* University of Wyoming athletics media relations release

LARAMIE -- It’s rivalry week in the pool for the University of Wyoming. The Cowboys and Cowgirls host a trio of Colorado-based schools Thursday and Friday at Laramie High School.

The women’s team hosts Northern Colorado on Thursday with diving starting at 3 p.m. The women’s team will also participate in a tri-meet featuring Colorado State and Colorado Mesa on Friday, while the men’s team battles Colorado Mesa in a dual-meet format Friday. Diving on Friday is set to begin at 1 p.m.

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The Cowgirls have beaten the Rams each of the last seven seasons. They’ve also had success against the Bears, topping them in the two squads’ last three meetings.

“There is no love lost between us and CSU,” head coach Dave Denniston said. “They’re undefeated this year, so it will be a real good, close meet. There’s a lot of pride around that meet. And UNC is developing a really fast program. It’s going to come down to depth. That’s how these meets are going to be won.”

The Rams, as alluded to, boast an 11-0 record, while the Bears are 8-1 with their only loss occurring against Colorado State. The Cowgirls are 2-1 on the young season with their only loss coming to SEC foe, LSU.

The quad meet – which included LSU, Air Force and Denver – was a showcase of stick-to-itiveness and grit from the women’s team. They didn’t perform up to their standards during the first day of the meet but rallied on the second day to topple the Falcons and Pioneers.

Much of those early-meet struggles didn’t shock Denniston. He knew his team was eight months removed from prototypical meet competition and thus there was some understandable rust.

“The best way to practice racing is racing,” Denniston said. “When you haven’t done it for eight months, you just aren’t good at racing no matter how much practice you have. That was a big part of it. Our leaders did a good job of rallying around and encouraging the young underclassmen, and that’s how that switch flipped on Saturday.”

Denniston and company will hopefully not need to flip a switch come this week, as they look to start strong from the opening race.

“The leaders said they want to come out more aggressive in the front part of the meet and not dig themselves a hole they have to dig themselves out of,” Denniston said.

Fifth-year senior Katelyn Blattner is one of those leaders. She won the 500-yard freestyle and logged two second-place finishes and a third-place finish in the quad meet. For her efforts, Blattner was named Mountain West Conference Swimmer of the Week.

Another leader, senior Ryan Netzel, accounted for the other win in Colorado Springs. He took home the crown in the 1,000-yard freestyle.

The men’s team didn’t claim a team win at the quad meet. Colorado Mesa’s men’s team owns a 7-1 record with their only loss coming against BYU, and its women’s team lays claim to a 10-4 overall mark.

Following the meets this week, Wyoming will set its sights on the Missouri Invitational from Nov. 17-19.

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