Men Swimmers Look to Improve on Perfect MWC Record

BYU senior Neal Hamilton is set for meets against Air Force and Wyoming this week along with his team. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- After a 12-day layoff, the BYU men's swim and dive team hits the pool again this week as they have two Mountain West Conference road meets against Air Force and Wyoming. The Cougars travel to take on the Falcons on Thursday at 6 p.m. and on Saturday they square off with the Cowboys at 12 p.m.

"This week will be a good challenge for us," BYU coach Tim Powers said. "Both Air Force and Wyoming match up with us very well. Each team has their strengths that we need to be ready for and it is always tough for our guys to travel up to over 7,000 feet for these meets."

The No. 23 Cougars come into this week's action with a 10-1 record (2-0 MWC), while Air Force is 3-5 overall (MWC 0-2) and Wyoming is 2-3 overall (1-1 MWC). Last season BYU beat both the Falcons and the Cowboys during the regular season in Provo.

BYU is led by its strong group of six seniors - Jorge Azevedo, Zach Anderson, John Ferrell, Neal Hamilton, Travis Price and Jeffrey Su. Azevedo is a two-time MWC Swimmer of the Week honoree so far during this 2007-08 campaign, most recently Azevedo was honored for his performance against TCU and the University of Washington on Jan. 16.

Another Cougar that has been honored this season by the MWC for his efforts is Price. He currently has the fastest BYU time in the 200-yard freestyle (1:39.06) and in the 1650 free with a time of (15:36.91).

Coming into Thursday's meet, the Air Force is led by junior Bryan Avery who won the 200 free in his team's dual meet last week against UNLV with a time of 1:41:17. Avery also took second in the 100 free against the Rebels. Air Force also has a very strong 200 medley relay team that finished with a team season-best time of 1:31.52.

The Cowboys come into this week's meet with the Cougars with the top 200 breaststroke and 200 IM swimmers in the conference. Junior Alex Larkin's time of 1:59.62 is the only 200 breast time to get below the two-minute mark so far this season in the conference, while in the 200 IM, senior Sam King has recorded a time of 1:50.90 is the best in the MWC to this point in the season.