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UW swimming and diving eye strong finish in Mountain West Tournament

UW Swimming and Diving (via University of Wyoming Athletics)

LARAMIE, Wyo. — The University of Wyoming women’s swimming and diving team surprised a lot of outsiders at last season’s Mountain West Conference Championships. Not many thought the Cowgirls’ roster composition could finish in the top three like they did.

Wyoming hopes its reputation precedes itself ahead of the 2024 MWC Championships — held from Feb. 21 to Feb. 24 inside CRWC Natatorium — this time around. While the Cowgirls wouldn’t be opposed to pulling a shocker or two, they hope to stand out as one of the best teams in the pool.

“The team this year has definitely earned respect around the conference and a lot of people have recognized how well they’re doing,” head coach Dave Denniston said. “There are still some opportunities to surprise some people — potentially making some NCAA swims and having some great races that maybe we weren’t expected to win but we are in a position to win.”

The Cowgirls are also looking to finish a noteworthy season in fine form. They got off to a torrid start, going 5–0 in duals for their best start since 2016–17, and completed the season with an 8–2 mark, which included a 3–1 record in conference competition.

The team that accomplished those feats is a mixture of talented veterans and strong underclassmen that have gelled together well. Denniston is confident the fourth- and fifth-year athletes can lead the large promising group of young ones in what will be one of the largest meets of their lives.

“They have done a great job of calming and easing nerves,” Denniston said. “This time of year, we are anxious about the unknown. This year, though, the team vibe and the coaches are excited. We are fired up and excited to go see how well we do.”

Plenty of student-athletes that earned All-Mountain West honors at last year’s championships are back for the brown and gold. Maisyn Klimczak claimed four all-conference honors a season ago and won a title in the 1,650-yard freestyle. Carly Palmer reeled in three all-conference finishes, while Alicia Gonzalez and Kali Franckowiak round out the returning multi-All-MW performers with a pair of such honors each.

Eight other Cowgirls — Sydney McKenzie, Emily Giles, Sage Morton, Britt Nichols, Kayla Cunningham, Brynlee Busskohl, Gabriella Haigler and Brooke Ford — registered one All-Mountain West–worthy performance.

Wyoming has found a good deal of success at the championships in recent memory. The Cowgirls have finished in the top four in each of the last four seasons.

Action begins Wednesday at 11 a.m. with 1-meter preliminaries. Each of the four days features prelims in the morning and finals in the evening.

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