Another Dive, Another Record for Cowgirls Mirafuentes
From the desk of Amy Dambro/Wyoming Athletic Department
MINNEAPOLIS – Wyoming freshman Melissa Mirafuentes shattered her previous career-high and the school record in the platform on her way to her first Mountain West title to close out the 2020 Mountain West Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday. She is the first Cowgirl to win the event in either the MW or the WAC.
The Cowgirls finished third in the team results.
“This was a significant and successful weekend for the Cowgirl swimmers and divers,” head coach Dave Denniston said. “To place top three in our conference was not an easy feat. Katelyn (Blattner) was the second highest scorer of the meet but freshman Melissa Mirafuentes proved to be clutch in the diving while taking home the Diver of the Meet award. I’m so proud of this team and our seniors. We started dance parties around the pool, broke records and achieved a goal that very few in the conference thought possible. Our coaching staff really put in a lot of work for this week and we can’t wait to build on that success.”
Miafuentes was also named the MW Championship Diver of the Meet. Mirafuentes eclipsed her own and the program high with a combined score of 348.80 through five dives on the platform during the preliminaries. Her previous best was 296.00 which she set on Feb. 8, 2020 at the Air Force Diving invite. In the finals, she would score 324.10 to come away with the first place finish and title.
Redshirt junior Karla Contreras followed in second during the morning session with a score of 288.50. She had a solid performance and placed second in the finals with a season-best score of 302.80. Fellow redshirt junior Abigail Zoromski was just short of season-best with a mark of 214.50 to place 17. Sophomore McKenna Houlihan was right behind with a career-high 213.35.
“I couldn’t be more impressed with how well our team performed at this conference championships,” head diving coach Ted Everett said. “We went 11 for 12 in scoring opportunities in the three events. Everyone really stepped up and contributed. Karla (Contreras) needed a big score on her last dive and she stepped up and scored 71. It was an amazing moment. Melissa (Mirafuentes) crushed both her school records again going 348 points on the platform. She was incredible all week long. She really showed her talent and the league took notice by recognizing her with the Diver of the Meet award.”
The Cowgirls placed third in the event with 903 points. It’s their highest finish since the 2013 season when they also were third in the championships. San Diego State ran away with the title scoring 1,463.5 points. Nevada was second with 1,015.5 points.
In the first event of the day in the 200 backstroke, the Cowgirls were impressive with two top five finishers in the prelims. Freshman Emily Giles recorded a career-best time of 1:57.67 which is seventh all-time in school history. Junior Katelyn Blattner was just shy of her career-high with a swim of 1:57.88. Blattner brought it again in the finals with a career-best time of 1:56.13 and an NCAA B qualifying mark to place second. It’s also third best in school history. Giles posted a time of 1:57.98 to finish sixth.
The Cowgirls top finisher in the 100 freestyle prelims was sophomore Lainee Jones with a career-best time of 50.87, which was just out of the top ten. Junior Kristen Covello had a season-best time of 51.19. In the finals, Jones placed 14 with a time of 51.23, while Covello went 51.40. Sophomore Sani Carsrud had a career-time of 51.63 in the morning session. She was followed by fellow sophomore Avery Otto-Horn with another top-time of 52.59.
In the 200 breaststroke, junior Rylie Pilon had a great race with a time of 2:17.64 to place tenth. It was six seconds better than her top mark this season. Pilon posted another career-best for her in a time of 2:17.38, which is tenth all-time in school history. Senior Stephanie Grandin had a season-best time of 2:18.50 followed by sophomore Andrea Niemann with a season-best mark of 2:18.82.
Junior Hannah Mclean-Leonard continue to shine in the butterfly in the morning session. She placed second with a time of 1:59.90. She posted a time of 1:59.37, just shy of her career-best, to finish third in the finals. Freshman Emma Mehl touched the wall with a career-best time of 2:09.79.
In the 1650 freestyle, three Cowgirls finished in the top 15 and were solid. Senior Daniela Luna Rocha turned in a season-best time of 16:55.16 to place sixth in her final championship meet. Freshman Roxanna Ramirez was tenth in a career-best time of 17:03.25 followed by fellow freshman Olivia Staver with her career-best 17:07.09.
In the 400 free relay, the team of Blattner, Carsrud, Covello and Jones finished seventh with a time of 3:22.46.
For the Cowgirls, the diving team will be at the NCAA Zone E Championships beginning on Monday, March 9 in Salt Lake City. Several members of the swimming team will be headed to the CSCAA nationals in Cleveland, Ohio, on Thur., March 12. The Cowboy Swimming and Diving teams will travel to Houston, Texas this week for the 2020 Western Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championship. The four-day competition is scheduled to begin on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. MT at the CRWC Natatorium, on the campus of the University of Houston.
Final Team Scores
1 San Diego State University 1,463. 50
2 University of Nevada 1,015. 50
3 University of Wyoming (W) 903
4 University of Nevada, Las Vega 875.50
5 Colorado State University 830.50
6 Fresno State University 810
7 Boise State University 807
8 New Mexico, University of 625. 50
9 San Jose State University 490
10 U.S. Air Force Academy (W) 389. 50