Cougars Begin MWC Competition at Home

Returning senior Natasha Schlup Jones and the Cougars will begin MWC competition this weekend hosting UNLV and SDSU at the Richards Building Pool. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The BYU swimming and diving teams will kick off conference competition this weekend hosting UNLV on Friday and the SDSU women Saturday at the Richards Building Pool.

Beating out two nationally ranked teams and coming off of a 5-0 win at the Big West Shootout last weekend, the BYU men's swimming team is the lone nationally ranked team entering MWC at no. 19.

Men's swimming coach Tim Powers said they are looking to bolster their winning streak this weekend against UNLV.

"UNLV will matchup well with us," said Powers. "We'll have some really great races. I'm excited about it and I know the guys are too."

Last year the men defeated UNLV in regular season 122.5-107.5, but came second to the Rebels at the MWC Championship, giving the Cougars their first second place finish in MWC history.

The BYU women's swimming team also gave up the MWC title to UNLV after leading until the final night of competition when UNLV pushed additional points in the 100 free.

Women's swimming coach Stan Crump said he expects another close contest with UNLV this weekend and a competitive lineup both nights.

"The girls will get a lot of experience this weekend in different events with a dual meet lineup," Crump said. "They will be some good meets."

Crump predicts the individual medley will be a key event for the Cougars this weekend with junior Brittany Davis and sophomore Tara Bradshaw leading the pack. But, he said, the 1000 free, led by freshmen Kim Clark and Celleigh McHenry will really tell how the meet is going to go.

Powers said he is looking to junior Brett Allen, who set two records last weekend in the 50 and 100 free at UC Irvine, to lead the Cougars again, with help from free and fly sprinter junior Jorge Azevedo and long distance competitor, freshman John Kendrick. Azevedo and Kendrick also finished with top times and scores for the Cougars at the Big West Shootout last weekend.

The diving teams are also anxious for their first MWC competition after two top-three finishes at the Big West Shootout at UC Irvine. Diving coach Keith Russell said he expects junior captain Ron Morris to lead the men and sophomore Angela Nelson to contribute on the women's side.

BYU will host UNLV Friday at 6 p.m. and SDSU Saturday at noon in the Richards Building Pool.