Utes Coming to Town to Face Cougar Swimmers
PROVO -- This Thursday is the final Mountain West Conference meet for the BYU Cougar men's and women's swim and dive teams, and there is a lot on the line for the Cougars. The meet, which will take place at 6 p.m. in the Richards Building Pool, not only is against an in-state rival Utah, but both BYU squads will be competing for the MWC regular-season title.
"Our swimmers don't have to get up any extra for this meet," BYU men's coach Tim Powers said. "It is against Utah, it will have implications on the regular-season championship and it is our last dual-conference meet for our seniors."
After beating every other MWC opponent this season, both the men and the women have a chance to close out the regular season with a victory over the Utes and earn the MWC regular-season champions. This meet also is the swimmers' contribution to the Deseret First Duel. BYU currently leads the Duel 21-11 with this week's meets each contributing one point toward the Dual total.
BYU will honor six women and six men senior swimmers and divers before the meet this Thursday. They will be honored for their contribution to the swim and dive team programs while at BYU.
"It is always nice to honor our outgoing seniors at the last home meet of the season," BYU women's coach Stan Crump said. "They are deserving of the attention, and it is great to be going up against our rivals at the same time."
The No. 23 BYU men will look to a pair of seniors to continue their leadership in individual events in hopes of getting a victory against the Utes. Jorge Azevedo and Travis Price have been consistent all season long in their respective events. Azevedo has posted the top MWC time this year in the 100-yard butterfly (48.38) and the third-best time in the 100 backstroke (50.03), while Price has posted the top MWC time this season in the 200 freestyle (1:39.06) and the second-best time in the 500 free (4:28.48) in the conference this season.
Sophomore Natasha Menezes and freshmen Rachel Grant and Aleesha Miller will be looked to by the Cougar women against Utah to help get a victory. Menezes has posted the top MWC times this year in the 1000 (10:08.15) and 500 (4:54.33) free in her terrific second-year collegiate campaign. BYU's Grant and Miller have come in and made immediate impact on their team as Grant has posted the top MWC times in the 200 fly (2:00.74) and the 400 IM (4:22.00), while Miller has consistently been the Cougars' top freestyle sprinter with posting BYU season-best times of 23.50 and 51.41 in the 50 and 100 free, respectively.
Utah is most recently coming off of the same road trip BYU had this last weekend as the Utes faced Wyoming and Air Force in reverse order from the Cougars. The Utes found mixed results on this trip as the women beat the Falcons but fell to the Cowgirls, while the Utah men fell to both MWC opponents.
The meet on Thursday is free to the public.