59 Years Later Cowboys Win Another Swim Title
HOUSTON – Wyoming men’s swimming and diving claimed its first conference title in 59 years on Saturday night, finishing with a total of 851 points to win the 2018 Western Athletic Conference Championship under first-year head coach Dave Denniston.
The Cowboys’ last conference championship came in 1959 when UW won the Mountain States Conference, also known as the Skyline Conference. After finishing second in three of the last four years, Wyoming won in convincing fashion on Saturday night, outscoring second-place UNLV by 71 points.
Wyoming started the evening placing three swimmers in the top six of the 1650 freestyle. Sophomore Seth Borgert finished second with a time of 15:25.97, a personal best and the third-fastest time in school history. Senior Eric Oleson clocked a career-best time of 15:35.92 for fifth place and sophomore Jacob Harlan recorded a 15:36.36 for sixth place.
Senior Wade Nelson swam an impressive final race of his conference championships, placing second in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:44.65. Senior Ryan Ball finished sixth with a time of 1:47.54, while senior Slade Sheaffer grabbed the eighth spot with a mark of 1:48.66.
Two Cowboys finished in the top eight of the 100 freestyle. Sophomore PJ Musser earned fifth with a time of 44.43. His 44.42 preliminary time was a career best and the fourth-fastest in school history. Junior David Murphy claimed eighth, clocking a season-best 45.17.
In the 200 breaststroke, three more Cowboys managed to secure a spot in the top eight. Junior Liam Holt placed second with a time of 1:58.05, a career best and the sixth-best time in school history. Freshman Mitchell Hovis clocked a 2:00.15 for sixth, while junior Loren Sether placed seventh with a mark of 2:00.44.
The 200 butterfly proved to be Wyoming’s strongest event of the night, with three of the five fastest times. Junior Jack Herron placed second, followed by senior Jacob Porter in fourth and freshman Brayden Love in fifth. Love’s time of 1:46.95 was a personal best by more than six seconds.
Wyoming closed out its championship performance with a third-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay. The team of Musser, Sheaffer, Porter and White set a season-best mark of 2:58.55.
Sophomore Scotia Mullin brought home two individual championships this weekend, in the three-meter and platform. Nelson claimed UW’s lone individual swimming title in the 400 individual medley, becoming a two-time champion to match his brother, Ryan Nelson, who also won the event twice.
Following the final event of the evening, UW head coach Dave Denniston was named the WAC Coach of the year. Diving coach Kyle Bogner was awarded the WAC Diving Coach of the Year, along with Mullin who earned Diver of the Year. Both Bogner and Mullin claimed their awards for the second-consecutive year.