Adjusting to youth and transfers, the 2001-02 women's swimming and diving team defended their Mountain West Conference Champion status with a three-peat, finishing with a 8-3 dual meet record.
The team kicked off its season against rival Utah on Nov. 2, winning 6-of-13 events to beat the Utes 124-117 in a close meet. Junior Cortnee Adams, a transfer from Auburn University won the 200 free and was part of the winning 400-medley relay in her first ever meet as a Cougar. Junior Heidi Lietz won the 200 fly and was also on the medley squad. Sophomore Tamber Covington, returning from her NCAA qualifying freshman campaign, won the 200 breast. Junior diver Kelli Einfeldt won the both the one-meter and three-meter springboard events and was subsequently named the MWC Diver of the Week.
The following weekend, BYU defeated conference foe UNLV in their home opener 144-97. Adams showed her early season dominance with another win the 200 free. Lietz won the 50 free while Covington won the 400 IM. Junior Amanda Grant, the 2001
Kimball Memorial Winner, won the 100 breast. Tina Morrow won the one-meter diving event while Einfeldt finished seventh in the one-meter platform event at the USC Invite.
The Cougars defeated San Diego State at home 150-91 on Nov. 16. Adams, an All-American at Auburn, won the 50 free and was an anchor for both winning relay teams. Covington won the 400 IM and 200 breast. Lietz won the 100 free the first time she competed in the event for the season. Einfeldt won the one-meter and three-meter events.
In less than 24 hours later, the fatigue showed as the Cougars lost to Pacific for a 3-1 record on the young season. Adams won the 50 free and was the anchor for the first place 200 free relay. Einfeldt again won the one-meter and three-meter events and was named MWC Diver of the Week the second time for her performances against the Aztecs and Pacific.
Competing in the annual Speedo Cup, BYU finished in fourth place behind Pacific and Oregon State. Adams won the 100 free with a blazing time of 50.59. The junior transfer also came in second in the 50 and 200 free events. Lietz finished fifth in the 50 and 100 free. Freshman Nichole Burrows finished fifth in the 100 back. Nikki Tadlock finished fifth in the 100 breast and Covington finished fifth in the 200 breast. The 200 free relay team of Adams, Lietz, Melissa Busby and Burrows finished second. The 400 free relay squad also finished second. In the same weekend here in Provo, Einfeldt won the three-meter diving event at the annual BYU Diving Invitational,
BYU started off the New Year sluggish with a loss at PAC-10 opponent Washington on Jan. 11. Adams led the way in the 50 free and Grant won the 100 breast. The woes continued the following day at Oregon State which the Cougars saw a month earlier at the Speedo Cup. Adams won the 200 frees and senior Tina Adkinson won the 200 back. Adams was named MWC Swimmer of the Week for her performance. Einfeldt won the three-meter event at the Arizona Invite to garner MWC Diver of the Week for the third time.
The Cougars returned home strong the following weekend with wins over conference foes Colorado State and New Mexico. Adams again led the way with wins in the 100 and 200 free. Sophomore Codi Jensen provided a thriller in a head-to-head last
second win in the 500 free, giving the Cougars the boost to come out on top of the Rams 129-114. Against the Lobos, Adams won the 50 and 500 free but the leadership surprisingly came from freshman Burrows leading both relay teams to victory. She also won the 200 back. Covington won the 200 breast.
In their final road swing of the season, the Cougars looked very strong against Air Force, winning 11 of 13 events for a decisive 151-91. Grant won the 200 free and 200 breast. Lietz won the 50 free. Adams won the 100 free and 200 IM. Sophomore Monica Ferrell won the 200 fly while Burrows won the 200 back. Einfeldt won the one-meter and three-meter diving events.
Against Wyoming the Cougars won 9-of-13 events to win 131-112 win. Adams won the 100 free and an unfamiliar 100 breast event. Lietz won the 50 free and 100 fly. Burrows won the 100 back while Ferrell won the 1,000 free. Einfeldt won the one-meter and three-meter events once again.
Against Utah in the final home meet, the Cougars won nine of 13 events but beat the Utes by a 147-96 margin to improve on the close seven-point margin of victory in November. The Cougars finished the season to 8-3 in winning their final five meets. Adams won the 100 and 200 free. Lietz won the 50 free followed by Jamie Lambert in second place. Lietz also won the 100 free and let the winning 200 free relay team. Burrows won the 100 back. Einfeldt won both the one-meter and three-meter events again.
BYU went to the MWC Championships as the two-time defending champions squeaked past UNLV in the final day of competition to win with 601.5 points. Sophomore Jamie Lambert came out of nowhere to surprise the field and win the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:02.74. This marks the first win of the season for Lambert, who has really come on strong late in the season. Covington,
who qualified for the NCAAs last season as a freshman, came in third. Freshman Burrows finished third in the 100 back with a time of 56.17. Teammate Ashlee Rumfallow finished fifth in the event. The 400-medley relay team of Burrows, Lambert, Heidi Lietz, and Rumfallow swam to victory with a time of 3:45.61.
In day three, the women's team took the lead from UNLV and never relinquished it when they swept the first four spots in the 200 breaststroke. Covington won the field with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 2:17.09. Nikki Xanthos (formerly Tadlock) finished second with an NCAA provisional time as well. Teammates Amanda Grant and Jamie Lambert finished third and fourth respectively.
Captain Ashlee Rumfallow finished second in the 200 backstroke while teammate Nichole Burrows placed fifth. Coach Stan Crump was honored as the MWC Women's Coach of the Year.
A month later, the Cougars were represented by Lambert, who qualified for the 100 breast with her winning performance at the MWC Championships. Lambert represented BYU finishing the race in 37th place and did not qualify to swim in the final competition. Junior Cortnee Adams and sophomore Tamber Covington, who qualified for the NCAA last season, will be representing BYU at the USA Nationals held this weekend in Minneapolis, Minn. Results will be available Monday.
All in all, the BYU women's swimming and diving team finished the season with over 50 regular season event wins, two conference championships, and five MWC Swimmer/Diver of the Week honors.