* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The University of Wyoming women’s swimming and diving team was somewhat rudderless at the midway point of the 2022-23 season. While the youthful and inexperienced Cowgirls had some performances to be proud of, as a collective unit, they were lacking an identity.

It was at this time when head coach Dave Denniston and associate head coach Kristin Walker had an idea on how to unify. It took a couple different errands, but the task was accomplished.

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“We were struggling on how to get buy-in and to get everyone to believe in themselves,” Denniston said. “So we went over to Murdoch’s and bought a golden spur. Then we went over to NU2U and got some cowboy boots. We made the golden spur award as a way to recognize the top trainer that week. It was a way for the team to recognize each other and support each other.”

The golden spur and what is stood for melded the team closer together. The results thereafter showcased that, as Wyoming defeated Denver and UNLV in dual meets and capped the season with a come-from-behind third-place finish at the Mountain West Conference Championships.

“To get third at conference, no one was picking that,” Denniston said. “Our women created a new identity and embraced that idea, and it sparked the second-half of the season.”

The bronze at conference marked the best finish since the 2020 season. It placed a bow on a meet that included 20 All-MW swims – logged by 13 different swimmers – two school records and one conference title.

Maisyn Klimczak is responsible for four of the All-MW performances and the conference championship, accomplishing said feat in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a school-record time of 16:20.46. That race also featured a 9:49.15 time at the 1,000-yard mark, which set another school record.

Eleven other All-MW honorees return next season. Four of those individuals – Sage Morton, Carly Palmer, Sydney McKenzie and Brynlee Busskohl – also registered times this season that ranked in the top-five in school history.

In total, 21 top-10 all-time program swims were logged during the 2022-23 season. Needless to say, the future is bright for the Wyoming women’s team.

“We don’t have many people that are leaving, and we have a lot of impact people coming in,” Denniston said. “I like the idea that third is the minimum standard moving forward.”

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