Davis defended her title in the 500 free (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The women continue to lead the way at the Mountain West Conference Championships in Oklahoma City while the UNLV men exploded for a huge day that moved the BYU men down to no. 2 in the standings. The men trail the Rebels 255 to 309 while the women are on top of the competition with a score of 291 followed by the Rebel women with 272.
BYU sophomore Brittany Davis had the Cougars lone individual win on the day with an NCAAB qualifying time of 4:50.77 in the 500 free, a new personal best for the swimmer from Magna, Utah. The Cougars also scored points behind the legs of freshman U-Nice Chan who placed fourth in the same event with a time of 4:58.37.
The women were also able to captured points with the qualification of three swimmers in the finals of the 200 IM. Freshmen Tara Bradshaw and Angela Goodson came in back-to-back with fifth and sixth place finishes in the event with times of 2:06.17 and 2:07.48. Teammate Natasha Schlup followed close behind with an eighth place finish, touching the wall at 2:08.67.
The Cougars also qualified a clump of divers in the 3-meter springboard final. The threesome of Angela Nelson, Kristin Pitt and Aubrey Low dove their way to a fourth, fifth and sixth place finish on the evening. The outcome brought in 42 points for BYU.
The final key contribution for the Cougars came behind the swim of sophomore Hannah Palmer. The native of England swam her way to a third place finish and an NCAAB qualifying time of 23.51 in the 50 free. In her final MWC championships BYU senior Heidi Lietz-McMillan finished fifth with a time of 24.76. Freshman Brittany Webb also brought in points for the Cougars with a 13th place finish in the 50 free with a time of 24.00.
The sprinters jumped back into the pool for a tie of second place with the Wyoming Cowgirls in the 200 free relay, finishing the event with a time of 1:34.35.
In what seemed to be the trend of the day for the men the UNLV rebels out touched the Cougars in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:18.79 in front of BYU that finished at 1:19.41. The times measured up to NCAAB qualifying marks for both schools.
The Cougars and Rebels continued their dominance of the day in the 50 free when BYU qualified three for the finals compared to UNLV's four. Sophomore Brett Allen swam to a second place finish and NCAAB qualifying time of 20.01. Jorge Azevedo and James Bekker also scored points for the Cougars with a sixth and eighth place finish in the event with times of 20.41 and 20.51. Kenny Carpenter and Chris Patience finished in the top of the consolation finals with a ninth and 11th place finish.
Mark Chay and John Malfatt qualified one-two in the 200 IM pre-lims and finished the competition in third and fourth. The sophomore and senior touched the wall with times of 1:50.24 and 1:50.76.
Although BYU didn't qualify a swimmer in the 500 free finals all three men swam a seaons best for the Cougars. Freshmen Jeffrey Ferrell led the way with a tenth place finish (4:33.95) with Jeffrey Su and Christian Armstrong in 12th and 14th place with times of 4:37.16 and 4:41.41.
The UNLV men had the most dominant of days qualifying four in every individual final and winning the 200 free relay.
The men will look to recapture the top spot on day three of the competition, while the women will try to extend their lead on the Rebels. Pre-lims will continue Friday morning with finals continuing in the evening.