PROVO, Utah – Jake Taylor helped the men’s swim and dive team knock off Denver 158-142, while the women fell 171-124 Saturday afternoon at the Richards Building Pool.
“Our guys battled it out, they’re tough and they’ve done a great job all season,” BYU head coach John Brooks said. “It was a good way to regroup after ASU. On the girls side, we’re young and we also have a lot of girls that are injured, so we're hoping to improve next week.”
Jake Taylor placed first in all four events that he competed in, including anchoring the final race of the meet. Taylor made up ground on the Denver swimmer who was ahead of him when his turn came to swim and helped his team made up of Evan Berger, McKay King and Hayden Palmer win the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay.
“He’s a stud,” Brooks said. “Jake loves racing, he loves competing and we’re glad to have him on our side.”
Senior divers Haley Francois Quinn, Mackenzie Rands, Matt Hopper and Nicholas Suder, as well as head diving coach Keith Russell were honored before the meet. Russell, who’s been at BYU since 1992 announced that this will be his final season leading the Cougar dive team.
“To be here has been a dream come true,” Russell said. “My goal was to raise a family and to be able to do that right here, under these circumstances with the support and help from the administration and all the head coaches, Tim Powers and John Brooks, it’s been such a wonderful ride.”
Rands won the women’s 3-meter dive with a score of 283.12, her teammate Megan Harris, placed second with a 276.00. Suder won the men’s 1-meter, earning a 346.28 and Kevin Dreesen finished second with a 333.68.
In the men’s 3-meter, true freshman Nathan Gonzales earned a first-place score of 361.65.
Rainer Ng, Michael King, McKay King and Mitchell Allphin helped BYU pick up their first win of the meet when they finished first in the men’s 200-yard medley relay, touching the wall with a time of 1:31.45.
Lauren Shaw Taylor placed third in the women’s 200-yard freestyle, finishing with a time of 1:55.32. For the men, Taylor finished first in the 200 free with a time of 1:38.09.
Haley Bertoldo and Ciera Marsh Keller finished second and third in the women’s 100-yard backstroke, earning times of 57.43 and 58.23. Ng picked up a win for the Cougars in the men’s 100 back, touching the wall in 49.24.
Taylor picked up his third first-place finish of the meet in the men’s 50-yard freestyle, touching the wall in 20.94.
Bertoldo (2:05.22) and Keller (2:06.81) again recorded second and third-place finishes, this time in the women’s 200-yard backstroke. In the men’s 200 back, it was Taylor touching the wall first again, finishing in 1:49.90 for his fourth first-place time of the meet.
Richards picked up his second first-place finish of the meet, finishing the men’s 200-yard breaststroke in 2:05.22.
True freshman Luis Ventura finished second in the men’s 500-yard freestyle, recording a time of 4:36.77.
Richards finished the men’s 200-yard individual medley in 1:52.74, fast enough for his third first-place finish of the afternoon.
The Cougars are back in action next Saturday, Jan. 31, against Grand Canyon at the Richards Building Pool at 11 a.m. MST.