BYU In First at MWC Champs

Sophomore Brandon Watson broke the MWC all-time record score of 437.30 to win the 3-meter springboard on the first day of competition at the MWC Championships. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The BYU men's and women's swimming and diving teams lead the rankings with 125 and 133 points, respectively, through day one of the 2010 MWC Swimming and Diving Championships. Wyoming is second for the men with 94 points, and on the women's side, Wyoming has earned 109 points for second place.

UNLV is third in the men's standings with 80 points, followed by TCU (79), Air Force (71) and Utah (60). For the women, San Diego State is third with 81 points, followed by Utah (74), New Mexico (63), Colorado State (61), TCU (54), UNLV (30) and Air Force (18).

BYU senior Tawni Jones won the second 1-meter springboard crown of her career with a score of 330.65. Jones previously won the event at the 2008 championships with a mark of 288.05. Fellow Cougar Ava Jackman, the 2009 champion on the 1-meter board, finished second at 308.65, while Utah's Ellis Walters took third at 303.75.

BYU's Brandon Watson broke the MWC all-time record score of 437.30 to win the 3-meter springboard. The sophomore earned his second MWC title on the 3-meter board, after earning a mark of 393.65 in the 2007 championships as a freshman. Air Force's Kyle Van Valkenburg (373.20) and Wyoming's Mark Murdock (371.80) finished second and third, respectively.

The 200-yard medley relay team of Jeff Ferrell, David Mason, Ryan Bills and Daniel Bates placed fifth in the men’s event with a time of 1:30.29 while the women placed second in the same event with a time of 1:41.15. Candice Smith led off in the backstroke, Sara Jayne Baldwin swam the breaststroke, Kirsty Ferrell in the fly and Aleesha Miller anchored in the free.

The 800-yard free relay team of John Kendrick, Christian Keil, Chad Fong and Josh Tanner cut 16 seconds off their seeded time placing second in the event with a time of 6:39.26. For the women’s event, the relay team of Rachel Grant, Amy Xu, Michelle Menezes and Natasha Menezes placed second behind San Diego State with a time of 7.20.35, both teams earning 34 points for their performances.

Day two events begin with the men's 1-meter springboard and men's and women's 500-yard freestyle preliminaries at 10 a.m. CT. The finals competition starts at 6 p.m. CT. The 2010 MWC Swimming and Diving Championships conclude Saturday, February 27.

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