PROVO, Utah – The 2016-2017 BYU swim and dive season closed with the men taking second at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships and the women’s team coming in fourth overall.
In his fifth year as BYU head swim coach, John Brooks once again led the men’s team to a top 3 finish. In addition to sending a swimmer to the NCAA Championships, Brooks assisted 15 members of the team achieve All-MPSF performances this season. Head diving coach Tyce Routson ended his second season with all 10 members of his dive team earning All-MPSF performances. He also led all six members of the men’s dive team and Morgan Mellow to qualify and compete in the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships. Routson mentored Kevin Dreesen as he competed in the NCAA championships.
Several athletes worked hard and improved in order to contribute to the team’s success over the last year.
Men’s Swim and Dive
For the second year in a row, junior Payton Sorenson qualified to compete in the NCAA Division I Swim and Dive Championships. He placed 21st out of 51 competitors in the 50 free (19.37) and matched his BYU All-Time record of 42.86 in the 100 free, claiming 24th overall. Sorenson recorded two All-MPSF First Team performances in the 50 and 100 free, in addition to achieving Second Team All-MPSF recognitions in the 200 and 400 free relays. Throughout season competition, Sorenson broke his personal, school and pool record in the 50 free with a time of 19.22 and was nationally ranked in the top 5. Sorenson was awarded Swimmer of the Week by College Weekly and College Swimming magazine. He was also named MPSF/Turbo Athlete of the Week once throughout the season.
After a strong and consistent season, senior dive captain Kevin Dreesen earned his second trip to the NCAA Championships, where he placed 36th in the 1-meter and 40th in the 3-meter. At the MPSF Championships, Dreesen placed first in the 3-meter (410.35) and second in the 1-meter (337.80), which qualified him for First Team All-MPSF in both events. He also earned Second Team All-MPSF in the Platform event. Dreesen ends his senior season ranked first in BYU’s All-Time Bests in the 3-meter (419.40) and is an All-Academic Scholar-Athlete.
At the MPSF Championships, Preston Jenkins took first in the 200 free while also achieving a season-best time of 1:35.40. He recorded two All-MPSF First Team performances in the 200 free and 200 back, while claiming three Second Team All-MPSF titles in the 200 IM and the 200 and 400 free relays. Jenkins was awarded MPSF/Turbo Athlete of the Week once throughout the season and was recently named an All-Academic MPSF Scholar-Athlete.
Matt Denkers achieved qualifying scores in the 1-meter (307.60) and 3-meter (322.05) at the Georgia Tech Invite to compete in the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships. At the NCAA Championships, Denkers placed 10th in the 1-meter and the Platform. During the MPSF Championships, Denkers placed second in the 3-meter (393.40) and third in the platform (318.35) and was named All-MPSF First Team in both events. He was named All-MPSF Second Team in the 1-meter.
Freshman Eric Muir completed an impressive first season with the Cougars, ending with two First Team All-MPSF performances in the 1-meter and Platform events and a Second Team All-MPSF achievement in the 3-meter. He placed first in the 1-meter at the MPSF Championships with a season-best score of 347.90. Muir was also awarded 2017 Freshman of the Year by MPSF.
Luis Ventura placed second in the 200 butterfly (1:47.65) and was named to the All-MPSF First Team in that event. Ventura was also named to the All-MPSF Second Team in the 100 butterfly and achieved All-Academic MPSF Scholar-Athlete recognition.
Sophomore Nathan Rogers was named Athlete of the Week by MPSF/ Turbo after taking his first two wins of the season in the 200 breaststroke and 400 IM. He also was named All-Academic MPSF Scholar-Athlete.
Twelve athletes from the men’s team were named to the MPSF All-Academic team.
Women’s Swim and Dive
Junior Anna Dahl placed first in the 100 breaststroke at the MPSF Championships. She achieved a season-best time of 1:01.23 and is ranked first in BYU’s All-Time Bests for the 100 breast. Dahl was named to the All-MPSF First Team in the 100 breast and Second Team in the 200 breast, while also receiving an All-Academic MPSF Scholar-Athlete recognition.
Freshman diver Morgan Mellow made leaps and bounds throughout her first season. She placed second in the 1-meter (264.00) and was named All-MPSF First Team in the 1-meter and Platform, while also being named to Second Team in the 3-meter. Mellow was the only female diver who qualified and competed at the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships.
Lauren Shaw Taylor was named MPSF Athlete of the Week early in the season for placing first in the 200 back and 200 free in a meet against Oregon State. She placed second in the 200 back at the MPSF Championships and was named to the All-MPSF First Team in that event. Taylor also was named to the All-MPSF Second Team in the 100 back.
Completing her senior season, team captain Riley Merrill was named to the All-MPSF First Team in the 200 IM and was also awarded All-Academic MPSF Scholar-Athlete.
Emma Richards earned the Floyd Johnson Service award at the Y Awards, which is given to an athlete who makes a positive impact in the community and among fellow teammates. Team captain Richards was also named to the All-MPSF Second Team in the 200 back and was awarded All-Academic MPSF Scholar-Athlete.
Seventeen athletes from the women’s team were named to the MPSF All-Academic team.