The defending MWC Champions: BYU women and UNLV men, will face off Friday, as well as welcoming Arizona State to the Richards Building pool Saturday.
PROVO -- After coming out on top at the Pacific Invitational the BYU swim and dive team will host two powerhouse meets Friday and Saturday at the Richards Building pool. Friday the Cougars will open Mountain West Conference competition against UNLV at 6 p.m. and Arizona State at noon on Saturday.
“These events will produce a weekend of tough competition with 16 events both days,” BYU head coach Tim Powers said. “Both UNLV and ASU are good teams with the UNLV men being defending Mountain West Conference Champions and ASU with many Olympians on their team. It will be a good test for our men, especially our young swimmers to see how conference competition goes.”
The UNLV men won the MWC Championships last year with the BYU men in fourth. This season UNLV was picked to finish first in the MWC with the BYU men in second. The BYU women are defending conference champions and were the first-place pick for the MWC. The UNLV women have been tabbed in second place for the MWC preseason poll.
Arizona State University will especially push the Cougar divers as the Sun Devils return three 2008 Olympians and four returnees. Arizona State finished 17th in the nation last season and look to be one of the top teams in the country again.
The last time out, the swim team scored a total of 1,664 points to come in first for the combined title for the Pacific Invitational. The BYU women scored 1,023 points to earn a first-place finish while the men placed second behind Stanford (757.5) with 641 points.
Highlights for the women included junior standout Rachel Grant picking up four first-place finishes in the 400 IM, 200 fly, 200 IM and 100 fly and senior distance dominator Natasha Menezes tallying two first-place finishes in the 1650 free and the 500 free. Freshman Kassy Bispo took the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:05.33, a second faster than her seeded time. Candice Smith finished second in the 200 back for the Cougars with a time of 2:03.02, as sophomore Jodie Ellis placed second in the 200 breast with a time of 2:24.19, followed by the 800 free relay team of Michelle Menezes, Amy Xu, Grant and N. Menezes winning the last event of day one with a time of 7:35.80.
The men won the 200-medley relay while junior John Kendrick won the 200 free with a time of 1:41.97. Freshman Hayden Palmer won the 400 IM with a time of 4:06.22, seven seconds in front of second place. David Mason then won the 50 free with a time of 21.68 with the Cougar men also placing in third through sixth. David Scott won the 100 breast with a time of 59.61, while the 400 free relay team won with a time of 3:08.18, less than a second in front of Air Force in second. Kendrick finished off the meet with a win in the 1650 free with a time of 16:11.36, 10 seconds in front of Sean O’Keefe of Air Force in second place (16:21.59).
The Cougars encourage your attendance at both Friday’s and Saturday’s meet in the Richards Building. Next up the Cougars will welcome New Mexico, Seattle and Boise to Provo on Nov. 6 at 6 p.m.