Cougar Classic: Day Two

HOUSTON, Texas, November 18. THE Wyoming swimming teams concluded the second day of racing at the Houston Cougar Classic on Friday, Nov. 18 in Houston, Texas. After two days of swimming the Cowboys hold second place of the three-team field with 616 points. The Cowgirls dropped on spot from Thursday to finish in third with 329 points.

"I think our times were pretty good today for as much racing as we did," Wyoming head coach Tom Johnson said.

Today's individual events at the Cougar Classic included the 400-yard individual medley, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 100 backstroke. Friday's relay events were the 200 medley and 800 freestyle relays.

In the 400 IM, Cowgirl Jessy Badaracco placed fourth in the morning's preliminaries, going on to take seventh in the finals with a time of 4:29.18. On the men's side Brandon Fischer continued his excellent weekend sweeping both the prelims and finals of the 400 IM. He won the prelim with a time of 4:06.69, continuing on to win the finals with an NCAA 'B' cut time of 3:53.76. Fischer's 400 IM time was the third-fastest time in Cowboy history. Teammate Trevor
LeValley was Fischer's closest competitor finishing second in the final with a time of 4:02.06. Jordan Turner finished seventh (4:13.93) and Jayce Calhoon finished in eighth (4:13.16) place of the 400 IM.

"I really feel like we dominated the individual medley events this weekend," Johnson said. "Brandon's IM time was a really good time. Trevor also swam very well in that. I thought Jessy's swim this morning was better than her swim tonight."

The next individual event was the 100 butterfly. Cowgirl Morgan Hartigan swam her way into the 'A' final where she placed eighth with a time of 56.43, which was the fifth fastest swim in that event in Cowgirl history. Nick Rutecki swam the 100 fly for the Cowboys in the 'A' final where he touched the wall with a time of 51.38 placing fourth.

"Morgan had a great swim in the 100 fly tonight putting her in the top-10 all-time," Johnson said.

The meet continued with the 200 freestyle. Cowboys Ryan O'Leary and Ethan Griffel placed third and fourth, respectively, in the morning's preliminaries. Griffel went on to win the 'A' final with a time of 1:39.30. O'Leary also swam in the 'A' final placing touching the wall in 1:41.25 which gave him fourth place.

"That is the first time Ethan has even been under 1:40 in the 200 free during the season," Johnson said. "Ryan also had a very nice swim in the 200 free."

In the 100 breaststroke, Cowgirls Lauren Hewson and Morgan Hartigan finished in the top eight of the preliminaries and swam in the 'A' final. Hewson took sixth (1:03.57) and Hartigan placed seventh (1:03.61) in the 100 breast finals. On the men's side Fischer earned his second win of the day and also his second NCAA 'B' cut time. He won the prelims and also touched the wall first in the finals with an NCAA 'B' cut time of 54.91. Freshman Michael McCormick also swam his way into the 'A' final taking seventh place with a time of 59.64.

The final individual event of the night was the 100 backstroke. Cowgirl Kelsey Conci took first place in the mornings preliminaries with an NCAA 'B' cut time of 53.30. She fell to second in the final, but dropped 0.19-seconds off her cut time finishing with a time of 53.11. Cowboys Marshall Dilworth (first) and Jayce Calhoon (seventh) placed in the top eight of the mornings preliminary rounds. Dilworth finished the 'A' final in second place with a time of 49.48. Calhoon finished eighth with a time of 53.91.

Friday's relay events included the 200 medley relay and the 800 freestyle relay. In the women's 200 medley relay, the Cowgirl 'B' squad of Jehan Atoe, Lauren Hewson, Makenzie Norlin and Caroline Wells finished the highest in 10th with a time of 1:46.38. On the men's side of the 200 medley relay, the Pokes 'A' squad of Dilworth, Fischer, Rutecki and Jeff Frey took first with a time of 1:30.45. The 'A' 200 relay team's time of 1:30.45 was the sixth fastest swim in that event in UW history. Cowboys Daniel Bradford, McCormick, Turner and John Dowd touched the wall in 1:37.35 finishing them in fifth place.

In the 800 freestyle relay the Cowgirls 'A' and 'B' squads took sixth and eighth, respectively. Swimming on the 'A' squad were Nikki Finnesand, Wells, Kasey Robinson and Jordan Denny who took sixth with a time of 7:34.90. The 'B' squad of Paige Fischer, Claudia Carlson, Leah Roesler and Badaracco placed eighth with a time of 7:36.66. Both Cowgirl squads put up top-10 fastest times in UW history, the 'A' squad was the sixth fastest and the 'B' squad was eighth fastest. In the men's 800 free relay Cowboys O'Leary, LeValley, Griffel and Frey took second place with a time of 6:49.92. Swimming on the 'B' squad were Bradford, Calhoon, Dowd and Joseph Ferreri who touched the wall in sixth with a time of 7:07.14.

Today's final scores on the men's side were SMU in first with 1002 points, Wyoming in second with 616 points and Texas A&M in third with 474 points. The women's final scores finished as follows, SMU in first (594 points), New Mexico State in second (358), Wyoming in third (329), Houston in fourth (304.5) and Colorado State finished in fifth (294).

"I think we are going to have a tough time catching New Mexico State without our divers," Johnson said. "We are going to try and hold our own tomorrow and see where we can't finish this."

The Wyoming divers also competed today at the Arizona Diving Invite. The men dove on the 1-meter springboard while the women dove on the 3-meter. Cowboy Derek Campbell was UW's highest finisher of the day placing 19th on the 1-meter with a final score of 245.35.

"I thought we dove alright today," Wyoming diving coach Pat Bukowski said. "This is a very deep field with future Olympians. I think my kids started to settle down later in the day and we are excited for tomorrow."

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