LAS VEGAS – The BYU men’s swim and dive team picked up its first win of the season, knocking off UNLV 163-135, and the women fell short against the Rebels 170-130 in Las Vegas Saturday afternoon.
“Our women’s team is young, and even though we lost the meet they swam hard,” head swim coach John Brooks said. “We’re a young group and we had some injuries, but as a whole we’re getting better and improving week to week.”
Junior Jake Taylor led the way for the men, winning three of the four events he competed in. Stephen Richards swam well, also winning two of his four events. For the women it was Ciera Marsh Keller, Vanessa Moffatt and Haley Bertoldo coming up big for the young team.
The dive team had an awesome showing, sweeping all four events. Kevin Dreesen earned first-place scores in both the men’s 1-meter (344.10) and 3-meter (320.93). Nathan Gonzales finished second in the 1-meter (283.13), and Jordan Tuckfield recorded a third-place score in the 1-meter (266.25).
The story of the day for the women’s dive team was Ali Tippetts. Tippetts just returned from her mission in August, and the junior walk-on won the women’s 1-meter scoring a 239.25. Mackenzie Rands finished second with a 228.45. Rands and Tippets flip-flopped in the 3-meter, with Rands finishing first (269.93) and Tippetts second (259.43).
“It was a really good day for us,” head diving coach Keith Russell said. “We had some solid foundations, and their entries were cleaner today. It’s been a nice couple of weeks of practice, and we’re looking forward to getting better.”
Moffatt picked up BYU’s first win of the meet in the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:31.28. Luis Ventura helped the Cougars sweep the event, swimming a 9:27.93 in the men’s 1,000 free.
Keller earned a first-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke, touching the wall with a time of 57.24. Taylor took home first for the men in the 100 back when he swam away from the competition, earning a time of 48.16.
BYU swept the top two spots in the men’s 100-yard breaststroke, with Richards touching the wall in 57.13 and Michael King coming in just behind him with a time of 57.17.
Rainer Ng won the men’s 200-yard butterfly, finishing with a time of 1:49.59
Taylor came up big for his team yet again, winning the men’s 200 back in 1:48.70. For the women, it was Riley Buer finishing first in the women’s 200 back (2:22.11) and her teammate Hannah Hansen coming in second with a time of 2:23.08.
Moffatt picked up another first-place finish, winning the women’s 500 free in 5:06.88.
Richards won the men’s 200-yard IM in 1:51.32 just ahead of his teammate Hayden Palmer, who finished second with a time of 1:51.86.
The women head to California to take on UC Davis Saturday in Davis, California. The men are off until the dive team heads to Tucson, Arizona, Nov. 21-22 for the Arizona Diving Invite.