MONTEREY PARK and PASADENA, California – BYU men’s swim and dive team finished in second place at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship on Saturday, while the women's team placed fourth overall.
The BYU men’s team ended with a score of 666, following UC Santa Barbara’s first-place score of 831. The BYU women’s team totaled 501.5 points over the four-day event.
“We had a good finish to the meet with a of people that moved up in places and events," head BYU swim coach John Brooks said. “The men’s team took second overall and that’s a pretty good spot for us to be, considering the amount of injuries we’ve had this season. I’m very proud of the divers and their performances throughout this championship. I’m pleased with our men’s and women’s teams, as we had a well-fought meet.”
Payton Sorenson swam the 100 freestyle in 43.62, giving him a first-place seed heading into the final round. He claimed the championship title in the finals with a time of 43.49.
Preston Jenkins qualified in the preliminaries during the 200 backstroke by taking second place with 1:45.43. He competed in the finals with an improved time of 1:43.62 to take second place.
Lauren Taylor, Ashlee Spindler and Emma Richard all recorded times in the top eight of the 200 backstroke. Taylor took second during the finals with a registered time of 1:58.19. Spindler followed in fifth place (2:01.68) and Richards took seventh, clocking a 2:02.98 finish.
Anna Dahl placed fifth in the finals during the 200 breaststroke, registering a time of 2:15.95.
Sophomore Cameron Lindsay ended in fifth during the finals of the 200 breaststroke and clocked a time of 2:01.71.
Vanessa Moffatt placed in the finals in two events. In the 1650 freestyle, she finished in sixth place, registering a time of 17.03.31. She also placed sixth in the 200 butterfly with a final time of 2:04.42.
Luis Ventura took eighth place in the 200 butterfly preliminaries with 1:49.84. He improved his time in the finals to 1:47.65 to place second overall.
“There was outstanding performances by the divers throughout this conference meet,” BYU head dive coach Tyce Routson said. “We had 14 personal records made and three second-best scores achieved by various members of the whole team. Freshmen Eric Muir and Morgan Mellow had personal bests on all three events. I’m very proud of our seniors, Keyka (Erica) Lienhard and Shelby Johnson, in their last competition as BYU divers.”
Morgan Mellow placed among the top five divers in third place during the women’s platform event. She had a total score of 226.25, meeting the NCAA platform qualifying score of at least 225. She will be able to participate in all three diving events at the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships in March.
Kaitlyn Abernathy and Shelby Johnson placed in seventh and eighth place, respectively. Abernathy ended with a total score of 197.55 and Johnson claimed 195.55 points.
For the second time this week, all six divers of the BYU men’s team ended in the top eight during the finals. This is especially impressive since the team, without a platform board at BYU, has limited practice opportunities prior to the meet.
Second through sixth place were claimed by the team in the following order: Eric Muir (323.30), Matt Denkers (318.35), Kevin Dreesen (302.55) and Ryan Evans (237.30). Trayton Speth took eighth place with a score of 231.70.
The men’s diving team and Mellow will compete next at the Zone E Diving Championships in Flagstaff, Arizona, from March 6-8.