BYU Women Claim MWC Championship Title, Men in Fourth
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The BYU women’s swim and dive team topped off its perfect season in the Mountain West Conference with a spotless 8-0 record on the season and the title of MWC Champions. The men finished fourth overall and posted record-breaking swims.
“It’s been a great meet and we had great swims all around,” said BYU head coach Tim Powers. “The swimmers are ecstatic – and they should be, they swam very well.”
Being awarded for not only their stellar performance at MWC Championships, but throughout the year, Ron Morris and Ava Jackman were both named MWC Divers of the Year. Morris and Jackman both achieved Diver of the Week honors twice during the 2008-09 season. Both Morris and Jackman placed first on the 1-meter board on Wednesday of MWC Championships.
Gregor Greiner came out of the 100 free a champion, as well as Leilani Roberts in the same event. Natasha Menezes won the 1650 free, placing 13 seconds ahead of second. The team of Roberts, Menezes, Kirsty Ferrell and Aleesha Miller took the 400 free relay title, breaking the MWC and BYU records.
To start off the day was Candice Smith placing third in the 200 back with a time of 1:57.09. Celligh McHenry finished 11th in the event with a time of 2:01.23, however her preliminary time of 2:01.14 was a personal best.
Senior Jacoby Jacobsen finished fourth in the 200 back with a time of 1:48.61, racking up 15 points for the Cougar men. Jeff Ferrell also finaled in the event, placing seventh with a time of 1:49.03. Christian Keil posted a 14th-place finish in the 200 back with a time of 1:52.49.
Four out of the eight finalists in the women’s 100 free were from BYU, taking first, second, fifth and seventh in the event. Leilani Roberts led the field with a time of 49.42, a new MWC and BYU all-time record. Miller placed second with a time of 49.67 while Ferrell placed fifth (50.39) and Sara Jayne Christiansen placed seventh (50.99).
Greiner won the 100 freestyle with a time of 43.34, a new MWC and BYU all-time record. Daniel Bates placed 12th in the event (45.58), while Stott Bushnell (45.74) and Kenneth Clark (45.88) placed 15th and 16th, respectively.
Jodie Ellis and Kelsey Higginson placed 11th (2:21.38) and 13th (2:22.68) in the 200 breaststroke for the Cougars, tallying 10 points collectively.
Vytenis Slenys barely missed the finals cutoff for the 200 breast, finishing first in the consolation heat (ninth) with a score of 2:00.42. Justin Morin placed 11th in the event with a time of 2:03.47.
Rachel Grant finished third in the 200 fly with a time of 1:57.79 while teammate Marnie Knoop placed 15th with a time of 2:05.71.
Dougie Broadbent finished 10th in the 200 fly with a time of 1:50.17, a personal best.
After winning the 500 free earlier in the week’s competition, N. Menezes also won the 1650-yard free with a personal-best time of 16:30.20. She broke the MWC record with that time previously set by Marta Stepanczuk by Utah in 2005.
Michelle Menezes placed 10th in the 1650 free with a time of 17:09.46 while Celleigh McHenry finished right behind her in 11th place with a time of 17:10.34.
For the men, John Kendrick placed highest for the Cougars in third with a time of 15:21.66, breaking the BYU all-time record by three seconds. Jeff Ferrell placed ninth in the event with a time of 15:34.53, picking up nine points for the Cougar men.
As for platform diving, the men were led by 2008-09 MWC Diver of the Year, Ron Morris, placing third in the event with a score of 321.85. Scott Thalman also made it to the finals where he placed seventh with a score of 227.55. Sam Hatch beat out the competition in the consolation round with a score of 274.60, which would’ve placed him fifth in the finals.
Finishing the meet off as they started, the women’s 400 free relay team of Roberts, N. Menezes, K. Ferrell and Miller won the event with a time of 3:18.77, breaking the previous BYU all-time record and MWC record.
The men finished off their side of the meet in the 400 free relay, placing second with a time of 2:57.33. Greiner led off for the men, followed by Daniel Bates, Kendrick and Mason. They were one second off of the BYU record.
The women finished off the meet with 643 total points, being crowned champions. UNLV was in second with 585.5 points, followed by Wyoming (483), Utah (468.5), Colorado State (452.5), San Diego State (375), TCU (354.5), New Mexico (211) and Air Force (128).
