigan also recorded a top-10 finish in the 200 IM placing ninth with a time of 2:20.32, which was good enough to earn her a spot at the U.S. Senior National meet.

In the 50 freestyle, sophomore Jeff Frey picked up the Cowboys fourth individual championship with a wire-to-wire victory. He placed first in the preliminaries with a time of 24.04 and completed his gold medal swim in the finals with a time of 23.78. Cowgirl senior Conci placed ninth in the 50 freestyle final with a time of 26.68.

"It was really cool the last night to have two champions in Brandon and Jeff," Johnson said.

In the relays both UW teams recorded top-five finishes. In the 200 medley relay Cowgirls Conci, Hartigan, Badaracco and Finnesand placed second with a time of 1:57.81. Cowboys Marshall Dilworth, Fischer, Kybartas and Ethan Griffel placed third in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:49.13. In the 400 medley relay, Cowgirls Conci, Hartigan, Badaracco and Finnesand placed third with a time of 4:20.35. Cowboys Dilworth, Fischer, Kybartas and Frey took the silver medal in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:56.92.

Overall on the weekend, UW recorded 11 women's long course records, six men's long course records, had four individual championships and 14 top-10 finishes.

Cowboy Trevor LeValley also swam at the western sectional but with his home club team the Mighty Marlins, recording two top-six finishes. He placed sixth in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:07.08. He also placed third in the 400 IM with a senior national cut time of 4:32.10.

"Trevor had an awesome meet, I cannot believe how well he swam," Johnson added.

"The best thing about this weekend was the atmosphere on deck. Our kids were really behind each other and were always cheering for one another," UW associate head coach Matt Leach said. "We were the talk of the meet in the stands, we had parents in the stands and everyone was talking about our camaraderie, the enthusiasm and how fast we were swimming."

Next up on the summer series for the UW swimmers will be a trip to the 2011 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships in Palo Alto, Calif., on Aug. 2-6. This meet will be a selection meet for the World University Games and the Pan-Am Games, which all the UW athletes competing could be eligible for if they place highly enough.

For more information on the western sectional or the swimming national championship see the links below: