(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
PROVO, Utah – BYU men’s swim and dive won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship for a third year in a row, while the women’s team finished strongly in fourth place.
Men's swim and dive
Senior captain Jake Taylor led the men’s team, earning two First-Team All-American citations in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke at the NCAA championships. He also earned Second-Team All-American in the 200 individual medley.
Taylor was named National Swimmer-of-the-Week by Collegeswimming.com and was also nominated as MPSF/Turbo Athlete of the Week twice during the season. At the MPSF Championships, he swam to seven All-MPSF First-Team performances and was a part of three relay teams that broke championship meet and school records (400 freestyle, 200 medley, 800 free). He also broke three individual school records at the championship meet (200 IM, 50 back and 200 free). For his incredible performances, Taylor was named MPSF Swimmer of the Year for the second year in a row. At the conclusion of his collegiate career, he holds four individual BYU records and is a part of relay teams that hold four school records as well.
In his first season back from a mission, Sophomore Payton Sorenson earned a trip to the NCAA Championships, where he was named Second-Team All-American in the 50 free. At the MPSF Championships, Sorenson swam to five First-Team All-MPSF performances. He was a part of two relay teams that broke MPSF championship and BYU records at the meet (400 free and 200 medley). He also broke a school record in the 50 free and another school and championship meet record in the 100 free at the championships. Sorenson was named MPSF/Turbo Athlete of the Week twice during the season.
Kevin Dreesen earned his first trip to the NCAA Championships after a strong season. He earned three First-Team All-MPSF performances, including a new school record in the 3-meter dive and two first-place finishes at the championship meet. Dreesen was also named MPSF/Turbo Athlete of the Week for his performances at the Air Force Invite. With a seventh-place finish in the 1-meter dive at the Zone E Diving Championships, Dreesen earned his first trip to the NCAA Championships where he finished 32nd in the event.
Preston Jenkins, another recently returned missionary, recorded six All-MPSF First-Team performances at the MPSF Championship meet. He was part of teams that set school and championship records in the 400 free and 800 free relays.
Junior Rainer Ng was named MPSF/Turbo Athlete of the Week in October after setting a pool record in the 200 fly at the Colorado Mesa Invite. He was also named All-MPSF First-Team as part of the 200 medley relay team that set an MPSF championship and school record.
Senior captain Stephen Richards had a standout final season, earning First-Team All-MPSF three times and helping the 200 medley relay team set a championship and new school record at the MPSF Championships. He totalled 13 first-place finishes during his senior season.
Freshman Connor Stirling also had a stellar first season for the Cougars. Stirling was named All-MPSF First-Team in three events, including the 400 free and 800 free relays where he helped set school and MPSF championship meet records. He had nine first-place finishes on the season.
Luis Ventura, Matt Denkers, Dallin Johnson and Ryan Sorensen were also named All-MPSF First-Team for performances at the MPSF Championships.
After leading the men’s team to the three-peat as MPSF champions, head coach John Brooks was named MPSF Swim Coach of the Year for the second season in a row. He helped 20 BYU swimmers to All-MPSF performances this season. Head diving coach Tyce Routson, in his first season at BYU, led six divers to All-MPSF performances, and was named the MPSF Diving Coach of the Year.
The men’s team ended the season No. 21 in the country after the NCAA Championships.
Fourteen athletes from the men’s team were named to the MPSF All-Academic team.
Women’s swim and dive
Sophomore Anna Dahl posted four first-place finishes this year and impressed with some strong swimming at the MPSF Championship. She earned first place and set a new school record in the 100 breast, earning her All-MPSF First Team. She was also named First-Team in the 200 breast.
Ellie Thornbrue had a standout freshman campaign, earning All-MPSF First-Team for performances in the 500 free and 100 fly at the MPSF championship meet. She finished the season with eight first-place finishes.
Senior diver Ali Tippetts-Kottcamp had a great end to a collegiate career, posting nine top-3 performances on the season. At the MPSF Championship meet, she earned First-Team honors on 3-meter and platform. Tippetts-Kottcamp was named MPSF/Turbo Athlete of the Week this season for her performance at the Air Force Diving Invite.
Sophomore Lillian Moore, who earned 12 top-3 finishes on the season, was also named All-MPSF First-Team in the 200 fly at the MPSF Championship meet.
Senior Zerlynn Tiang was named MPSF/Turbo Athlete of the Week and Collegeswimming.com Swimmer-of-the-Week in November after four top-three times against Oregon State.
Freshman newcomer Kelly Hatanaka was named MPSF/Turbo Athlete of the Week after her first collegiate performance at the Colorado Mesa Invite. She was named All-MPSF First-Team in the 400 IM and 200 back.
The women’s team had 20 athletes named to the MPSF All-Academic team.