Natasha Menezes, Brandon Watson and Tawni Jones earned Mountain West Conference Swimmer and Diver of the Week honors. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
COLORADO SPRINGS -- After their stellar performance last weekend sophomore diver Brandon Watson has been named Mountain West Conference Men's Diver of the Week, while BYU seniors Natasha Menezes and Tawni Jones earned MWC women's swimming and diving honors, respectively.
For the second week in a row BYU has represented the Mountain West Conference well in earning Swimmer and Diver of the Week awards.
“Natasha had a really nice weekend,” said BYU head coach Tim Powers. “One of the great things she did was break one of our oldest records which was held by her mother and she was there to see it.”
Natasha Menezes had a record-breaking weekend at home. Against UNLV with her mother in attendance, N. Menezes broke the 500 free BYU pool record that stood for 27 years, held by her mother, Melanie Rile-Menezes. The previous record was 4:56.87 and Natasha touched the wall with a time of 4:55.46. She also broke the 200 free BYU pool record with a time of 1:50.57, the old pool record was held by Anna Crandall (1:50.62). Menezes also won the 1000 free on Saturday against ASU with a time of 10:17.07, the 500 free (5:04.31) and the 400-free relay in both meets.
“It’s also nice to see Tawni diving well again as she seems to be over her injuries from last year and back to her All-American form,” Powers said.
Two seasons ago Tawni Jones garnered third-team All-America honors for her performance at NCAA Championships. Last year she was injured most of the season, but this past weekend she finished first on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards both on Friday against UNLV and on Saturday against ASU. Against UNLV she tallied a score of 282.38 on the 1-meter and 320.70 on the 3-meter. Against top diving school, Arizona State, Jones finished first on the 3-meter with a score of 303.90 and 292.88 on the 1-meter.
“Brandon got back on Aug. 17 from a two-year LDS mission and was one of the top divers in the nation before he left and it’s great that he’s getting recognition so early,” said Powers.
Brandon Watson only competed in Saturday’s meet against Arizona State’s stellar divers, three of which competed in the 2008 Olympics, but that didn’t stop Watson, he won both the 1-meter and 3-meter events. Watson was a first-team All-American his freshman year in 2007 and has recently returned from a two-year LDS Church mission. “Brandon has picked up where he left off before his mission,” said BYU head coach Tim Powers. He placed first on the 1-meter with a score of 353.25 and first on the 3-meter with a score of 364.88.
Catch the Cougars back in the pool on Friday at the Richards Building pool at 6 p.m. to take on New Mexico, Seattle and Boise.