Swimming and Diving Capture Fifth Straight MWC Championship
OKLAHOMA -- The BYU men's and women's swimming and diving teams both won their fifth straight MWC championships Saturday night at the Aquatics Center in Oklahoma City.
The men's team racked up 775.5 points, well ahead of Air Force who came in second with 612.5 points. The women scored 725 points, outpacing second place Colorado State who scored 607.5.
"It's pretty nice to win five in a row," coach Tim Powers said. "It's not an easy thing to do, especially when you have as much turnover on your roster as we do. These are a great group of guys. They really pulled together."
Powers said the highlight of his team's night was its performance in the 200 breaststroke where the Cougars qualified four swimmers into the finals with Nicholas Tobler placing second finishing in 2:00.78. Tobler was followed by Benjamin McKee (6th), David Scott (7th) and Randy Belliston (8th).
BYU closed the night with victories in the platform diving competition and the 400 free relay. Scott Randall placed first in the platform followed by his teammate Justin Beardall.
Two Cougars, Zach Anderson (1650 free) and Mark Chay (100 free) had second place finishes, while Diogo Yabe placed third in the 100 butterfly.
Other Cougars placing in the top-eight were Jacoby Jacobsen (sixth, 200 back), Kurt Mullen (fifth, 100 free) and Kenneth Carpenter (seventh, 100 fly)
On the women's side, Brittany Davis continued to dominate. Davis finished first in the 200 back, breaking both the MWC and BYU record with a time of 1:58.00. Davis also helped the Cougars to a second place finish in the 400 free relay. The Cougars were just edged to the wall by Colorado State by .02 seconds.
Besides Davis, BYU placed two other swimmers, Natasha Schlup (3rd) and Carolyn Wigginton (5th), in the top-five of the 100 back.
"Brittany had the meet of her life," coach Stan Crump said. "She's just a freshman, and we're looking forward to having her back for the next few years."
Crump also said he was proud of how his seniors performed in their final conference meet. One of those seniors, Tamber McAllister, won her third straight MWC championship in the 200 breast. BYU placed three other swimmers in the top-five of the 200 breast with Jamie Lambert placing second, Melanie Grant placing third and Nikki Xanthos placing fifth.
BYU closed the meet with a fourth place finish in the platform diving competition by Rachelle Routsong. Other Cougars placing in the top-eight were Nichole Tolley (fifth, 100 free) and Monica Ferrell (fourth, 200 butterfly). For complete results visit www.themwc.com.
OKLAHOMA -- Both the BYU women's and No. 19 ranked men's swimming and diving teams are looking to add their fifth straight MWC championship meet title when they travel to Oklahoma City for the MWC championships Feb. 18-21.
The men's team cruised through the conference dual meet schedule undefeated for the second straight year and have a deep team, while the women have been gaining momentum over the last few dual meets, including a victory over conference dual meet champion Utah.
Men's coach Tim Powers said he expects his team to win the meet, and that many of the swimmers on his squad have an opportunity to qualify for the NCAA championships later in the year.
"Zach Anderson's time (in the 1650 free) from the Speedo Cup looks like it will hold up," Powers said. "Randy Belliston, who qualified for the NCAA's last year, also has a good chance of making it."
Besides qualifying for the NCAA championship last year, Belliston is also the MWC returning champion in the 200 and 400 IM.
Powers also noted freshman Mark Chay and junior Diogo Yabe as well as the relays have an excellent chance of posting NCAA qualifying times at the MWC meet.
The Cougars also have a pair of divers, Justin Beardall and Scott Randall, who have already qualified for the NCAA Zone competition and were NCAA qualifiers last year as well.
On the women's side, coach Stan Crump said his team is right where he wanted them to be at this point and now they're focusing on the conference meet.
"We're not perfect yet, but they're swimming really fast," Crump said. "We've cut down on the work, and we're letting them rest and recover. The team has worked extremely hard this year."
The women's team will be led by Tamber McAllister, who won the 100 and 200 breast at last year's championships and has continued to excel in the breaststoke events this year.
Crump said his team has as good a chance as anyone in the conference to walk away with the title as long as his team remains consistent.
"If we swim well we're going to be hard to beat, but if we have lapses we won't win because we're not as deep as we've been in the past," Crump said. "I wouldn't bet against us. We showed at the Utah meet we can compete against anyone in the conference."