Cougars Over Falcons In Close Meet
PROVO -- The BYU men’s (5-3, 3-2) and women’s (15-1, 6-0) swim and dive teams pulled out a close one against the Air Force Falcons Friday at the Richards Building pool. The men beat the Falcons 128-115 while the women won 140-86.
“We knew it was going to be a tough meet,” BYU head coach Tim Powers said. “It was exciting to be able to swim against someone other than ourselves, and swim fast.”
The women’s 200 medley relay team of Candice Smith, Sara Jayne Christiansen, Kirsty Ferrell and Aleesha Miller started off the meet right touching first in the event with a time of 1:44.87.
Following suit was do-all Rachel Grant in the 1000 free, winning with a time of 10:20.91. Grant also won the 100 back with a time of 57.71—five seconds ahead of Air Force and two seconds off her best time.
John Kendrick came from behind in the 1000 free, touching less than a second before Air Force in the 1000 free with a time of 9:41.97. That was the first event won by the Cougar men on the night.
Whitney Hall separated herself from the field in the 200 free, winning the event with a time of 1:53.27. Coming in a close first in the 200 free was true freshman Stott Bushnell with a time of 1:41.58. Bushnell would go on to win the 500 free as well with a time of 4:41.86, only .03 seconds in front of teammate John Kendrick with a time of 4:41.89.
Kirsty Ferrell finished first (23.76) in the 50 free with teammate Candice Smith in a close second (24.35). Gregor Greiner touched first for the Cougars in the 50 free with a time of 20.81. Air Force’s Robert Dawson was only a tenth of a second behind Greiner with a time of 20.91.
“We were very strong in the sprint freestyle and distance freestyle events today,” said Powers.
A half of the length of the pool ahead of the field, Leilani Roberts took the 200 IM with a time of 2:06.70, a season-high. For the men, Jacoby Jacobsen finished second in the 200 IM only .33 seconds behind first place with a time of 1:55.17.
Leading the women in the 100 fly was freshman Jodie Ellis, her first win of the season, with a time of 59.02. Christiansen next posted nine points for the Cougars in the 100 free with a time of 51.69.
BYU’s fastest freestyle sprinter, Gregor Greiner, won the 100 free by over a second with a time of 45.36.
Chasing her mother’s pool record in the 500 free (Melanie Rile-Menezes, 4:56.87), Natasha Menezes finished first in the event with a time of 4:59.62.
The Cougars’ fastest female freestyle sprinter, Aleesha Miller, switched up her events, competing in the 100 breaststroke, winning the event with a time of 1:05.70, seven seconds in front of Jenna Dolata of Air Force.
While all of the swimming was going on, the divers did some damage on the north end of the Richards Building pool. Ava Jackman took first on the 1-meter board with a score of 310.28. Tawni Jones, back from injury, finished in second with a score of 297.98.
Vytenis Slenys finished in a close second in the 100 breast with a time of 57.52.
To finish off the meet, both the men and the women took the 400 free relays. Whitney Hall, Christiansen, Roberts, N. Menezes won for the women with a time of 3:30.30 while Greiner, Kendrick, Kenny Clark and David Mason won it for the men in 3:05.26.
Jones finished first on the 3-meter board with a point total of 312.90 with freshman Syrena Miskin behind her in second with a score of 295.65.
For the male divers, Sam Hatch and Ron Morris went 1-2, respectively, on both the 1-meter and the 3-meter boards. Hatch scored 304.20 on the 1-meter and 335.03 on the 3-meter. Morris scored 300.30 on the 1-meter and 330.64 on the 3-meter.
“Whether it is the beginning of the season, the middle of the season or the end of the season, we train hard,” said Powers. “We look forward to swimming against people other than ourselves to measure how we’re doing. Saturday against Wyoming will be just as tough of a competition.”
The Cougars will be back in the water Saturday to take on the Cowboys and Cowgirls of Wyoming at 1 p.m. at the Richards Building pool.
Home Sweet Home
PROVO -- After being on the road for three months straight, the BYU men’s (4-3, 2-2) and women’s (14-1, 5-0) swim and dive teams will be back in Provo Friday and Saturday to respectively take on Air Force and Wyoming.
“It is going to be a challenging weekend of meets,” said BYU head coach Tim Powers. “Air Force will be a tough team to beat and Wyoming is a very good team all around.”
The Air Force women are 6-11 overall this season and 0-5 in the Mountain West Conference. The Air Force men are 7-9 overall this season and 1-1 in the MWC. At the Nike Cup in Nov. the Cougar men fell to UNLV (1249.5) as well as Air Force (1096.5), scoring 852.5 points to put them in third place in the competition.
The Wyoming Cowgirls are 8-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference, while the Cowboys are 9-1 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
The meets will be shortened to 13 events instead of 16 to leave the swimmers enough energy to compete two days in a row.
“Wyoming is a very good team, they are very strong in diving,” said Powers.
“It’s going to be our toughest week of competition for diving,” said BYU diving coach Keith Russell. “These are the best all-around teams we will face this season, making this meet a good barometer for how we’ll do in the conference.”
Their last time out, the BYU women came home with 11 out of 13 event wins against Colorado State. Natasha Menezes won the 1000 free (10:29.10) and the 500 free (5:05.88), Leilani Roberts won the 100 free (52.05) and 200 free (1:52.42).
The Cougar’s fastest female swimmer, Aleesha Miller, finished first in the 50 free with a time of 23.77. While MWC 400 IM record holder, Rachel Grant, placed first in the 200 IM with a time of 2:05.92. She also won the 100 fly with a time of 2:04.16.
Both of the diving events against the Rams were taken by Ava Jackman with a score of 288.30 on the 3-meter board and 280.80 on the 1-meter.
The last time the men were out was at the Nike Cup in November where Gregor Greiner went his fastest 50 free time ever, touching the wall at 20.91 in the finals.
Sophomore John Kendrick finished fifth in the 500 free at the Nike Cup with a time of 4:28.49. Kendrick also placed third in the 200 free with a time of 1:40.48.
Vytenis Slenys finished third in the 100 breast at the Nike Cup, touching the wall at 57.19, a season-high. Jacoby Jacobsen finished fourth in the 100 back with a time of 50.65. Jacobsen also finished fourth in the 200 back with a time of 1:50.17.
The 400 free relay of Greiner, Stott Bushnell, Kendrick and David Mason finished first at the Nike Cup with a time of 3:02.99.
After this weekend’s competition the divers will head to Colorado Springs for the Air Force Diving Invitational Jan. 30-31. The swimmers will next take on the Utes of Utah in Salt Lake City on Feb. 6 at 6:00 p.m. For updates and scores check www.byucougars.com.