Cougars win final event, but fall short of victory against Utah
In the final event, BYU won the men’s 400 freestyle relay, but Utah took the meet victory with the men leading 189-109 and the women 181-112.
“It was a pretty tough loss,” head swim coach John Brooks said. “Our team felt a little broken down today. I don’t know if it was the hour and a half dive through the snow to get up there or if they were a little more tired than average. It was a tough loss, but Utah came ready for us and they ended up with the win.”
Unlike previous competitions held with Utah earlier this season, this event was scored and counted towards the Deseret First Duel.
The men’s 400 freestyle relay team consisted of Preston Jenkins in the lead, Roger Woods and Jacob Rees in the middle and Payton Sorenson as anchor. The team registered a time of 3:01.60.
Sorenson had two other victories throughout the meet that contributed to BYU's final score. He claimed first in the 50 freestyle in 20.51 and a few events later, he won in the 100 freestyle with a registered time of 46.23.
Jenkins took first in the sixth event of the day during the 200 freestyle (1:41.88). He also took second in the 200 backstroke, clocking a time of 1:54.11.
Rainer Ng swam the 200 butterfly in 1:51.42, taking first place in the event. Additionally, he ranked second in the 200 individual medley event with a time of 1:56.49.
Savannah DuPuis, a freshman from San Clemente, California, had one of her first victories this season while swimming the 1000 freestyle event in 10:51.13
In the women’s 200 backstroke, Lauren Shaw Taylor followed Utah’s Mallori Allen to take second place (2:08.71). She was followed by Kelly Hatanaka, a sophomore from Loveland, Colorado, who swam the event in 2:09.80.
Taylor also assisted teammates Mariah Lindsay, Natalie Bennion and Tiare Coker to a second-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay (3:39.07).
The BYU women’s dive team took second through fifth place in the 3-meter diving. Morgan Mellow raised her previous best time of 233.95 to 244.95. She was followed by Keyka (Erica) Lienhard, a senior, who finished with a score of 229.35.
In the women’s 1-meter, Mellow ranked fourth with a final of 231.23.
For BYU men’s dive team, Trayton Speth, a junior, led the Cougars in the 3-meter with 319.65. He placed second overall, with Matt Denkers in third (289.13).
Denkers took second overall in the 1-meter, raising his score from the previous week from 328.45 to 335.93. He was followed in third place by teammate Kevin Dreesen with 310.13 points.
“The team competed a stronger list of new dives learned over winter training, which means they are pushing themselves to be better,” head diving coach Tyce Routson said. “Doing those new dives in this meet will be good experience for the next meets that we have coming up.”
The diving team will travel next to Colorado to participate in the Air Force Invitational. This event will begin on Jan. 27 at 11 a.m. MST and will conclude the following day. The swimming team will continue to practice in preparation for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships that will take place Feb. 15-18.
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