Cowboys Embracing Expectations at WAC Championships
* University of Wyoming press release
PHARR, Texas – One of the biggest challenges for University of Wyoming swimming and diving head coach Dave Denniston this year was remaining patient. He and his Cowboys have waited the entire season for the opportunity that lies ahead this week.
Wyoming is set to participate in the Western Athletic Conference Championships. The meet spans from Wednesday through Saturday inside the City of Pharr Natatorium, and the Cowboys are ready to contend for a title.
“They are fired up,” Denniston said. “They’ve been wanting this for the last three or four months. They’ve embraced the grind from the beginning of the season that they absolutely could do the things to win it this year.”
It has been five years since Wyoming last won the WAC title. While none of the current swimmers were wearing brown and gold that season, Denniston remembers it fondly and can draw parallels from that championship to the one that kicks off in a couple days.
“There are certainly similarities,” Denniston said. “The hunger and the desire is there by the entire team. This year, similar to that championship season, we know how we are going to do, and we know we are going to be great, and knowing that makes it a lot of fun.”
Wyoming finished third at last year’s WAC Championships behind champion, UNLV and runner-up, Air Force. In the process of taking bronze, the Cowboys boasted 12 different All-WAC performers, and of that dozen, seven return.
Nearly every one of those seven swimmers has logged an individual victory this season. That being said, the distinguished group is led by two newcomers, Charlie Clark and Quinn Cynor, who have eight individual wins apiece.
That makes for a balanced team. And it’s a balanced team that’s loose and ready for the big stage that south Texas will provide.
“The guys have had a lot of fun this season, but they’ve worked very hard and when (assistant coach) Logan Arnold and I say, ‘Hey, we need attention, and we need focus,’ they dial in razor sharp. That’s been one of the biggest differences this year.”
The WAC has seen quite a bit of parity over the years, as four different teams have won it since the conference brought back men’s swimming and diving in 2014. In that aforementioned time span, the Cowboys have finished anywhere from first to fourth with three runner-up finishes and four third-place finishes.
The schedule of events begins Wednesday morning. The 1-meter preliminary flights commence at 9:30 a.m.