LARAMIE, Wyo., February 1. THE University of Wyoming men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams defeated Air Force to complete the Mountain West Conference dual portion of their schedule, Saturday afternoon at Corbett Pool. The Cowboys edged the Falcons 123-120 while the women won 140.5-101.5.
The Cowboys (5-5, 1-3 MWC), swam to first place finishes in seven of 13 events with two wins coming from Gene Birks. Birks won both the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle in respective times of 21.42 and 46.64.
The 400 medley relay team of Ethan Maclean, Scott Usher, Birks and Bryce Perica started the meet with a bang with a first place finish of 3:24.57. Ron Fogel won the 200 butterfly in a time of 1:51.90 and Usher took the 200 breaststroke in a time of 2:05.51.
The diving team had a great showing at the Air Force Diving Invite and led the Cowboys to today’s dual win, with wins on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards. Last night, Adam Miller won the 3-meter event with a score of 497.70. The Cowboys took the top-two spots on the 1-meter board today, however final scores were not available at press time
“I am just so happy for our guys,” said UW head coach Tom Johnson. “This has been a tough stretch, we haven’t won a meet since November and now we beat the team that got second at conference last year, I couldn’t be happier.
“Our men really showed up in the 200 back. Going 2-3-4, was a big part of our win. Gene (Birks) was a stud as usual, Scott (Usher) was big in the breaststroke and our divers really came through for us. I am very pleased with their performances.
“Hopefully this gives us confidence heading into the Mountain West Championships. I think any one of four teams can be second and any one of those teams can be fifth, whoever shows up for four days is going to be there.”
The Cowgirls (3-8, 2-5 MWC), also won seven of 13 events on the day.
The first Cowgirl win came in the 200 freestyle when Tamara Lehnertz swam a first place time of 1:57.21. Lauren Beard led the Cowgirls with two event victories. Her first win came in the 200 IM (2:12.84) and her second in the 200 backstroke (1:54.90). Alex Leziy-Miller picked up a first place finish in the 200 breaststroke with her time of 2:26.98.
The Cowgirls closed the door on the dual with a 400 freestyle relay win, in the final event of the day. Katie Haywood, Heidi Thorson, Katie Bigger and Lehnertz swam a first place time of 3:34.29.
The Cowgirl divers also had a good showing at the Air Force Diving Invite with win’s over Air Force on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards. Last night, Saara Haapanen won the 3-meter event with a score of 462.10. Today, the Cowgirls took the top three spots from the Falcons, however no scores were available.
“I am very proud of our girls,” said Johnson. “It is nice to be on the positive end of the meet. Our divers came through big time for us again.
“Air Force raced really hard, they gave us a great meet but they always do. It is a great rivalry.”