Cowgirls Make a Splash On Opening Day of MW Swimming/Diving Championships

Tracy Ringolsby

MINNEAPOLIS – The Cowgirl Swimming and Diving squads opened up the 2020 Mountain West Championship on Wednesday morning with solid efforts three events. Wyoming sits in third place with 142 points. Defending champion San Diego State leads all teams with 202 points followed by Nevada with 193.

“Being in third after the first night is a great start for us,” head coach Dave Denniston said. “The divers led the way with Karla (Contreras), Melissa (Mirafuentes) and McKenna (Houlihan) all scoring on the 1-meter. Our 200-medley relay performed well and the ladies know they will be faster tomorrow. We had a great 800-freestyle, led off by a personal best by Katelyn (Blattner) in a time of 1:47 and Lainee (Jones) anchored with a low time of 1:48. The week is going to get better starting tomorrow.”

In the preliminaries, redshirt junior Karla Contreras posted the top mark for the Cowgirls with a score of 274.85 to place seventh to move into the finals. Contreras followed that up with a 296.65 mark and another seventh place finish in the finals. Freshman Melissa Mirafuentes advanced to her first consolation final with a mark of 256.75 to secure the 12 spot. Behind a career-score of 314.55, she would win the consolation final.

Sophomore McKenna Houlihan was right out of the top 16 and placed 20 with a score of 236.90, while redshirt junior Abigail Zoromski recorded a score of 215.50.

The 200-medley relay and 800-freestyle relays rounded out day one of the conference championship. In the 200 medley, the team of freshman Emily Giles, sophomores Phoebe Browne and Sani Carsrud plus junior Hannah Mclean-Leonard placed eight with a season-best time of 1:41.57. The second team of freshman Molly Green, sophomores Andrea Niemann and Avery Otto-Horn, senior Kiana Junior touched the wall in a time of 1:43.41.

Wyoming secured a fifth-place finish in the 800-meter freestyle relay. The team of juniors Katelyn Blattner and Kristen Covello along with sophomores Lainee Jones and Sani Carsrud touching the wall in 7:18.68, dropping its season-best time by almost three seconds.

Action will continue tomorrow with preliminaries for the 500-freestyle beginning 10 a.m. MT, followed by the 200 IM, 50 freestyle, three-meter diving plus the 400-medley relay. The evening session with the finals of each event are set to start at 5:30 p.m.

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