* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- University of Wyoming swimming and diving head coach Dave Denniston is beginning to overuse a particular phrase when describing his women’s team. It’s a collection of words that while they may not be uttered verbatim from year to year, they encapsulate the same idea.

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“I love this freshmen class,” Denniston said. “They’re putting in the work. They’re listening. They’re engaged. They’re hungry. They bring energy, desire and passion to every practice.”

It’s a sentiment Denniston has shared for the last few years now. And because it has been the last few years, his entire roster is comprised of recruiting classes that he’s been impressed with that have matured and gotten better through their respective careers.

“It sets a baseline for performance and then the freshmen from last year feed on what the freshmen before them did and so on,” Denniston said. “It’s the overall professionalism with the freshmen. They’re falling right in line, and we are building something pretty incredible.”

The Cowgirls finished last season in fine form. They rallied for a third-place finish at the Mountain West Conference Championships.

Denniston knows his women’s team surprised its foes in 2022-23. He’s looking to take another step and surprise some more in 2023-24.

“We got a lot of respect last year,” Denniston said. “Our girls are in position to win and move into second place this year without question, and I’m not going to take anything away from them. It’s like the Texas-Wyoming football game. We are going to give it our best and probably surprise some people in the process.”

One that won’t surprise anyone is Maisyn Klimczak. She’s the reigning MW champion in the 1,650-yard freestyle after swimming a school-record time of 16:20.46. Klimczak – who reeled in three other All- MW honors – won a dozen races throughout last season while also swimming a school-record 9:49.15 in the 1,000-yard freestyle.

Carly Palmer returns after earning three All-MW awards. Kali Franckowiak and Alicia Gonzalez are also back after each brought home a pair of all-conference honors. Sydney McKenzie, Emily Giles, Sage Morton, Britt Nichols, Kayla Cunningham, Brynlee Busskohl, Gabriella Haigler and Brooke Ford round out the remaining returnees who logged an All-MW performance last year.

The swim and dive season begins this week. The Cowgirls and Cowboys hold their annual Brown and Gold Meet on Friday at 4 p.m. before hosting the Brown, Gold and Old Meet on Saturday at 9 a.m. Both meets will be held at Corbett Pool.

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