Freshmen divers assist in BYU's team victory
PROVO, Utah – Freshmen Eric Muir and Morgan Mellow helped BYU pull ahead for a team win over Grand Canyon University on Saturday in Provo.
“It was a well-fought meet for both teams today,” BYU head swim coach John Brooks said. “We had an impressive performance today, although there are still some things to clean up as we prepare for conference. I’m pleased with how our team competed today, especially Lauren Shaw Taylor, Preston Jenkins and our senior captain, Rainer Ng. Our diving team also had a great performance and added to our overall win.”
The women sustained the lead throughout the meet (169-131) and the men ended ahead, 156-142. The BYU women's team took first in nine events, while the men's team had six first-place victories overall.
Mellow, from Mesa, Arizona, had her first victory of the season in the women’s 1-meter dive, scoring 241.05. She also placed third in the 3-meter event with a total of 233.95 points.
Teammate Muir, who also comes from Mesa, Arizona, performed his season-best in the men’s 3-meter event with a score of 346.50. He was followed by Kevin Dreesen, who scored a total of 338 points.
In the men’s 1-meter, BYU placed in the top three, with Dreesen claiming first (348.75), Matt Denkers taking second (328.45) and Muir coming in third with 324.15 points.
Shelby Johnson claimed first in the women’s 3-meter event, scoring a total of 260.45 points.
“Both freshmen stepping up and getting their first wins of the season show that we are on our upward slope and ready to peak with our performances,” BYU head dive coach Tyce Rouston said. “This meet has given everyone a lot more confidence as we prepare for our next competition.
Not only did the dive team perform well, but the BYU swimmers opened the meet with men’s and women’s relay teams each claiming a win.
In the women’s 200 medley relay, Taylor, Mariah Lindsay, Kerra Bispo and Alora Foliaki took first in the event with a time of 1:46.27. For the men’s team, Preston Jenkins, Cameron Lindsay, Rainer Ng and Payton Sorenson clocked a winning time of 1:29.98.
Coker, a freshman from La Crescenta, California, took first in the 200 freestyle (1:55.31) and took second in the 50 free (24.25). In her last event of the day, she swam anchor in the 400 free relay with teammates Lauren Taylor, Alora Foliaki and Natalie Bennion. The team clocked a time of 3:30.
Taylor, a senior from Kansas City, Missouri, took first place in the 100 backstroke (55.46) and was followed by teammate Emma Richards, who registered a time of 57.38. Taylor also competed in the 200 back and claimed first with 2:02.03. She was once again followed in second by Richards with a time of 2:03.81.
Ellie Thornbure was awarded ‘swimmer of the meet’ by the team captains as she took first in the 200 butterfly event (2:07.54) and followed with a second win in the 100 butterfly, registering a time of 57.62.
Ng placed second in two events throughout the meet. He followed Grand Canyon’s Daniil Antipov in the 200 freestyle with 1:50.97 and later followed opponent Mark Nikolaev in the 200 individual medley with 1:50.93.
Sorenson also took first in two of his individual performances. He swam the 50 freestyle event in 20.08, and just four events later, he swam the 100 freestyle in 44.75.
The crowd went wild as the men’s 400 team, consisting of Jenkins, Roger Woods, Jacob Rees and Sorenson, glided into first with 3:00.82. BYU’s second 400 relay team with Kent Fellows, David Harlan, Ethan Kramer and Regie Topham were on the verge of taking second place, but were ultimately out touched by Grand Canyon. They took third with 3:05.11 in the final event of the day.
BYU will travel to Salt Lake City to compete against in-state rival Utah in the Deseret First Duel on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 11:00 a.m. MST.