Top Two MWC Teams Face Off

Kirsty Ferrell and BYU are ready to face the Rams on Thursday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Coming off of two Mountain West Conference victories last week, the BYU women's swim and dive team prepare to get back into the pool on Thursday in the Richards Building Pool as the Cougars take on Colorado State at 6 p.m. at home.

"Colorado State will be some very good competition for us," BYU coach Stan Crump said. "You can tell this week in practice that the girls are getting excited for this meet because they know that Colorado State is undefeated in conference meets just like we are."

BYU has recorded MWC victories over New Mexico, UNLV, TCU and SDSU; while CSU has beat TCU, Air Force, New Mexico and SDSU so far this season. In the Rams most recent meet, they beat SDSU 182-110 on Jan. 9.

The Cougars are coming off of victories over TCU and SDSU within the last seven days. BYU beat the Horned Frogs by 126-100 and they won by 40 points against the Aztecs.

The recent BYU success can be traced back to many different athletes as numerous Cougars have won individual races. The long distance events have been led by sophomore Natasha Menezes who has recorded the BYU season-best times in the 500 (4:54.33) and 1000-yard (10:08.15) freestyle.

Tawni Jones has been dominating for the Cougars from the diving board recently too. Jones won every event that she entered last week against TCU and SDSU. Her best score from the 1-meter board was 291.60 against the Horned Frogs and Jones was awarded a BYU season-best score in the 3-meter as she received 327.30 points for her efforts there.

The Rams come into this dual meet after sweeping SDSU in every event last week. CSU was led in its victory over the Aztecs by freshman Michelle Price who won the 200 free and the 100 backstroke. Price won the 200 free with a time of 2:05.80 and she touched the wall first with a time of 59.33 in the 100 back.

"CSU has had some very quality recruiting classes of late," added Crump. "Their coach has done a great job in bringing in talented girls and then producing them into tough swimmers."

BYU also has its own share of impressive freshman that have made a splash this season in Rachel Grant, Sara Jayne Christiansen and Aleesha Miller. Grant has excelled as in the IM and butterfly events as she has set season-best times in each of those races. Christiansen has shown promise in the 100 backstroke as she won that event with a time of 58.61 against TCU last week, while Miller has dominated the sprint distances for BYU with the top times for her team in the 50 (23.50) and 100 (51.41) free.

The meet against CSU is free to the public.