Women Win, Men Come in Close Second

Christian Keil won two events for the men against Air Force. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

COLORADO SPRINGS -- In the first away dual meet this season, the No. 27 BYU women’s swim and dive team (9-0, 6-0 MWC) maintained its perfect record defeating Air Force (2-7, 0-6 MWC) 190.5-100.5 while the men had a close meet, losing by 31 points to the Falcons 163-132.

The men fall to 2-3 overall on the season and 0-3 in the Mountain West Conference while the Air Force men are now 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the MWC.

“It was a competitive meet and a lot of respect was shown on both sides,” BYU head coach Tim Powers said. “The guys competed a lot harder than they did against TCU, so I was proud of that. We also came from behind to win the 200 free and 200 breast, which were important races for us.”

“I felt like at 7200 feet we competed really well overall I felt we competed really well,” said Powers. “We congratulate Rob Clayton who finally won a dual meet against the men after wanting it for 12 years.”

The women started off the meet strong winning the 200-medley relay with a time of 1:49.73. Erin Pabst led off the relay in backstroke with Kelsey Higginson next in the breaststroke, Aleesha Miller in the fly and Sam Crist in the free.

Amy Xu followed winning suit in the 1000 free clocking in with a time of 10:54.56, followed by Natasha Menezes winning the 200 free with a time of 1:57.28, followed by teammate Kirsty Ferrell with a time of 1:59.16.

Christian Keil found the first win for the Cougar men in the 200 free, touching the wall with a time of 1:43.78.

Freshman Londyn Clawson led the Cougar sweep in the 100 back with a time of 59.48 with Megan Stone in second (1:00.59) and Melissa Manser in third (1:01.66).

“With the women it wasn’t a really tough meet, so we were able to put them in events they normally don’t swim,” said Powers. “We were grateful for the opportunity to trade events and still win.”

Junior Miller competed in the 100 breast, winning the event with a time of 1:07.41.

After Air Force won the next five events, senior Tawni Jones won the 1-meter event with a final score of 312.98, followed by senior teammates Ava Jackman in second (282.08) and Emily Woods in third (270.68).

All-American Brandon Watson won the 3-meter board with a 362.78-point total, his second-highest total on the season.

Crist next won the 100 free (53.46), followed by teammates Michelle Menezes (53.79) and Taryn Toolson (54.34).

Keil won his second event on the night in the 100 free with a time of 46.94. John Kendrick placed third in the event with a time of 48.13.

Pabst won the 200 back with a time of 2:05.20, followed by Sara Jayne Christiansen Baldwin in second at 2:07.05.

Junior Vytenis Slenys found his first win on the night in the 200 breast, coming from behind to win the event with a 2:08.89.

Fly and IM extraordinaire Rachel Grant swam the 500 free, winning the event with a time of 5:03.82, second place coming 21 seconds later.

Jones, Jackman and Dana Christensen swept the 3-meter diving event with respective scores of 328.35, 275.25 and 267.90. Watson won the 1-meter for the men (361.80 – a season-high) and Travis Day in second (301.35 – a season-high).

Middle distance and distance swimmer N. Menezes won the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:09.79, seven seconds ahead of Air Force in second.

The Cougars will be back in the water in Laramie, Wyo. Saturday at 6 p.m. against Wyoming, where the women will look to claim the regular-season Mountain West Conference title.

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