* University of Wyoming Athletics media relations release

LARAMIE -- The University of Wyoming divers are traveling west this week to compete at the Bruin Diving Invitational. The meet begins Thursday and concludes Sunday, taking place at the Spieker Aquatic Center on the campus of UCLA.  

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Senior McKenna Houlihan, junior Melissa Mirafuentes and freshman Gabriella Hagler will represent Wyoming’s women’s team, while senior Brendan Byrnes, junior Payton Lee and sophomore Juan Gonzalez will compete on the men’s side.  

A lot of time has stood between Thursday and the last time Wyoming took to the pool. The Missouri Invitational on Nov. 19 is the last time the divers took part in a meet. 

Some of that is due to how the schedule fell this season and some of that is due to COVID-19 alterations to the schedule. Taking all that into account, diving head coach Ted Everett is simply happy to be at a meet.   

“The opportunity to compete is valuable in and of itself,” Everett said. “Our training has been sporadic and spotty at best, and so that’s not the best preparation going into a meet. But our student-athletes have done a good job handling it.”  

The competition will include the two main boards – 1-meter and 3-meter – and platform. A new event, which is being contested as an exhibition, is one where three divers on a team will be broken up with each diver competing on one of the two boards or platform. The scores of the three athletes will be combined for one total score. 

Everett is excited to partake in this new event and see what his six student-athletes can do. But more than that, he’s hoping everyone returns to the competition atmosphere healthy and effectively.  

“My expectations were a lot higher before all of the (COVID-19 pauses),” Everett said. “Keeping everybody healthy and trying to get them back into competition mode is really all I’m looking for. If we can get everybody to perform their list of dives and stay healthy, I’m going to call that a win.”  

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