by staff–6 Apr ’21
Sophomore diver Melissa Mirafuentes and head diving coach Ted Everett were selected as the Mountain West Diver and Diving Coach of the Year on Tuesday. It’s the first such honor for both. Mirafuentes is the first Cowgirl to take home the honor since Stephanie Ortiz who was the Co-Diver the of the Year in 2009. Everett is the first Wyoming coach since Ben Herdt was selected on the women’s side who won it in that same year. Kyle Bogner earned honors on the men’s side in 2018.
The sophomore from Guadalupe, Mexico recently wrapped up her first NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship and took home Honorable Mention All-America Honors with a five-round preliminary score of 259.70 in the platform which would help her reach the consolation final round. She would score a fifth place finish with a mark of 245.00.
“Melissa was without question the best diver in our conference and it was something she worked extremely hard for,” head swimming coach Dave Denniston said. “To be honored as the best is one of the most significant honors our swimming and diving program has ever received and was well-earned. We are extremely proud of her.”
Mirafuentes completed her 2020-21 campaign with a very impressive season. At the Zone E Meet, she punched her ticket on the first day of the competition with an eighth place finish in the 1-meter board with a score of 531.55. She followed that up with a fourth place spot in the 3-meter. She recorded a second place score of 309.65 in the prelims and then combined for a score of 606.15. In the platform, Mirafuentes scored a season-best 299.50 for a spot in the finals. With a five dive score of 293.80, she remained in second with a total of 593.30. She qualified for the same event a season ago.
“I am so proud of the effort that Melissa put in this year especially since it was such a difficult year,” head diving coach Ted Everett said. “At the beginning, we were not even sure we would have a season and then there were starts and stops to our training plus quarantines after travel causing some to lose opportunities to train and compete. It was really difficult to stay motivated. Melissa, however, made the most of what opportunities were available to her. When competitions finally did get started, she looked like there had been a prolonged layoff, but every time out she got better and better culminating in an All-American performance at the NCAA championships. She is so deserving of this award and I am honored to coach her.”
Coming off another stellar performance at the 2021 MW Championship, she would defend her championship in the platform event with a posted total of 263.80 in the preliminaries followed by a score 280.50 in the finals. For her efforts, she was named the MW Championship Diver of the Meet for the second straight year. In the 1-meter, she turned in a preliminary score of 292.10 which was second and followed that up with a six dive total of 282.95 in the finals. Mirafuentes followed that up with a score of 319.10 in the 3-meter and a season-best total of 330.15 in the finals for a second place finish. She was also named MW Diver of the three times this season. She is the current school record holder in both the 3-meter and platform with scores of 378.00 and 348.80, respectively, while being ranked fourth in the 1-meter with a mark of 314.55.
Everett just recently completed his second full season with the Cowgirl and Cowboy program. Over the past two years, the Wyoming diving program has had five individuals qualify for the NCAA Zone “E” Championships including Mirafuentes and Karla Contreras. During his career, he has coached 21 conference finalists, a Newcomer of the Year, two-time MW Diver of the Meet winner and 15 NCAA Qualifiers and seven NCAA All-Americans.
“Ted masterfully guided and coached her and the rest of the divers to several conference honors. Diving will continue to be a cornerstone of our program with Ted’s leadership to develop the talent of all of our divers.”