Cougar Women Earn All-America Honors at 2000 NCAA Championships

INDIANAPOLIS -- Capping a successful season, Cougars Rachelle Smith Kunkel and Jennifer Tasker each came away with All-America honors at the 2000 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis, Ind.

Kunkel, a senior, ended her collegiate career with a sixth-place finish on the 1M board and a 20th-place showing in the 3M event. Kunkel won the preliminaries in the 1M and was within a dive of the national championship in the event. Kunkel received first-team All-America honors for her finish on the 1M to follow up last year's second-team honors.

Tasker, a junior competing in her first-ever national championships, finished 14th in a highly competitive 100-meter breast event to garner second-team All-America honors. Tasker swam a time of 1:10.09 in an event won by Georgia's Kristy Kowal, who shattered the old American record by nearly a full second with her time of 1:05.74.

Headed into the final remaining events of the meet Saturday, the Cougars were in 26th place nationally, compared to last season's 40th-place showing.

"I'm pleased with how we did," said BYU head swim coach Stan Crump. "Last year we finished 40th, and we have a fair chance to finish in the top 30 this year. Rachelle did very well, and Jennifer did a great job. She was at a disadvantage, since we have no way to train with short-course meters, but she did a great job to beat the qualfiying time she set to get in."

The Cougar women conclude their season, while the Arunas Savickas, Devan Porter, and Aaron Russell will represent the Cougar men at next weekend's NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships in Minneapolis.