Swimmers and Divers Gearing Up for MWC Championships

OKLAHOMA -- Both the BYU women's and No. 19 ranked men's swimming and diving teams are looking to add their fifth straight MWC championship meet title when they travel to Oklahoma City for the MWC championships Feb. 18-21.

The men's team cruised through the conference dual meet schedule undefeated for the second straight year and have a deep team, while the women have been gaining momentum over the last few dual meets, including a victory over conference dual meet champion Utah.

Men's coach Tim Powers said he expects his team to win the meet, and that many of the swimmers on his squad have an opportunity to qualify for the NCAA championships later in the year.

"Zach Anderson's time (in the 1650 free) from the Speedo Cup looks like it will hold up," Powers said. "Randy Belliston, who qualified for the NCAA's last year, also has a good chance of making it."

Besides qualifying for the NCAA championship last year, Belliston is also the MWC returning champion in the 200 and 400 IM.

Powers also noted freshman Mark Chay and junior Diogo Yabe as well as the relays have an excellent chance of posting NCAA qualifying times at the MWC meet.

The Cougars also have a pair of divers, Justin Beardall and Scott Randall, who have already qualified for the NCAA Zone competition and were NCAA qualifiers last year as well.

On the women's side, coach Stan Crump said his team is right where he wanted them to be at this point and now they're focusing on the conference meet.

"We're not perfect yet, but they're swimming really fast," Crump said. "We've cut down on the work, and we're letting them rest and recover. The team has worked extremely hard this year."

The women's team will be led by Tamber McAllister, who won the 100 and 200 breast at last year's championships and has continued to excel in the breaststoke events this year.

Crump said his team has as good a chance as anyone in the conference to walk away with the title as long as his team remains consistent.

"If we swim well we're going to be hard to beat, but if we have lapses we won't win because we're not as deep as we've been in the past," Crump said. "I wouldn't bet against us. We showed at the Utah meet we can compete against anyone in the conference."

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