Cougar sophomore to compete with the best in the nation

Davis will compete in the 200 back and 200 free at the NCAA's (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- This weekend will mark the second consecutive year BYU sophomore Brittany Davis will be swimming in the NCAA championships. The encore performance for the native from Magna, Utah came after a strong performance at the Mountain West Conference Championships with qualifying times in the 200 and 500 free and the 200 back. The fact that Davis swam in the championships at all were impressive after a stay in the hospital the weekend before for kidney stones.

"I thought Brittany gave a particularly strong performance and showed a lot of guts," women's head coach Stan Crump said. Crump was concerned about his swimmer heading into the championships and the fact that Davis became a swimmer at all was something in doubt.

Boating was an enjoyable pastime for the Davis family and Brittany's mother, Fraces, worried about her kids and the water.

"We had a boat and I wanted my kids to swim because I worried so much about the water," Mrs. Davis said. "Brittany had to beg me to be on the swim team; her brother had swam, and to be honest I was tired of watching swimming."

After constant questioning Davis joined the Pirate Swim Club under the tutelage of Mark Gray. Gray is the reason that Brittany is as successful as she is today, her mother said.

"At first he thought 'that there is nothing in that girl" Mrs. Davis said. "But Mark is where Brittany learned her strongest strokes."

Davis took the skills learned from Gray and swam for Cyprus High School and finished her career in Magna as one of the best swimmers that the state has ever produced. The former Pirate decided on BYU after encouragement from her grandmother and a campus visit.

"I knew that this was the place for me," Davis said. "After I got home I cancelled my other recruiting trips."

The team atmosphere at BYU has driven Davis to succeed in the pools of Provo. Davis said it was the team that helped her to succeed at the MWC Championships despite not being 100%.

"My team definitely drives me," Davis said. "They were there supporting me, helping me to keep my chin up and motivating me everyday of the championships."

The support carried Davis to two individual titles at the Championships in the 200 back and the 500 free with times of 1:59.41 and 4:50.77. She also captured a second place finish in the 200 free (1:59.41) and swam on several relay teams. The times in the 200 and 500 free were personal bests for the second year Cougar.

The sophomore is honored to be the lone representative for the Cougars in the NCAA championships being held in West Lafayette, Indiana on the campus of Purdue University. A now healthier Davis will look to post better times than last year's championships of 4:17.60 in the 400m free and 1:02.47 in the 100m back.

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