Seniors End Career in Provo with a Win
PROVO -- The men's and women's swimming teams recorded a second straight win of the weekend after defeating Wyoming on Saturday, 146.5-96.5 and 151.5-91.5 in a high-noon showdown. The competition was the last home meet for the Cougars and the outgoing seniors were honored before the swimming began.
Seniors John Malfatt, Scott Randall and Carolyn Wigginton placed first in their events to put exclamation points on their final swims and dives in Provo. Randall came back from a second place finish in the 1-meter (198.95) to claim first in the 3-meter with a final score of 213.35. Wigginton picked up a win in the 100 back touching the wall at 58.63. Malfatt also came away with a win in the 100 back beating out fellow teammate Mark Chay with a time of 51.86 to Chay's 52.99.
Despite being beaten to the wall by Malfatt in the 100 back, Chay picked up an individual win in the 200 free with a time of 1:39.01. Chay's fellow countryman of Singapore, Jeffrey Su gained nine points for the Cougars with a first place finish in the 400 IM touching the wall at 4:09.22.
"I think we swam well today," men's head coach Tim Powers said. "Our relays were some of the top times that I've seen and there always seems to be a lot more emotion in the last home meet of the season."
The men placed first in both the 200 medley relay and 200 free relay with times of 1:30.94 and 1:22.11. The Cougars also got double the points from recent addition Brett Allen who placed first in both the 50 and 100 free with times of 20.77 and 45.54.
Although the excitement was for the outgoing seniors the underclassmen on the women's side showed why the Cougars will be tough for years to come.
Freshman diver Angela Nelson continued her success on the season with first place finishes on both the 1-meter and 3-meter events with scores of 170.35 and 197.40. Other freshmen also picking up wins included U-Nice Chan in the 1000 free (10:43.83), Tara Bradshaw in the 400 IM (4:37.89) and Jamie Bloom in the 100 breast (1:05.65).
Not to be outdone by the new-comers sophomores Brittany Davis and Hannah Palmer each placed first in the 200 free (1:53.44) and 50 free (24.59) respectively.
"I thought we looked a bit more tired than we did last night," women's head coach Stan Crump said. "I just didn't feel like we had as much energy. I think we are swimming very fast, but we're just a bit tired."
Despite the apparent low energy the women matched the men with first place finishes in each of the two relay events of the afternoon. The women had a time of 1:38.29 in the 200 free relay and 1:49.05 in the 200 medley relay.
The Cougars will now travel to Salt Lake to take on in-state rival Utah on Friday night at 6 p.m. The regular season Mountain West title will be on the line for both teams. The Cougar men have remained undefeated and another win would mean an outright title for BYU. The women will need to win to share the regular season title with the Utes.
Cougars will face two opponents in two days
The men and women will face two opponents in two days when they face the Air Force Academy and Wyoming on back-to-back days. The Cougars are preparing to face the Falcons on Friday and the Cowboys on Saturday.
"They are both going to be tough," men's head coach Tim Powers said. "Both teams have strong swimmers, Chris Knaute (AFA) is tough to beat in long distance freestyle events and Wyoming's Scott Usher is an Olympian and makes that team strong in breast and medley relays."
The Cougar men head into the weekend's competition undefeated and stand at no. 19 in the latest polls. The Falcons are coming off a one point victory against UNLV in Colorado Springs, a UNLV team that BYU also slipped by with a score of 122.5-107.5.
The Saturday meeting between the Cougar men and the Wyoming Cowboys will feature two Olympians. Wyoming's Scott Usher competed for the United States in breaststroke events and BYU sophomore Mark Chay who swam for Singapore.
"Wyoming is a scary team," women's head coach Stan Crump said. "Scott Usher alone is worth coming to see."
For the women the meet with the Cowgirls of Wyoming was close last year with the Cougars coming away with the win in Laramie 125-118. The Cougars will look to repeat the outcome of last year and win at home.
The Cougar women have already swam against Air Force Academy earlier in the year when they faced the Falcons in the Speedo Cup held in November. The Cougars finished the meet in sixth and saw Air Force finish in the ninth spot.
"I really expect both teams to come and race," Crump said.
The Cougars will face Air Force Friday night at 5 p.m. and follow up with a meeting with the Cowboys Saturday at noon.