Swimmers are Ready to Jump in the Water Again

The Cougar swimmers are ready for the tough competition at this week's Nike Cup. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The BYU men's and women's swim teams hit the road again on Thursday as they travel to Long Beach, Calif., to participate in the Nike Cup for three consecutive days. There are 23 women's teams that will be a part of the competition, while 17 teams make up the men's side of the event that is hosted by UC Irvine.

The Nike Cup will take place at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool. The competition runs Thursday through Saturday with swimming beginning each day at 9 a.m. and finals running every night at 6 p.m.

"The Nike Cup is a meet that is watched by all the major national swimming organizations," BYU men's coach Tim Powers said. "We look at this meet as a good chance to see how our team performs in a three-day trial/final meet which is the same way the Mountain West Conference and NCAA Championships are structured."

The three-day trail/final meet consists of events being held on one day only with a preliminary round earlier in the day and the event finals in the evening.

There are also no restrictions on how many events swimmers can race in at the Nike Cup. As a result, the coaches will get a chance to look at how athletes will do in events that they do not usually swim in dual meets due to constraints on swimmer involvement.

On the men's side, Stanford is the highest-ranked team that will be in attendance as the Cardinal is currently No. 3 in the country. The No. 14-ranked UCLA Bruins are the highest-ranked team that will be participating in the women's team contest.

"We just want to get a little bit better every time we get in the water," BYU women's coach Stan Crump said. "Although there will be some good teams that we see this weekend, we just need to know that we don't need to set the world on fire with our swims but concentrate on getting better."

Results for each day of the Nike Cup will be posted at byucougars.com/swimming_diving.