Freshman Natasha Menezes was a big reason why the Cougars did so well this season. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- With its win over Utah last Friday the BYU men's swim team was crowned as Mountain West Conference regular-season co-champions with UNLV. The men finished at 6-1 overall and 4-1 in MWC competitions. The Cougar women finished second in the MWC with a 7-1 record in the MWC, 9-1 overall.
"It was full of highlights," said BYU men's head swim coach Tim Powers. "All the guys swam really well us and the divers were big."
The men's only loss came way back in early November when the Cougars swam against UNLV and lost by only 10 points, a difference that could have been made up in one event. All-American Brett Allen, who was undefeated all season in the 50 free, led BYU all season long. Allen tied the BYU pool 50 free record at 20.04 and took first at the 2006 Speedo Cup in the same event.
On the boards the Cougars were led by freshman Brandon Watson who carried them all season and set MWC-best scores in both the 1- and 3-meter dives. Allen and Watson are favored to win the conference in multiple events.
The BYU women's team went into the final meet of the season against Utah undefeated and with the MWC Championship on the line, but fell 157.5-142.5 marking the Cougars only loss of the season.
"I felt really good with how they did," said BYU women's head coach Stan Crump. "We were .3 seconds from being undefeated for the whole season."
The Cougars had a plethora of swimmers that contributed this season. Natasha Menezes, Angela Goodson and Brittany Davis-Burk were the frontrunners for BYU. Menezes and Goodson set MWC-best times in the 500 free and 100 butterfly, respectively, and Davis-Burk was undefeated in the 100 and 200 backstroke all season. Diver Angela Nelson made a name for herself in the conference as she ended the season by posting an MWC-best score on the 3-meter dive.
Both the BYU men and women are one of the teams favored to win the MWC Championships in Oklahoma City on February 21-24.