Wyoming Swimming and Diving Signs Two More Student Athletes

Dec. 11, 2002

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

University of Wyoming head swimming and diving coach Tom Johnson announced the signing of two student athletes. Lauren Beard of Mississauga, Ontario Canada will join the Cowgirls next fall and Gene Birks of Byron Bay, Australia will join the Cowboys.

Lauren Beard, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada (Port Credit High School)

Lauren swims for the Etobicoke Swim Club, one the strongest teams in Canada, for Coach Kevin Thorburn. Lauren is a Canadian National Championship qualifier in the 100 and 200 backstrokes. Lauren is on her schools' honor roll and is an aspiring artist. At Wyoming she plans to study Sports Psychology.

"Lauren will bring a tremendous punch to our backstroke events and to our medley relays. She is very versatile and also is strong in the individual medley. She will help our team in many ways," said Johnson. Colorado State, North Carolina State, Kansas, and Arkansas also recruited Lauren.

Gene Birks, Byron Bay, NSW, Australia (Kingscliff High School)

Gene swims for Kingscliff ASC with one of Australias best coaches, Greg Salter who is an Australian National Team coach. Gene is an Australian National Championship qualifier, where he placed 12th in the 100 backstroke in 2002. He also placed very well in the 100 butterfly. Gene is a Level 1 strength and conditioning coach and is going to study Kineseolgy at Wyoming.

"Gene is a tremendous athlete and will challenge for conference titles in the backstroke and butterfly. He is also very good in the 100 freestyle and will most certainly help the medley and freestyle relays. We look forward to having him here after Christmas," said Johnson. Texas Christian University also recruited Gene.