The men finished off the meet in fourth place, only 11.5 points behind Wyoming in third (551). The UNLV men were crowned champions with 886.5 points, followed by Air Force (613), Wyoming, BYU, TCU (401) and Utah (326).
While many BYU swimmers posted record-breaking NCAA provisional times, it is not certain of who will be asked to attend NCAA Championships. Check back to www.byucougars.com/swimming_diving/ for updates on BYU’s NCAA status. NCAA Championships will be held for the women in College Station, Texas March 19-21 and the men’s competition will be held March 26-28.
Swimmers Off to Oklahoma City for MWC Championships
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Looking for its third-straight Mountain West Conference championship, the BYU women’s swim team (17-1, 8-0) travels to MWC Championships in Oklahoma City, Okla. The men’s swim team (6-4, 4-3) is also looking to capture its sixth MWC championship title this week.
“We are very excited for conference championships,” said BYU head coach Tim Powers. “We are prepared to swim well and the kids are excited.”
The swimmers are coming off of a close win at Utah while the divers have most recently competed against top-ranked Stanford. Against Utah, the women won 11 out of 16 events, while the men came out with nine out of the 16 events.
In the diving meet against the Stanford Cardinal, BYU came out with one second-place finish by Ava Jackman on the 3-meter board (308.55) and two third-place finishes by Jackman (1-meter, 281.675) and Ron Morris (3-meter, 348.525).
BYU swimmers to watch in this week’s competition include 400 IM MWC reigning champion, Rachel Grant. She broke her own record this season at the Nike Cup with a time of 4:18.37. Aleesha Miller is also one to watch, who will be competing in the 50 free. Miller holds the second-fastest 50 free time on the season in the MWC (23.07).
One of the Cougars’ strongest events will be the 100 freestyle with Miller (50.79) holding the fourth-fastest time in the MWC. Teammates Kirsty Ferrell (51.02) and Leilani Roberts (51.18) place fifth and sixth in the event in the MWC this season.
Junior distance-dominator Natasha Menezes will be defending not only the 200 freestyle title, but the 500 free title as well. She posted a 1:49.09 at MWCC last year in the 200 free and a 4:51.52 in the 500 free. Her times this season are right on track to breaking those times in Oklahoma City this week.
Sophomore Christian Keil holds the fourth-fastest time in the MWC in the 50 free this season at 20.77 and looks to place high for the Cougars.
Senior sprinter Gregor Greiner holds the fastest time in the MWC in the 100 free on the season at 44.59, achieved at the Nike Cup. He will look to win the event for BYU.
Freshman backstroker Candice Smith will look to earn points for the Cougars in both the 100 and 200 backstroke events. Smith holds the fourth-fastest time in the 100 (56.66) and the No. 1 time in the 200 (1:59.14) in the MWC this season.
Senior backstroker Jacoby Jacobsen holds the fourth-fastest time in the 100 back this season in the MWC (50.65), and the fifth-fastest time in the 200 back with a time of 1:50.17.
Sophomore Sara Jayne Christiansen will look to help her Cougars gain points in the 100 breast as she holds the fifth-fastest time in the event on the season for the MWC (1:04.96).
Grant will also look to challenge Utah (who holds the top three spots) in the 100 fly. Grant posted her best time in the event this year against Wyoming (56.06). She will also look to place high in the 200 fly as she currently holds the three-spot in the event with a time of 1:59.80, achieved at the Nike Cup.
Junior Dougie Broadbent will look to final in the 100 fly, as he holds the fifth-fastest time in the MWC this season at 49.80. He will also hope to make it to finals in the 200 fly as he currently holds the six-spot in the event with a time of 1:49.74, achieved at the Nike Cup.
Do-all Grant also holds the No. 2 spot in the 200 IM this season in the MWC, behind Utah’s Hannah Caron, and will look to final in that event to earn points for her Cougars.
As for the relays, all of the No. 1 spots belong to UNLV or Utah. The women will be high contenders for the 200 free relay, 400 free relay and 400 medley relay titles. The men will look to take the 400 free and 400 medley relay titles.
Relay and diving competition will begin on Wednesday, with the individual events beginning Thursday. Check www.byucougars.com/swimming_diving/ each night to get updates from Oklahoma.