Nathan Rogers, a sophomore from Evan, Georgia, took first in two events on Saturday against UNLV. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
LAS VEGAS, Nevada– Nathan Rogers and Shawn Western took first in several events and aided the BYU men's swim and dive team to top UNLV 181-115. The women’s team was just shy of the win with a 140-160 loss on Saturday in Las Vegas.
"The men had a great win today," said head BYU coach John Brooks. "The women lost in many close races, but they put up a good fight, even if it was a tough loss. Tiare Coker, Ellie Thornbrue and Vanessa Moffatt did an outstanding job, along with Nathan Rogers, Shawn Western, Payton Sorenson and Preston Jenkins. Overall, we had a well-fought meet on the men's side and we were simply out-touched on the women's side.
Rogers and Western both claimed their first two wins of the season. In the men’s 200-yard breaststroke, Rogers finished in a time of 2:06.79 and just eight events later, he posted a time of 4:06.63 in the men’s 400-yard individual medley. Western, a junior from Holladay, Utah, won with a time of 9:46.10 in the men’s 1000-yard freestyle and towards the end of the meet, he took his second win in the men’s 500-yard freestyle (4:41.77).
The men’s 200-yard medley relay team took first in the second event of the meet, posting a time of 1:31.83. Jenkins created a solid lead for the team (23.35) while teammates Cameron Lindsay (26.69) and Rainer Ng (22.34) assisted in keeping the lead. Sorenson sealed the finish for the team in 19.45.
Sorenson has continued his trend in taking first in the men’s 50-freestyle. He achieved a time of 19.95, an improvement since his last meet against Arizona State (20.18). Jenkins also won in two other events throughout the day, including the men’s 100-yard backstroke (50.13) and the men’s 200-yard backstroke (1:49.27). Lindsay took second place in the same event, posting a time of 1:52.68.
In the women’s 200-yard medley relay, Ashlee Spindler, Hanna Skaggs, Ellie Thornbrue and Mariah Lindsay worked in sync to win the first event of the meet (1:46.09). A separate team consisting of Lauren Taylor, Thornbrue, Natalie Bennion and Tiare Coker, took first in the 400-yard free relay for the last women’s event of the meet with a time of 3:29.95.
Coker contributed two additional wins of the day in the women’s 100-yard freestyle (51.86) and butterfly (56.51). She also took second place in the 50-yard freestyle, posting a time of 24.17. Vanessa Moffatt helped add to the women’s team score with her win in the 200-yard butterfly (2:06.37).
“The men’s team dominated, taking first, second and third on both boards and a lifetime best out of Kevin Dreesen and Matt Denkers on the 3-meter,” said BYU diving coach Tyce Rouston. “Denkers has continually been working hard and improving every meet this year and has the most wins of anyone on the team this season. The women’s team continues to improve consistency and adding points for season bests. Keyka (Erica) Lienhard finished the highest on the team on both boards with third and fifth place finishes. Kaitlyn Abernathy had her ‘season best’ as a freshman.”
Dreesen took first in both the 3-meter and 1-meter events. He competed for his personal best with scores of 419.40 and 311.40, respectively. Following in second place on the 3-meter was teammate Denkers, who scored 367.50). Eric Muir, a freshman from Arizona took second place in the 1-meter with a final score of 295.88. Trayten Speth took third place on both events, scoring 263.78 in the 1-meter and 285 in the 3-meter.
In the women’s 1-meter diving, UNLV claimed the first two places and Lienhard took third with 226.05. Lienhard also took fifth in the 3-meter (231.98) and was closely followed by teammates Abernathy (231.68) and Morgan Mellow (231.60).
The men’s and women’s dive teams will travel to Georgia for an invitational scheduled for Nov.17-19. The opening day will begin at 10 a.m. EST. The men’s and women’s swim teams will compete next on Dec. 1-3 at the Texas Invite and the Mesa State Invite.