Freshman Jake Taylor (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
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PROVO -- Emotions ran high as the BYU Cougars edged their way passed the Denver University Pioneers in an intense meet Saturday afternoon.
“Emotions played a big role in the races today,” BYU head coach Tim Powers said. “We won 7 events and Denver won six. It was back and forth the whole meet. We did well around the board today. Our success is a result of the hard work the swimmers put in. Training is going really well and swimmers are constantly improving.”
The meet began with the women’s 400-yard medley relay with BYU contributing four of the six teams competing. BYU placed first with the team consisting of Candice Smith, Sara Jayne Baldwin, Aleesha Miller and Kim Welch with a time of 3:48.64.
In the same event, the men came in a close second with at time of 3:23.92. Team members for the men’s team included Jake Taylor, Vytenis Slenys, McKay King and Ryan Krause.
The third event of the day was the 100-yard free. Amy Xu placed first for the women with a time of 10.29.43, while freshman Dallin Johnson took second with a time of 9:46.25 for the men.
Freshman Allie Dodds recorded the first place win in the 200 free with a time of 1:54.42, while Michelle Menezes took second with 1:55.79. John Kendrick placed first for the men with his time of 1:41.17.
In the 50 free, Aleesha Miller placed first with 23.92, while Taryn Toolson came in second with 24.07. Christian Keil placed second with 21.49 for the men, right behind Denver’s Jay Giddens and his time of 21.01.
In the 400 IM, Senior Rachel Grant lead in first, way ahead of second place with a time of 4:18.75, earning her a new Richards Building pool record as well as an NCAA “B” Cut time.
For the men, Clay Myers of Denver placed first with a time of 4:03.82, followed by BYU’s Rafael Alfaro and his time of 4:07.61.
In the 200 fly, Grant gained another first place win with a time of 2:00.47. Second place went to Kim Welch with her time of 2:03.23.
In the 100 free, the women had a 1,2,3 sweep with Baldwin first, Toolson in second and Angela Bennion in third. Keil touched in a close second with 46.95 while Giddens of DU took first with 46.18.
In the 200 back, Smith placed first for the women with a time of 2:03.90, while Erin Pabst took second with 2:07.42. For the men, Jake Taylor touched in at first place with a time of 1:49.26.
“We knew that Denver had a some really great backstrokers so we decided to throw Jake into that event to give us some depth,” Powers said. “He ended up taking three seconds off of his time from our last meet and winning first place. It really shows the effect that emotions and adrenaline can have.”
Menezes took first in the 500 free with a time of 5:04.54, while Amy Xu placed second with 5:08.21. Kendrick touched in at 4:37.05 for his second first place win of the meet.
Londyn Clawson placed first in the 200 breaststroke with her time of 2:19.77. Slenys recorded a first place win for the men with a time of 2:07.63, just ahead of Robert Barret of DU who touched in at 2:07.84.
The highlight of the meet was the 400 free relay. The BYU team consisting of Grant, Baldwin, Welch and Miller took first with a final time of 3:28.05 for the women.
In the same event, the men’s team of McKay King, Kendrick, Keil and Taylor ended the meet with an intense race, placing first with a time of 3:04.45. Denver’s team came in a close second with a time of 3:05.22.
The race was neck-and-neck up until Taylor pulled the last leg and gained the lead for the win.
“There was a lot of tension because we needed that win,” freshman Jake Taylor said. “I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to be in that situation. I loved having the team around me and cheering me on. It’s a lot harder than high school, but its really fun because there are extremely fast guys here who are pushing me to do better everyday in practice.”
Across the deck, the BYU men and women divers swept the competition with Junior Brandon Watson winning both the 1 and 3-meter events with scores of 376.35 and 412.95, respectively. For the women, Syrena Miskin took first in the 3-meter with a score of 295.43, while Dayna Christiensen placed first in the 1-meter with a score of 264.30.
The final score of the meet was BYU with 124 points and Denver University with 117.
Next week, the women of BYU will travel to Calif. for the first conference meet of the season against San Diego State University at 1p.m. on Nov. 4.