BYU Finshes the Season Ranked No. 18

Junior Diogo Yabe has posted the eighth fastest time in the country as the Cougars end the regular season ranked No. 18 in the country. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- In the final rankings of the regular season, the BYU men's swimming and diving team ended the 2002-2003 season at No. 18, up five spots from their finish a year ago.

The team (8-0, 4-0) completed its second undefeated season in three years with a win over in-state rival Utah on Jan. 31 the Cougars are now 27-1 over those same three years.

Led by seniors Jeff Mason, Christopher Johnson and junior Diogo Yabe the Cougars posted some of the fastest times in the country. Yabe, who set a new school record in the 100 fly with a time of 48.31earlier this year, posted the eighth fastest time in the country in the same race. He has also posted times in the top 50 in both the 200 fly and the 200 IM.

Both Mason and Johnson turned in top 50 times as well this year. Mason turned in the 42nd fastest time in the country for his performance in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.55 at the Speedo Cup Invitational. Johnson finishes the regular season holding the 38th and 45th fastest times in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke events with times of 49.99 and 1:48.85 respectively.

The Cougar relays also gained national attention as the 200, 400, and 800-freestyle relay teams are all among the top 15 in the country. The 200-free relay team holds the highest ranking with an 11th place finish and a time of 1:21.21.

No. 18 BYU, who won the 2002-2003 Mountain West Conference regular season title, will defend their three consecutive MWC Championship as they compete for their fourth when the conference tournament gets underway in Oklahoma City, Okla., on Feb. 19-22.