When Melanie Rile began her swimming career at BYU she was no newcomer to success. Rile, who won her first national title at the age of 13 while competing in the AAU Junior Nationals, had already set a handful of national records, earned four consecutive high school All-American honors, and qualified for the 1980 U.S. Olympic Trials before ever suiting up for the Cougars.
As a freshman Rile rewrote the Cougar record books with her outstanding speed and determination to win. She set school records in the 100-meter freestyle, the 200 free, 500 free, 50 backstroke and the 200 free relay. In that same year she captured five regional championships and became only the second swimmer in BYU history to receive AIAW All-America honors.
At the 1982 AIAW Championships, Rile earned first-team AIAW All-America honors after finishing fifth in the 500 free, fourth in the 200 IM and sixth in the 100 IM. She then went on to win the consolation races in the 100 and 200 freestyle events to single-handedly give BYU a No. 18 national finish.
The following year swimming entered its first year as an NCAA sponsored sport, replacing the AIAW. Rile became the first athlete from BYU to qualify for the NCAA Championships and was the only Cougar to qualify for the meet. At the championships Rile again qualified for three events this time competing in the 200 and 400 IM along with the 500 free.
In her junior year Rile dominated the 1984 HCAC Conference Championships by claiming four individual and two relay titles with her performances in the 100, 200 and 500-yard freestyle events, the 200-yard IM and being a part of the winning 400 free and 400 medley relay teams. Her finishes at the Championships earned her a place on the HCAC All-Conference team.
Rile once again qualified for the NCAA Championships with her top times in the 200 IM, 500 free, and the 400-medley relay. Unfortunately Rile was scratched from competing in the 500 free event due to a scheduling conflict that placed the 200 IM and the 500 free on the same day. In that same year, Rile again qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials.
As a senior Rile continued to excel in the 400 IM and the 500 free as she broke her own school records in both events. In setting both of those records Rile earned HCAC All-Conference honors and managed to qualify for the NCAA Championships, her fourth consecutive trip to the national championships.
Nearly 20 years later Rile's records for her high altitude swims in the 500 free, 100 IM, and the pool record for the 500 free, remain unbroken on the Cougar record books as a testament to her exceptional talent.
Today Rile is married to former Cougar men's team swimmer Ron Menezes. The two live in Centennial, Colo. with their two daughters Natasha and Michelle. Rile remains athletically active in both triathlons and marathons, and qualified to compete in the Boston Marathon in 1994 and 2001.
Melanie Rile -- Legacy Hall Inductee
The second female swimmer in BYU history to earn All-America honors
U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier in 1980 & 1984
Earned three AIAW All-America citations in 1982 (500-free, 100 IM and 200 IM)
Led BYU to a No. 18 place finish at AIAW nationals as the only BYU swimmer that
scored points at that meet.
At the 1982 AIAW Championships she placed fifth in the 500 free, fourth in the
200 IM and sixth in the 100 IM
Qualified for the 1983 NCAA Championships in the 200 IM, 400 IM and the 500
Qualified for the 1984 NCAA Championships in the 200 IM, the 200 free and the
Qualified for the 1985 NCAA Championships in the 500 free and the 400 IM
Claimed four individual and two relay HCAC Conference titles in 1984 for her
performances in the 100, 200 and 500-yard freestyle events, the 200-yard IM and
for being a part of the winning 400 free relay and the 400 medley relay teams
Earned HCAC All-Conference Team honors for her performances at the 1984 and
1985 HCAC Conference Championships
During her swim career, Melanie held BYU and Conference records in the 100,
200 and 500 freestyle events. She also held BYU and Conference High Altitude
records in the 100, 200, and 500 freestyle events as well as High Altitude
Conference records in the 100 and 200 IM
Set BYU school records in the 100 free, 200 free, 500 free, 1,000 free, 50
back, 100 IM and the 400 IM
Still holds the BYU pool record for the 500-yard free and the BYU high altitude
records for the 500-yard free and the 100-yard IM