LARAMIE, Wyo. (Oct. 12, 2017) – Wyoming men’s and women’s swimming and diving will each compete in their first dual of the 2017-18 season this Saturday against Denver. The meet will be held at Laramie High School with diving beginning at 12 p.m. MT followed by the first races of the day at 1 p.m.
This season the Cowboys will be captained by a trio of seniors: Colin Brinkman, Kyle White and Wade Nelson. It is Nelson’s second year as a team captain for the UW men. At last season’s Western Athletic Conference Championships, Nelson earned first place in the 400 individual medley with a time of 3:45.40, the second-fastest in school history. White placed third in the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke, posting times of 47.59 and 53.86, respectively. Both were career-best marks.
Freshman Scotia Mullin returns after a prolific freshman season. At the 2017 WAC Championships, Mullin placed first in the 1-meter with a score of 311.60, second in the 3-meter with a mark of 348.75 and a record-shattering first-place finish in the platform, scoring a 423.85. It surpassed the previous WAC record by nearly 80 points and was the second-highest score in school history.
The Cowgirls will also have three senior captains: Alanna Dassoff, Kelly Sheldon and diver Peyton GrandPre. It is Sheldon’s second year as a team captain. Last season the UW women started the year off with a dual victory against Mountain West foe New Mexico. Several Cowgirls are coming off successful finishes to last season. Senior Maria Harutjunjan returns after two conference victories in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke. She was the first swimmer in women’s conference history to break the one-minute mark in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 59.85. She also finally broke through in the 200 breaststroke after finishing second the previous two years at the MW Championships, clocking a first-place time of 2:11.53. It was a career-best for Harutjunjan and the second-fastest time in school history.
Sophomore diver Karla Contreras also returns after a record-setting freshman campaign. The Tijuana, Mexico, native set the school record in the 1-meter at the MW Championships with a score of 355.45 to place second. Her score of 352.40 on the 3-meter was good for third place and the second-highest mark in school history. On the platform, Contreras again set a school record with a score of 281.55 and a second-place finish.
“DU has come on as a significant program in the country and their coach has done a really nice job,” UW head coach Dave Denniston said. “I think we stack up evenly in a lot of races. That’s the exciting thing about swimming is that we often times have those races that come down to those finger nail touches. We should be in a position to have quite a few of those. Diving could be the difference-maker this meet with the quality we have, it should really level the playing field.”
Both Pioneer teams are coming off first-place finishes at the DU Relays last weekend. The DU men’s and women’s teams were both picked to win the 2018 Summit League Championship after finishing at the top of the conference last season, and the Denver men were ranked 25th in the FloSwimming Preseason Poll back in August.
The diving teams will each complete one board starting at 12 p.m. before races start at 1 p.m. Follow @Wyo_SwimDive on twitter for updates throughout the day.