LAS VEGAS -- The BYU men's and women's swimming and diving teams were dealt their first losses of the season Friday, falling to conference rival UNLV. The men were outscored, 122-115, while the women were dealt a 146-90 loss.
The men's meet was a battle from the first event and came down to the last race of the night, the 400 free relay event. The best the Cougars could manage in the event was a third-place finish, and as a result, were sent home with a loss.
"It was a tight meet which came down to the last relay," BYU men's coach Tim Powers said. "They swam really well and were a little fresher than we were. Our guys swam well, and I feel like we're making good progress. We don't feel deterred by this. There a lot of swims before we come to the championship season."
Bright points for the Cougars were the performances of junior Arunas Savickas, last week's male conference swimmer of the week, and freshman Gary Tan. Savickas won the 200 and 500 free events and was the runner-up in the 100 free race. Tan took first in both the 200 IM and the 200 back while swimming a strong leg on the second-place 200 medley relay team. Freshmen Aaron Russell and Scott Randall also won their first events as Cougars, placing first on the 1M and 3M boards, respectively.
On the women's side, it was a tough night. The women's team faced the University of Nevada-Reno as well as UNLV in a double dual meet and lost to both, 130-112 and 127-109. Junior Mary Duffin was the sole first-place finisher for the Cougars, taking the 200 IM event with a time of 2:09.71. Diver Rachelle Smith was the runner-up on the 1M board.
Next up for the Cougars is the USC Diving Invitational, hosted Thurday, Friday and Saturday by USC. Daily updates will be posted as they are available on BYU's official athletics home page, www.byucougars.com.