John Kendrick and the Cougars will hit the water Friday and Saturday at the Richards Building pool. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- After being on the road for three months straight, the BYU men’s (4-3, 2-2) and women’s (14-1, 5-0) swim and dive teams will be back in Provo Friday and Saturday to respectively take on Air Force and Wyoming.
“It is going to be a challenging weekend of meets,” said BYU head coach Tim Powers. “Air Force will be a tough team to beat and Wyoming is a very good team all around.”
The Air Force women are 6-11 overall this season and 0-5 in the Mountain West Conference. The Air Force men are 7-9 overall this season and 1-1 in the MWC. At the Nike Cup in Nov. the Cougar men fell to UNLV (1249.5) as well as Air Force (1096.5), scoring 852.5 points to put them in third place in the competition.
The Wyoming Cowgirls are 8-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference, while the Cowboys are 9-1 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
The meets will be shortened to 13 events instead of 16 to leave the swimmers enough energy to compete two days in a row.
“Wyoming is a very good team, they are very strong in diving,” said Powers.
“It’s going to be our toughest week of competition for diving,” said BYU diving coach Keith Russell. “These are the best all-around teams we will face this season, making this meet a good barometer for how we’ll do in the conference.”
Their last time out, the BYU women came home with 11 out of 13 event wins against Colorado State. Natasha Menezes won the 1000 free (10:29.10) and the 500 free (5:05.88), Leilani Roberts won the 100 free (52.05) and 200 free (1:52.42).
The Cougar’s fastest female swimmer, Aleesha Miller, finished first in the 50 free with a time of 23.77. While MWC 400 IM record holder, Rachel Grant, placed first in the 200 IM with a time of 2:05.92. She also won the 100 fly with a time of 2:04.16.
Both of the diving events against the Rams were taken by Ava Jackman with a score of 288.30 on the 3-meter board and 280.80 on the 1-meter.
The last time the men were out was at the Nike Cup in November where Gregor Greiner went his fastest 50 free time ever, touching the wall at 20.91 in the finals.
Sophomore John Kendrick finished fifth in the 500 free at the Nike Cup with a time of 4:28.49. Kendrick also placed third in the 200 free with a time of 1:40.48.
Vytenis Slenys finished third in the 100 breast at the Nike Cup, touching the wall at 57.19, a season-high. Jacoby Jacobsen finished fourth in the 100 back with a time of 50.65. Jacobsen also finished fourth in the 200 back with a time of 1:50.17.
The 400 free relay of Greiner, Stott Bushnell, Kendrick and David Mason finished first at the Nike Cup with a time of 3:02.99.
After this weekend’s competition the divers will head to Colorado Springs for the Air Force Diving Invitational Jan. 30-31. The swimmers will next take on the Utes of Utah in Salt Lake City on Feb. 6 at 6:00 p.m. For updates and scores check www.byucougars.com.