Watson, Grant and Jones Receive Final MWC Weekly Honors

Senior diver Tawni Jones, sophomore diver Brandon Watson and junior swimmer Rachel Grant. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

COLORADO SPRINGS -- The Mountain West Conference announced Tuesday the final weekly honors of the 2009-10 swimming and diving season with BYU’s own Brandon Watson, Tawni Jones and Rachel Grant topping the list.

BYU's Watson and TCU's Edgar Crespo have been named MWC Men's Diver and Swimmer of the Week, while BYU's Grant and Jones earned women's swimming and diving honors, respectively.

With the three awards BYU has tallied 16 MWC Swimmer or Diver of the Week honors out of 40 total – more than any other MWC institution with TCU coming in second with nine.

“Tawni and Brandon are obviously two of the best in the conference,” said BYU diving coach Keith Russell. “They are consistently putting forth the effort and that’s why they are excelling.”

Watson was named Diver of the Week for the fourth time this season. He broke the league's all-time record on the 3-meter springboard in BYU's dual meet vs. instate rival Utah. The sophomore tallied 402.98 total points in the event to surpass the previous league high (393.65) that he set at the 2007 MWC Championships. Watson also finished first on the 1-meter springboard against the Utes with a season-high mark of 371.40.

“It’s an honor that they have chosen me so many times,” said Watson. “I’ve been really blessed with how well I’ve done this year after coming back from my mission. I have reached my goals.”

Tuesday marks the sixth time that Jones has received MWC Diver of the Week. Against Utah she swept the springboard events, earning a season-high 317.10 points on the 1-meter board and placed first on the 3-meter board with a mark of 327.53.

“It’s very exciting and fun for me to be having such a good season,” said Jones. “I feel really prepared and it gives me more confidence going into conference. I am grateful that these awards show everyone that I’m ready to go out with a bang and have a good finish.”

“Rachel Grant had one heck of a meet against Utah,” BYU head coach Tim Powers said. “She’s an excellent swimmer. She trains hard and she’s reaping the rewards.”

For the third time this season, Grant has earned the honor of MWC Swimmer of the Week. She earned three individual victories to help BYU defeat Utah, 218-82, en route to the Cougars' third consecutive MWC regular-season championship. The junior, who clocked a time of 55.21 to win the 100-yard butterfly, set a new pool record in the 200-yard butterfly (1:59.89) to finish first. She also broke the facility record in the 200-yard individual medley, touching in 2:02.44 for first place. Grant also swam on the Cougars' 200-yard medley relay that won in 1:43.97.

“It’s an honor to be chosen for performer of the week,” said Grant. “It makes me more excited to see how I’ll perform at conference. I hope to see all the hard work of the season pay off at conference.”

Crespo, from Panama City, Panama, helped TCU capture its first-ever Mountain West regular-season title, as the Horned Frogs defeated then-No. 22 UNLV, 177-117, to complete TCU's first undefeated dual-meet season in program history. The sophomore started the meet as the second leg of the Frogs' 200-medley relay team that finished first in 1:31.10. Crespo also paced the field in the 100-yard breaststroke, earning an NCAA "B" cut with a time of 55.01 to set a new TCU record in the event. He also captured first place in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:03.32) to finish the regular season with a perfect 12-0 mark in the breaststroke events.

The Cougars concluded their dual meet season against Utah on Feb. 4 and will next travel to Oklahoma City for the MWC Championships Feb. 24-27.