* University of Wyoming Athletics media relations release

HOUSTON -- For the second time in as many nights sophomore Juan Gonzalez paced the University of Wyoming swimming & diving team at the Western Athletic Conference championship. And for the second time in as many nights, Gonzalez boasted a second-place finish Thursday at the CRWC Natatorium.

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Gonzalez racked up 327.95 points en route to his runner-up finish. That showing helped the Cowboys increase their team score to 253 points, which positions them in second after two days of competition, behind UNLV, which has 300 points.

“The Cowboys are turning heads at this meet,” UW head coach Dave Denniston said. “We are having fun and swimming fast.”

Gonzalez wasn’t alone on the podium. Senior Brendan Byrnes took fifth with a final tally of 271.60, and junior Payton Lee won the B final with a score of 286.80.

“Day 2 lived up to expectations again,” UW diving head coach Ted Everett said. “I’m so amazed, and I guess I shouldn’t be with all the hard effort everyone has put in. But the guys are truly doing a great job and really rounding into form at the right time of year.”

Senior Ryan Netzel led the way in the competition pool. He touched fourth in the 500-yard freestyle, logging a time of 4:23.88. Sophomore Harry Tjaden placed seventh and freshman Gavin Smith took eighth with times of 4:28.93 and 4:29.19, respectively.

The 200-yard freestyle relay led off the night with a fourth-place finish. The team of senior Grant Sloan, junior Andrew Rodriguez, sophomore Max DeYoung and freshman Matt Lang clocked in at 1:19.76.

Sloan added a fifth-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle, boasting a time of 19.93, which matches the school record. Junior David Mihalic rounded out the podium finishes, taking eighth in the 200-yard individual medley, clocking in at 1:49.05.

Friday’s action begins with prelims of the men’s and women’s 400-yard individual medley at 9:30 a.m. Men’s finals that will take place Friday are the 400-yard IM, the 100-yard butterfly, the 200-yard freestyle, the 100-yard breaststroke, the 100-yard backstroke, platform and the 400-yard medley relay.

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