MONTEREY PARK, Calif. – BYU men’s swim and dive team took third overall with a final score of 641 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships and the women’s team finished in fourth at 475.50 Saturday at the ELAC Swimming Stadium.
“This will go down as the most challenging season in BYU swim and dive history,” BYU head coach John Brooks said. “Preston Jenkins was able to win the 100-yard freestyle and Haley Bertoldo took second in the 200-yard backstroke. I am so proud of this team for weathering the storm this season.”
Jenkins, a senior captain, became the 100-yard freestyle champion with a new personal best time of 43.62. He came into the MPSF Championships as the overall No. 12 seed but posted the No. 1 preliminary time while also improving his own No. 5 BYU All-Time record time to 43.41.
Bertoldo took second in the women’s 200-yard backstroke with a new personal best of 1:56.72 and improved her No. 3 BYU All-Time record. Kelly Hatanaka took seventh in the 200-yard backstroke finals with a season best of 2:01.46.
In the men’s 200-yard breaststroke finals, freshman Brad Prolo took second with a new personal best time of 1:58.19. He recorded the BYU No. 4 All-Time record. Levi Jensen recorded a time of 1:59.99 for a new personal best and fifth place.
In the final day of diving, Nathan Gonzales earned his third and final zone cut in the platform with a personal best, and a No. 4 BYU All-Time record of 324.70.
In the men’s platform, Gonzales took third, followed by Matt Denkers in fourth with a score of 291.90. Bryce Farabee took fifth with a personal best score of 283.05, followed by Kimble Mahler in sixth and Ryan Evans in seventh. In the women’s platform, Morgan Mellow took fourth and earned her first zone cut of the season with a personal best of 234.45 and BYU’s No. 3 All-Time record.
On the first night of the Championships, Jenkins recorded a 200-yard freestyle split of 1:35.21 in the men’s 800-yard freestyle relay for a new personal best and improved his No. 2 BYU All-Time record. On Friday night, he would go on to break the school record. On Thursday, Jenkins improved his men’s 200-yard IM No. 3 BYU All-Time record by more than a second with a time of 1:46.25.
The Friday meets proved to be BYU’s most rewarding day with two school records broken and a first-place finish. Jenkins earned his first BYU school record in the finals of the men’s 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:35.00. In prelims, Jensen broke his own school record in the men’s 100-yard breaststroke. In finals, he increased his time to 53.88. Prolo also posted his first BYU All-Time record in finals behind Jensen at No. 2 with a time of 54.30.
Overall, nearly every diver earned a new personal best or season high at the MPSF Championships. Over the three-day competition, Gonzales took first place in the 1-meter and 3-meter with scores of 346.15 and 384.00. His 3-meter score was a personal best and BYU’s No. 4 All-Time Record. Matt Denkers came in second in the 1-meter with a season best of 333.50 and Mahler earned his first BYU zone cut in the 1-meter at 303.15. Morgan Paul earned her first BYU zone cut and personal best on the 3-meter with a score of 293.25.
Nearly all of the men’s diving team as well as Mellow, Paul and Elizabeth Holmes will continue on to compete at the Zone E Diving Championships in Flagstaff, Arizona on March 5-7 at the Douglas J. Wall Aquatics Center. Decisions about which BYU swimmers will compete at the NCAA Championships will be determined in the following weeks.