LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming swimming and diving teams will begin its 2015-16 campaign with the annual Brown and Gold meet on Friday in Cheyenne at South High School. The dual is free and open to the public and will begin at 5:30 p.m. MT. Like in years past, the Cowboys and Cowgirls will be split into two co-ed teams to compete against one another.
“This is always an enjoyable event for not just the seniors but the rest of the team as well,” UW head coach Tom Johnson said. “This really is our first step into our season to see where we are at, assess where we are at and make changes we need to make or things we need to work on to better ourselves for the season.”
A Look at the Cowgirls: The Cowgirls have plenty of experience returning that earned All-Mountain West honors last year. Maria Harutjunjan, Keely Bishop and Molly Coonce each earned multiple honors for the Cowgirls. Harutjunjan was the conference champion in the 100 breaststroke and took second in the 200, as Bishop earned All-MW in the 1-meter and platform dive, and Coonce earned all-conference honors in the 100 and 200 butterfly. Kari Campbell was named All-MW after a solid performance at the MW Championships that included setting a school record in the platform dive. Emma Dow, Aliyah Mikulski, Emily Ridout, Abby Sullivan and Connor Tarver also earned All-MW honors a year ago. Campbell became the first Cowgirl to qualify for a final at the NCAA Zone Championship since 2013, as she finished 15th of the 56-diver field. Bishop also finished 31st at the Championships. Harutjunjan represented the Cowgirls and her home country of Estonia at the World University Games. She competed in the 50, 100 and 200 breaststroke events.
A Look at the Cowboys: The Cowboys return a number of key members from last season’s third-place finish at the WAC Championships. Ryan Ball was the Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year a year ago after he won the 100 free and finished second in the 200 backstroke with the second-fastest time in school history. Brendan Costello finished third in the 200 backstroke, while George Eglesfield placed third in the 200 butterfly, as Wade Nelson finished sixth. Ryan Nelson also had himself a solid outing at the Championships as he placed third in the 1,650 freestyle. The UW divers made history at the WAC Championships as three qualified for the finals in two events. Ryan Russi finished third in the platform dive, as Jacob Rehmeier finished seventh and Austin Rettinghouse placed eighth. Rettinghouse finished 22nd on the 3-meter springboard at the NCAA Zone Championship, and Remeier ended his sophomore season placing 22nd.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the freshman to swim in a college meet,” Johnson added. “There will be pressure for them to do well for their team, but not quite the amount of pressure if it were against another team. We are all looking forward to seeing how everyone competes on Friday.”
Wyoming added 22 incoming newcomers to this year’s squad. The Cowgirls signed 15 student-athletes, while the Cowboys added seven. The signees come from 12 different states and countries Venezuela and New Zealand.