MWC Championships Release

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The 2011 Mountain West Conference Swimming & Diving Championships begin Wednesday, February 23. Live stats will be available online by clicking HERE.

For the 12th consecutive year, the Oklahoma City Community College Aquatic Center in Oklahoma City, Okla., will serve as the host site for the MWC Championships, which will run from Wednesday, February 23 through Saturday, February 26, 2011.

The UNLV men seek to defend their 2010 championship after finishing the regular season with a perfect 5-0 Conference dual meet record. The Rebels, who went 9-1 overall, currently are ranked No. 17 in the College Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Top 25 Coaches' Poll. Senior Kier Maitland, the defending MWC Swimmer of the Year, will lead the Rebels individually, as he holds the Conference's top times in the 500-yard freestyle (4:22.04), the 1000 free (9:12.59) and the 1650 free (14:59.27). TCU, which received seven votes in the most recent CSCAA poll, will be led by junior Edgar Crespo, who won the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 53.32 at the 2010 MWC Championship. Horned Frog junior Laszlo Gyurko has the Conference's best marks in the 100-yard backstroke (48.25) and 200 back (1:47.80) this season.

In men's diving, BYU junior Brandon Watson looks to defend his sweep of the springboard events at the 2010 MWC Championship, after setting MWC championship records on the 3-meter springboard (437.30) and 1-meter springboard (396.15), respectively. Wyoming senior Mark Murdock seeks a second-consecutive title in the platform event, after bringing home the 2010 title with a league all-time best score of 427.90. Other men's divers looking to capture individual crowns are TCU's Kyle Callens, Utah's Nelson Foo and Brandon Stoppelmoor, and Wyoming's Kyle Bogner.

On the women's side, San Diego State enters the 2011 Mountain West Championship coming off its first-ever MWC regular-season crown after posting a perfect 8-0 Conference dual meet record. The Aztecs, ranked No. 24 by the CSCAA, finished the regular season at 19-0 to mark the first undefeated season in program history. SDSU will be led by sophomore Katelyn Weddle, who in 2010 won the 100-yard breaststroke in a championship record time of 1:00.65 and the 200 breast in an all-time best mark of 2:11.26. BYU seeks to defend its 2010 MWC Championship, and is receiving votes in the latest national poll. The Cougars will be led by senior Rachel Grant, who is the league's top-time holder this season in the 200-yard butterfly (1:57.82), 200-yard individual medley (2:00.40) and 400 IM (4:15.57).

New Mexico junior Ashlee Erickson ranks first in MWC history on the 1-meter springboard with a mark of 337.20. Meanwhile, Wyoming senior Allie Smith, ranks first this season on the 3-meter springboard (338.33) and 1-meter springboard (320.55), respectively. New Mexico's Aubrey Bush (2010) and Utah's Kwan Ling Yu (2009) will also provide close competition this year, as they return as former champions in the platform event.

At last year's Conference meet, 14 championship records were broken, including four men's and four women's and four men's all-time MWC records. UNLV swept all five relay events and won 10 individual titles to total 787 points overall en route to the Rebels' sixth consecutive men's team crown. On the women's side, BYU tallied 703 points, including four individual titles, to win the Cougars' fifth straight championship.

For more information on the 2011 Mountain West Swimming & Diving Championships, follow the MWC on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TheMWC and www.Twitter.com/TheMWCOlySports. For the latest news from around the league, become a Facebook fan at ww w.Facebook.com/MountainWestConference and read the league's official blog at www.TheMWC.com/blog.