BYU Swimmers and Divers Head for Big West

Junior Jorge Azevedo has been posting top-times for the Cougars and is expected to lead BYU at the Big West Shootout this weekend at UC Irvine. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The BYU men's swimming and diving teams will join the Big West conference this Friday and Saturday at UC Irvine to compete in the Big West Shootout. The invitational will be the Cougar's first meet to count for points on the season.

Host school UC Irvine will use two pools for the first day of competition. BYU, UC Davis and Hawaii will compete in one pool and UCI, Washington, Cal Poly and Cal State Northridge in the other. The top two teams from each pool will meet Saturday for the championships.

The Cougars met Hawai`i, who they will see in competition Friday, in Honolulu last season and pulled out a close win, beating the Rainbow Warriors by one point. Although nearly half of BYU's team is comprised of newcomers, men's swimming coach Tim Powers said meeting Hawaii again this weekend should prove to be another close match-up, and good experience for the team prior to MWC competition.

"A meet is the purest form of training," Powers said. "This will be a good chance to see where we are at early in the season."

Juniors Brett Allen (freestyle) and Jorge Azevedo (freestyle and fly) are expected to lead the Cougars this weekend after posting top-times during preseason. The Cougars are also counting on freshman John Kendrick to make a good showing in distance.

The Big West Shootout will begin Friday at noon PST Saturday at 10 a.m. PST.