* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The University of Wyoming swimming & diving team starts the regular season this week. The Cowboys and Cowgirls travel to the University of Denver for the DU Relays on Saturday at 12 p.m. inside El Pomar Natatorium.

This meet is one Wyoming has participated in regularly over the past few years. It gives head coach Dave Denniston and his staff a chance to observe their younger student-athletes and how they do in a collegiate-meet setting.

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“It gives us a good idea of what our newcomers are capable of doing for relays events,” Denniston said. “It’s an opportunity to race and have fun racing without as much pressure as a dual meet or a conference-type meet, so you can see that true potential.”

It also allows the staff to tinker with their lineup and test run veterans in events that they could potentially swim later in the season when stakes are higher.

“There’s also a bit of development right now on our team with their third event,” Denniston said. “Typically, when we go to conference everybody has their top two events that they know they’ll do really well in. That third event is one that needs some work and development, so this is a nice indication of that weak event is.”

But perhaps the biggest takeaway from a relay meet is the bond that develops among teammates. Those veterans and youngsters swim alongside one another in the same relay, strengthening the closeness of the squad.

“Relays create a lot of comradery,” Denniston said. “It’s a team event, and relays bring the most energy out of our swimmers, and traditionally they do a nice job.”

DU Relays features races that are present at conference championship meets, but also fun relays that are unique to this meet format. The 200-yard medley and 200-yard free relays are sprinkled among events such as the 1,500-yard freestyle relay, the 100-yard medley relay, the 300-yard fly, back and breast relays, the 500-yard crescendo relay, the 100-yard free relay and the 400-yard individual medley relay.

This year’s edition of DU Relays will also include a diving competition. Divers will participate in both the 1- and 3-meter events.

Following DU Relays, Wyoming returns to Laramie for its first dual meet of the season. The Cowgirls host New Mexico Oct. 13-14 at Corbett Pool.

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