BYU Comes Out Strong in Opener
PROVO, Utah – It's not often you can compete in Division I athletics against an opponent hundreds of miles away, but that's what the BYU swim and dive program did to open the 2020-21 season on Saturday against Cal Poly.
The Cougars and Mustangs faced off but did so swimming in each program's home pool in a virtual meet. The squads then compared times, including adjusting BYU's for altitude, to determine placements.
"It was so great to have everybody racing again," said BYU swim coach John Brooks. "Josue Dominguez broke a pool record and Brad Prolo broke a team record. On the women's side, Gwen Gustafson swam really well along with co-captain Brynn Sproul and Charlotte Fieeiki."
"The team did really well for a new style of virtual meet," added BYU dive coach Tyce Routson. "It was great to have the support of family members attending to help the divers focus and kick off our season."
Gustafson took the 50 free title with a time of 23.54, then won the 100 free as well in 52.61.
Sproul took the 100 backstroke, edging Fieeiki 56.39 to 56.86, then easily won the 500 free by five seconds with a time of 5:01.99. Fieeiki came back to win the 100 butterfly at 57.25.
Sophomore Katie McBratney cruised to victory in the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:03.11 and added another commanding win in the 400 IM, taking first six seconds before the next swimmer.
Competing in her first meet, freshman Rivers Johnson placed first in the 200 backstroke with a 2:05.94. Sophomore Lily Plaudis added a win in the 200 breaststroke while sophomore Jessica LeSueur added a victory in the 1,000 freestyle.
The Cougars also impressively took the top three spots in the 200 medley relay in addition to winning the 400 free relay.
All-American Kennedy Cribbs swept the diving events by winning the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions, surpassing NCAA qualifying scores in both.
Dominguez claimed the titles in the 100 breaststroke (53.25) and 200 breaststroke (1:58.84) while also helping the 200 medley relay and 400 free relay to victories as well.
Prolo set down a time of 1:45.55 in the 200 butterfly, setting a program record held previously by Hayden Palmer at 1:45.91 in 2014.
Sophomore Tama Tuitama took first in the 200 free with a time of 1:39.93 while sophomore Tyler Edlefsen ran away with the 400 IM crown. Junior Javier Nicolas Matta, junior Jared Shaw and Tuitama also finished 1-2-3 in the 100 freestyle for the Cougars.
In the diving events, reigning MPSF Diver of the Year Mickey Strauss easily won the 3-meter competition with a score of 342.80, an NCAA qualifying score, while also claiming the 1-meter title by just over seven points with a 289.65.
BYU will next compete in Provo on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 2 p.m. MT against Colorado Mesa and Dixie State.
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