BYU Swimmers Look For Deseret First Duel Win

Junior Natasha Menezes leads the women in the distance events and looks for wins in the 1000 and 500 freestyle events Friday against Utah. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- After two weeks of rest the BYU men’s and women’s swim and dive teams will travel 45 miles to finish off Mountain West Conference competition at Utah Friday at 6:00 p.m. as part of the Deseret First Dual.

“It’s going to be a highly-competitive meet,” said BYU head coach Tim Powers. “We expect great racing because their swimmers match up very well with our swimmers.”

Coach Powers encourages Cougar fans to get to the venue early, as he expects there to be standing room only.

The last time out, the BYU women’s swimming team (16-1, 7-0) secured the regular season Mountain West Conference title with a 188-111 win over the Wyoming Cowgirls. The Cougar men (5-4, 3-3) fell to Wyoming 117-183, the first loss to the Cowboys in 21 years.

Against Wyoming, sophomore Aleesha Miller broke the BYU pool record in the 50 free with a time of 23.07. The previous record was held by Amber Walter of Utah, set in 2006 (23.19). After breaking the BYU pool record in the 50 free, Miller also won the 100 free with a time of 50.87, only a tenth of a second off of the 100 free BYU pool record.

Other wins from the women’s side against Wyoming came from senior Leilani Roberts (200 free), freshman Candice Smith (100 back, 200 back), sophomore Rachel Grant (200 fly, 200 IM and 100 fly), Sara Jayne Christiansen (200 breast), Natasha Menezes (500 free).

Wins from the Wyoming meet on the men’s side came from freshman Stott Bushnell (200 free), sophomore John Kendrick (500 free, 1000 free), senior Gregor Greiner (50 free, 100 free), freshman Sam Hatch (3-meter).

Friday’s meet concludes the regular season for the swimmers while the Cougar divers will host Stanford on Feb. 13 at 11 a.m. Mountain West Conference Championships will begin Feb. 25 and go through Feb. 28 in Oklahoma City.