Cougars Sweep Air Force in First Dual Meet of New Year

COLORADO SPRINGS -- Despite struggling in a bromide-laced pool cleared for competition just an hour before the meet, the BYU men's and women's swimming and diving teams prevailed over Air Force Friday night with a 141-102 win by the men and a 150-86 margin of victory by the women.

The chemical bromide had been detected in the Falcons' pool during the week, and the start of the meet was delayed an hour to allow health officials to clear the pool for competition. As a result, BYU struggled to swim in dark green water, and freshman Josh Johnston, who has an allergy to bromide, was forced to watch from outside much of the meet.

"The water was dark green and you couldn't see the walls," said men's coach Tim Powers. "Our guys did a good job in a very tough meet."

The Cougar men were led by Johnston, who came in to win his event, the 200 butterfly. Fellow freshman Gary Tan and sophomore Rob Morris also chalked up wins. Helping the Cougar cause was the men's 400 medley relay team, which also managed to squeak out a first-place finish, edging Air Force's A team by three-hundredths of a second.

On the women's side, Amy Lueken and Melissa Belliston won their races, while freshman Amanda Grant had her best showing of the season by claiming the runner-up spot in the 200 IM.

BYU's divers also dominated to contribute big points. On the women's 1-meter board, Rachelle Smith Kunkel and Kelli Einfeldt finished 1-2, and Einfeldt captured the first-place spot in the 3-meter event. The Cougar men blew away the competition, finishing 1-2-3 on the 1-meter and 1-2-3-4 on the 3-meter. Sophomore Viraj Patil won the 1-meter, while senior Devan Porter led the way in the 3-meter event.

BYU will compete next at Wyoming Saturday at noon.