Day One at MWC Championships

The BYU women's swim team was named the regular season MWC Champion Thursday in Oklahoma.

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Day one of the Mountain West Conference swimming and diving championships is complete with Ron Morris and the women’s 200 medley relay team on top for the Cougars.

Ron Morris won the 1-meter diving competition (331.65) while the team of Candice Smith, Sara Jayne Christiansen, Kirsty Ferrell and Aleesha Miller won the 200 medley relay, one-tenth of a second off of breaking the school record (1:41.22).

“Ron had a great night and nailed every dive—it was the best I have ever seen him dive,” said BYU head coach Tim Powers. “The women’s 200 medley relay was perfectly on. Kirsty had a 24.4 split in the fly leg while Aleesha went a 21.8.”

The women's winning 200 medley relay on the platform at MWC Championships. (Stephen Nowland/NCAA Photos)

The women winning the 200-yard medley relay put them on top of the competition with 40 points. The last time the BYU women won that event was in 2001. The men placed fourth in the same event with a time of 1:28.87 behind UNLV, Wyoming and Air Force—UNLV setting a new MWC record in the event (1:26.86).

The men found themselves in fourth place to start out the meet with 30 points. However, Ron Morris’ event was next to tally 20 points for the Cougars, garnering the title of the MWC 1-meter champion with a final score of 343.40.

Sam Hatch and Scott Thalman both failed dives in the preliminary round, making them unable to compete in the finals. Their scores would’ve placed them fifth (292.00) and ninth (277.05), respectively.

After the men’s 1-meter competition, BYU found itself in second place with 67.5 points, 15.5 points behind Wyoming.

For the women’s 3-meter diving competition, juniors Tawni Jones and Ava Jackman placed fourth and fifth, respectively. Jones recorded a 291.50 while Jackman posted a point total of 290.75. Nicole Pryzbyla placed 11th in the consolation heat with a score of 239.25.

After the 3-meter competition, the women found themselves in second place with 75 points, six points behind Wyoming.

The last two events on the evening were the Cougars’ worst nightmare. The No. 1 seeded 800 free relay team of Leilani Roberts, Rachel Grant, Whitney Hall and Natasha Menezes were disqualified from the race when the anchor left the block a little early. The disqualification cost the team 20 points at the least, and 40 points at the most, leaving the women in second place with 75 points, now 34 points behind Wyoming.

The men’s team followed suit when the anchor left the block early in the 800 free relay. No. 3 seeded team of John Kendrick, Kenneth Clark, Christian Keil and Stott Bushnell was disqualified, along with the Wyoming team, where they could’ve scored at least 26 points.

“There are a lot of events to come in the next couple days,” said Powers. “We’re swimming well, but we’ve just dug ourselves a hole.”

The Cougars will compete in events seven through 16 Thursday including the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, men’s 3-meter diving, women’s 1-meter diving and the 200 free relay. Check back to www.byucougars.com/swimming_diving/ for results.

(Stephen Nowland/NCAA Photos)

(Stephen Nowland/NCAA Photos)

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