Brett Allen set records in the 50 free and the 200 free relay during day two of the Mountain West Conference Championships. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
OKLAHOMA -- Midway through the four-day Mountain West Conference Championships, the BYU swim teams remained atop the standings. The women created some breathing room, scoring a two-day total of 327 points to Utah's 236, and the men are 28 points ahead of UNLV, totaling 279 to the Rebels' 251.
"It was exciting on both sides today for the men and women," said BYU women's head coach Stan Crump. "We placed really well today, especially in the 500 free and 200 IM."
In the four individual events on Thursday the Cougar women had multiple swimmers place in the top eight in all the events. Freshman Natasha Menezes won her first MWC title as she took the 500 free (4:53.28) and was followed by Brittney Davis-Burk's second-place finish (4:54.83) and Whitney Hall in sixth (4:59.28).
All-American Angela Goodson then claimed her second MWC title in the 200 IM (2:03.16), becoming the second Cougar ever to do so. Goodson was followed by Leilani Roberts in second (2:03.68) and Tara Patience in sixth (2:06.28).
"I was really proud of our girls going one-two in the 500 and 200 IM," said Coach Crump. "Leilani came out of nowhere and had the swim of her life."
Kirsty Ferrell and Sara Woodbury then took fifth and eighth in the 50 free with times of 23.56 and 23.76, respectively. The competition then turned towards the diving boards where Angela Nelson took second (285.30) in the 1-meter and Tawni Jones placed fourth (281.95).
The Cougar women ended the day taking fourth in the 200 free relay (1:33.62), but Coach Crump wasn't disappointed with the place as the relay squad was hundredths of a second behind the team record.
The BYU men had an exciting day of swimming and diving from top to bottom. The Cougars started out the day with Travis Price (4:25.93), Zach Anderson (4:28.57) and Chad Fong (4:28.98) taking second, fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 500 free.
Kenny Clark's fifth-place finish in the 200 IM was the only swim from BYU in that event. Clark was followed by All-American Brett Allen's MWCC record-breaking swim in the 50 free. Allen was clocked at 19.62, a time good enough to also tie the MWC all-time record, a mark he set last year.
"We got some good swims today," said BYU men's head coach Tim Powers. "We got records in two events today and that was really exciting."
Freshman Brandon Watson then took home the hardware in the men's 3-meter dive scoring a 393.65, making it his second first-place finish in two days. Travis Day also scored valuable points for the Cougars, placing eighth with a score of 260.60.
In the last event of the day Allen came through for BYU one more time as he anchored the 200 free relay team to a come-from-behind win that also set a BYU team record. Jorge Azevedo, Price and Patience joined Allen in the event and clocked a 1:19.13, a time that could qualify the squad for nationals.
Day three of the MWCC will begin Friday at 10 a.m. CT with the 400 IM.