Cougars Face Utes in Final Meet

Senior Billy Betz and the rest of the No. 23 Cougar men's team is ready to face Utah as are the Cougar women who have now won two in a row. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- For the second time this season the Cougars will face off against the University of Utah in a men's and women's dual swim meet, this time at the Utah Natatorium in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Friday, Jan. 31 at 6:00 p.m.

The meet will also be the last regular season competition for the Cougars before the Mountain West Conference Championships on Feb. 19-22 in Oklahoma City, OK.

Entering the meet the No. 23 BYU men's team boasts an unblemished record at 4-0 in conference and 7-0 overall. The Cougars have already won the MWC Regular Season Title with their wins over Air Force and Wyoming last weekend.

The women got back on the winning track as well over the weekend with wins over Air Force and Wyoming bringing their conference record to 3-4 and their overall record to 4-6.

The Cougars have started coming on strong in the last half of the season with the return of some key swimmers and are still expected to make a run at the conference title in February.

The Last Time

The last time these two teams met was the first dual meet of the season on Nov. 11. The Cougar men swam away with a convincing 161.5-81.5, while the women lost for the first time in school history to the Utes, 135-112. The key performs in the meet for the men were freshmen Zach Anderson, Travis Price and John Ferrell as well as seniors Jeff Mason, and Aaron Russell. Anderson, Price, and Ferrell finished 1-2-3 in the 1000 while Mason won the 100 and 200 free events and Russell claimed both diving events. On the women's side, sophomore Nichole Burrows had a strong showing for the Cougars winning the 50 free and finished second in both the 1000 free and with the 400 free relay team, while senior Kelli Einfeldt won both diving events for the Cougars.

Winning Weekend

Both the men's and women's teams record victories over the weekend as each team downed Air Force and Wyoming. The women had not won a meet since coming back to win the Lobo Invite on Nov. 9, in Albuquerque, NM. The Cougars recorded convincing wins and swam strong races winning nine of 13 against events against Air Force on their way to a 158-79 win and then claimed10 of 13 against events against Wyoming while defeating the Cowboys 152-88. The No. 23 men's team continued their run of strong finishes by defeating Air Force 140-97 and winning 11 of 13 events and beat the Cowboys 152-88 and also claimed 11 of the 13 events. The wins secured the men's regular season MWC title and improved their record to 7-0, 4-0.

Swimmers to Watch

WOMEN

After missing the first half of the season due to knee surgery, junior Tamber Covington has been a huge factor in the Cougars' recent wins. Covington won all six events she competed in over the weekend and posted some of the fastest times in the conference. Expect her to have another strong outing in the IM, breaststroke, and medley relay events. Covington is last season's MWC champion in the 200 breast.

MEN

Freshman Travis Price has given the Cougars the strength they needed in the distance freestyle events. Price is coming off of three wins over the weekend as he claimed the 1000 free in both meets and won the 500 against Air Force and placed second in the same event against Wyoming. In winning the events, Price defeated last season's MWC champion in both the 1000 and 500 events. Look for Price to have a similar outing this Friday against Utah.