Women Increase Lead, Men Fall Behind UNLV

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The BYU women's swimming and diving team dominated the pool Thursday to increase its lead over Colorado State, while the No. 15 men's team fell behind UNLV by 16 points after the second day of competition at the Mountain West Conference Swimming and Diving Championships.

All-American Arunas Savickas finished second in the 500 free, losing to Olympian Jacint Simon of UNLV for the second year in a row, while Alexander Denke and Ryan Ayres finished fourth and fifth for BYU. Sophomore Gary Tan picked up a gold medal for his first-place finish in the 200 IM, setting a new conference and meet record with a time of 1:49.42. Jeff Mason, Mike Mullen and William Betz finished fifth, sixth and seventh in the 50 free to earn much-needed points for the Cougars. Mason's time of 20.12 ties the BYU record set Wednesday by Mike Mullen on the leadoff leg of the 200 free relay.

The 400 medley relay team of Savickas, Nick Tobler, Tan and Mason gained ground on UNLV with their victory in the final event of the day, setting a new pool and meet record with a time of 3:16.29.

"We're not panicked but we got our work cut out for us in order to win this meet, which is still our goal and aim," BYU men's coach Tim Powers said.

The women dominated the pool, winning gold in three of the five events. Sophomore Ashlee Rumfallow finished first in the 200 IM with a time of 2:03.60, a new conference and meet record. Teammate Tamber Covington finished third in the event while Amanda Grant and Jennifer Tasker finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Sophomore Heidi Lietz won the silver in the 50 free, setting a new BYU record with a time of 23.21. The 400 medley relay team of Rumfallow, Tasker, Lietz and Amy Thompson finished first with a time of 3:46.09, a new conference, meet and BYU record.

Diver Anna Tutunnikova grabbed gold on the 3-meter springboard with a score of 462.40, followed by teammate Kelli Einfeldt, who finished second with a score of 449.65.

The MWC Swimming and Diving Championships continue through Saturday.

Team Scores (after Day 2)

Men Women

UNLV 306 BYU 358.50

BYU 290 Colorado St. 255

Air Force 198 Utah 183

Wyoming 132 UNLV 168.50

Utah 88