(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
For two BYU swimmers the dream of being an NCAA All-American has finally come true. Junior Brett Allen and sophomore Angela Goodson garnered second-team All-America honors in the 50 free and 100 fly, respectively, at the NCAA National Championships held in Georgia.
At NCAA finals, Allen placed 12th overall in the 50-yard free with a time of 19.77, where the top 16 receive honors. Goodson finished 14th overall in the 100 fly with a time of 54.30. Both achieved their own top times in the preliminary races, breaking Mountain West Conference records.
Allen broke the MWC record with a time of 19.62 in the 50 free NCAA prelims over UNLV's Jonathan Hugo who swam it in 2003 with a time of 19.74. Goodson broke the MWC record in the 100 fly with a time of 54.07 at NCAA prelims over Utah's Heidi Hausknecht's time of 54.58 achieved in 2001.
"It was a great blessing to compete at Nationals," Allen said. "It's a memory I'll cherish forever." Allen's mom, dad, wife and father-in-law were all in Atlanta for the meet. "It was such a fast and intense meet. It was great to be with my family, to sit back and watch the fastest people in the nation."
"I was so grateful to be able to go to Nationals," Goodson said. "I was grateful to share the experience with my teammate and coaches." While Goodson's family was unable to attend the meet, her mom was the first person she called when she found out she made the top 16. "I called my mom while she was at school and she cried on the phone. I also called my friends at school to tell them."
While the 50 free prelims were going on, Allen thought that he was seeded 14th, but when he heard on the loudspeaker that the time to beat was 19.62, he said, "That was my time!" Luckily no one placed higher than he did in those last preliminary heats. "The guy in 17th was only .03 seconds behind me, so I was grateful to make the cut-off."
"It was exciting to make the top 16 in the 100 fly," Goodson said. "I was honestly surprised that I made it to finals. It's always nice to have a second swim to improve upon."
Both of the swimmers visualized a great deal before the MWC and NCAA Championships. Goodson said that she writes down the time she wants to achieve at every meet and tells herself that she can do it. Allen focused on the 50 and how he was going to swim it, seeing the start and turn and making everything perfect.
After achieving second-team All-America honors, the swimmers were quite satisfied that their hard work and visualization paid off.
" NCAA Championships had the same feeling of Olympic Trials," said Goodson. "You could feel the excitement and the intensity when you walked into the arena."
Goodson scored three points for the Cougars, earning the BYU women 45th place at the NCAA Championships. Allen scored five points for the Cougar men, taking home 41st place at Nationals. The men also received votes in the final national rankings, listed as 26th.
Allen also competed in the 100 free at Nationals finishing 29th with a time of 44.12. Goodson swam in the 200 IM finishing 39th with a time of 2:02.35, a personal best.
Both Goodson and Allen look forward to next year where they can improve upon this year's great season. They both expressed that they will keep working out this summer and will hit the weight room to get stronger.