Randall was named 2004-05 MWC diver of the year (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- "We really have the chance to be very good," Men's swimming head coach Tim Powers said when the 2004-2005 season began. The season ended with sharing the regular season Mountain West Conference title with the University of the Utah and a second place finish at the MWC Championships.
"We didn't accomplish all of the goals we had set at the beginning of the season," Powers said. "But, we did end up No. 23 in the polls, beat 5 top 25 teams, set some school records and broke the 20 second barrier in the 50 free." The Cougars began the season on a roll, compiling six straight victories.
The final preseason swim for the men came against the University of Utah at the annual Beehive relays. The team began the meet winning the first four events and continued to win eight of the total twelve events. The Utes couldn't keep up and the men won the meet 152-136.
The men had their first test of the year when No. 26 Notre Dame visited Provo. The Cougars overcame a mishap early in the meet to out swim the Fighting Irish 153-144. Senior John Malfatt and sophomore Mark Chay swam in the wrong lanes in the 100 back which cost the Cougars 15 points. The men would make up the points with first place finishes from junior Nick Tobler in the 100 breast, senior James Bekker in the 50 free, senior Adam Ware in the 200 breast, senior Kenny Carpenter in the 100 butterfly, Chay in the 200 IM, senior Scott Randall on both boards and both relay teams picking up wins. Randall earned his first MWC diver of the week award for his performance against the Irish.
The Cougars then took their first road trip for a meet with UNLV in Las Vegas. The men scored big in diving once again with Randall placing first on both springboards and freshman Bryce Engstrom placing second. BYU also scored first-place points from the swims of Carpenter in the 200 free and 200 fly, Chay in the 200 IM and 100 free and Tobler in the 200 breast. The men would pull away with the win over the Rebels 122.5 -- 107.5. Because of his strong showing against the Rebels, Randall garnered his second MWC diver of the week award.
The team then traveled to Long Beach, California for the final swim meet before the Christmas break at the Annual Speedo Cup. BYU swam to a third place finish with only three and a half points keeping them from second. The men's top finishes came from Chay who placed third in the 50 free, 100 back and 100 free.
The divers would have the final competition before the holiday break when they hosted Utah and UNLV at the BYU Invite in Provo. Randall would pick up second place in both the 1- and 3-meter springboards and a first place finish on the platform.
Following the Christmas break the Cougars jumped into competition again against the University of Washington. The men dominated the meet from the first event and swam the fastest time in all but two events scoring a 161-101 victory. Individual winners included sophomore Brett Allen in the 50 free, Carpenter in the 200 free and 100 fly, Chay in the 100 back, 100 free and 200 IM, freshman Jeffrey Su in the 200 fly and 500 free, Ware taking both the 100 and 200 breast, Randall on the 3-meter and freshman Ron Morris on the 1-meter springboard.
The men would have their first close meet of the season against No. 22 Hawaii the following week. The Cougars began the meet with a win in the 200-medley relay, but went back and forth with the Warriors until swimming to a first place finish on the final relay to post a 150-149 victory. Mark Chay's first place finish in the 200 IM gave the men the chance they needed to score the victory. BYU's other first place finishes came from Chay's 100 free, Carpenter's 100 fly and Allen's 50 free. For his performance against the Warriors, Chay was named MWC Swimmer of the Week.
The Cougars finished up the regular season with three straight Mountain West Conference meets with Air Force, Wyoming and Utah. The team made quick work of the Falcons and Cowboys, posting wins of 142-96 and 146.5-96.5. Individual winners against Air Force included Allen in the 50 free, freshman Jorge Azevedo in the 100 free, Carpenter in the 200 free and 200 fly, Chay in the 200 IM, Ware in the 200 breast and Randall placing first on both diving events.
The men would go on to place first in all but five events against the Cowboys on senior night in Provo. Two BYU seniors picked up wins: John Malfatt in the 100 back and Randall on the 3-meter springboard. Other Cougars that swam to top spots were Allen in the 50 and 100 free, Chay in the 200 free and Su in the 400 IM. Following the meets against the Falcons and Cowboys, Chay and Randall would pick up their second and third MWC Swimmer/Diver of the Week award.
The last meet of the season would leave a bad taste in the mouth of the team when they traveled to Utah. The Utes showed up in skin suits and edged the Cougars 135-108 for a split regular season Mountain West Conference title. Despite re-aggravating an ankle injury Chay swam to a second place finish in the 500 free. Carpenter swam to the men's lone individual victory in the 200 free while the 400 free relay team also posted a first place time.
Several BYU records would fall at the Mountain West Conference Championships, but the Cougars couldn't catch the UNLV Rebels and finished second place. It was the first time that any team, other than BYU, had won the MWC swimming title since its inception. Randall and Morris would pick up the lone individual victories for the men on the 1-meter and platform, respectively. Because of his success during the year, Randall was named MWC male diver of the year along with head diving coach Keith Russell who was named MWC diving coach of the year for both men and women. The men set new school records in the 50 free, 200-medley relay and 200-free relay. Jorge Azevedo would break the school record in the 100 fly the following week in Las Vegas at the UNLV Invite.
Despite the provisional NCAA times, BYU did not send a swimmer to the NCAA Championships. It was the first time in NCAA history that a 19 second 50 free did not qualify for the meet. However, Randall would qualify at diving regionals and was the lone representative for the Cougars at the Championships.