LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Jan. 28, 2017) – Wyoming swimming and diving earned victory on both the men’s and women’s side Saturday afternoon at the Buchanan Natatorium. The Cowgirls won by a score of 195-103, while the Cowboys defeated the Rebels, 169-131.
The Cowgirls placed first in 12 of the dual’s 16 events, led by four Wyoming women who earned multiple individual victories. Sophomore Samantha Burke notched the top time in the 100 back (56.92), one one-hundredth of a second faster than her teammate, senior Abby Sullivan. Burke went on to win the 100 butterfly with a time of 57.47. Sophomore Isobel Ryan tallied her first victory in the 50 freestyle (24.13) and then matched the performance in the 100 freestyle (52.30). Junior Maria Harutjunjan once again swept the breaststroke events, clocking in at 1:02.91 in the 100 and 2:17.38 in the 200. On the boards, freshman Karla Contreras placed first on both the 1-meter (307.80) and the 3-meter (307.65).
“I thought today went really well,” UW head coach Tom Johnson said. “The divers were unbelievable and I’m so proud of their efforts today. Karla’s scores were outrageous. On the women’s side, we came out firing in the relay and then dominated the 1000 freestyle. Across the middle of the meet we really laid it on them and pulled away. The women were outstanding and it was one of the better meets I’ve been a part of. For the men, I thought we would perform better today but we still had some great performances. Wade Nelson swam really well and Gabe Rooker went nuts. All in all, I thought it was a great meet and it’s a new season as we get ready for conference championships.”
The Cowboys earned nine first-place finishes during the meet and also had four individuals with multiple victories. Senior Ryan Ball recorded a season-best time in the 100 backstroke (51.19) and then repeated in the 200 backstroke (1:49.07). Senior Gabe Rooker swept the breaststroke events, with times of 54.21 in the 100 and 2:00.11 in the 200. Junior Wade Nelson placed first in the 200 butterfly (1:49.87) and then dominated the field in the 400 individual medley (3:58.36), finishing more than six seconds faster than his competition. Redshirt-sophomore diver Ryan Russi led the group of Cowboy divers which finished with the top three scores in both events. Russi’s scores of 304.70 on the 1-meter and 323.95 on the 3-meter both marked new season bests.
The Cowgirls will return to action at the Mountain West Championships, February 15-18, in College Station, Texas. The Cowboys will then compete in the Western Athletic Conference Championships February 22-25, in Houston, Texas.