Cougars Split With Horned Frogs
PROVO -- With over 400 fans in attendance, the BYU women’s swim team defeated TCU 197-90 while the BYU men fell to the Horned Frog men 172-119 Friday night in the Richards Building Pool.
“The TCU men swam very well tonight and our women had a lot of depth,” BYU head coach Tim Powers said. “It was the tale of two teams tonight, but I am very pleased with some of the swims we had tonight.”
The women were led by Rachel Grant breaking the BYU pool record in the 200 IM and also winning the 200 fly and the 100 fly. Natasha Menezes, Candice Smith and Aleesha Miller also all won two events apiece to help in the Cougar win. The BYU women won every event on the night.
Placing first for the men was John Kendrick in the 1000 free and the 500 free, Christian Keil in the 200 free and Brandon Watson on the 1-meter and 3-meter boards.
The BYU women started off the meet right winning the 200-medley relay with a time of 1:45.24, with Smith in the backstroke, Sara Jayne Christiansen Baldwin in the breast, Grant in the fly and Miller in the free to anchor it. The men were disqualified by an early takeoff, causing the Horned Frogs to gain 15 points to start off the meet.
The distance team of Amy Xu, Alina Fong and Michelle Menezes went 1-2-3 in the women’s1000 free. Xu won with a time of 10:27.04, Fong had a time of 10:31.38 and M. Menezes tallied a time of 10:32.30.
In the men’s 1000 free, senior John Kendrick fought for the lead with TCU’s Trevor Woods, but came out on top with a time of 9:47.07; Woods trailing close behind with a time of 9:47.71 in second.
1.27 seconds off of her BYU pool record, Natasha Menezes won the 200 free with a time of 1:51.84, four seconds ahead of TCU in second place. The men’s race was a close one, ending with junior Christian Keil out-touching Laszlo Gyurko of TCU with a time of 1:42.95. Gyurko tallied a time of 1:43.14.
Through event six the women were out in front of TCU 40-15 while the men trailed 32-21.
Sophomore sensation Candice Smith was three seconds ahead of the pack in the 100 back, touching the wall with a time of 56.91 in first. TCU went 1-2 on the men’s side, with senior Jeff Ferrell finishing in third with a time of 53.49.
The BYU women swept the first three places in the 100 breast with Baldwin leading the way with a time of 1:04.42. She was followed by Kelsey Higginson (1:06.23) and Kassy Bispo (1:06.28).
Horned Frog Edgar Crespo won the men’s 100 breast with a time of 55.92 while David Mason and Vytenis Slenys placed second and third in the event with times of 58.24 and 58.43, respectively.
Grant and Marnie Knoop earned the top two spots in the 200 fly with respective times of 2:01.04 and 2:06.68 while freshman Hayden Palmer finished fourth for the men with a time of 1:58.74.
In the last event before the diving break, the women swept the first three places of the 50 free with Aleesha Miller out in front with a time of 23.64, senior Kirsty Ferrell following her in second clocking in at 23.97 and freshman Taryn Toolson in third with a time of 24.24.
In the men’s 50 free, TCU finished in first and second while Daniel Bates placed third for the Cougars with a time of 21.68.
The Cougar women swept the 1-meter diving with Tawni Jones in first with a score of 299.10, Ava Jackman in second with a score of 285.98 and freshman Mikenna Cloward in third with a point total of 283.28. Brandon Watson led the male divers on the 3-meter board with a score of 375.23.
Coming out of the diving break, Miller and Baldwin placed first and second in the 100 free with respective times of 52.46 and 52.67. David Mason finished third for the Cougar men in the same event with a time of 47.35.
After winning the women’s 100 back by three seconds earlier in the meet, Smith finished first again in the 200 back, this time five seconds ahead of second place with a time of 2:02.76. J. Ferrell finished third in the 200 back for the men with a time of 1:56.87.
Freshman Londyn Clawson led the Cougars in the 200 breast with her first career collegiate win with a time of 2:23.83. Slenys next placed third in the same event for the men with a time of 2:10.44.
N. Menezes and Xu went 1-2 in the 500 free with times of 5:00.56 and 5:06.50, respectively. Kendrick won he second event of the night in the 500 free, earning a time of 4:45.62, once again with TCU’s Woods on his heels, placing second in the event with a time of 4:46.94.
Rachel Grant’s smooth stroke in the 100 fly again gave her a first-place finish in the event with a time of 56.97, followed by K. Ferrell in second with a time of 58.51. Brent Stevenson placed the highest for the Cougars for the men in the 100 fly in fourth with a time of 53.52.
The women’s 3-meter was once again led by All-American Jones with a final score of 325.65, followed by Jackman in second with a score of 294.98. Watson won the 1-meter for the men with a score of 346.80 over TCU standout Kyle Callens in second with a score of 338.25.
Breaking her teammate’s 200 IM BYU pool record set when Baldwin was in high school (2:04.68 – East High) was Rachel Grant chalking up a time of 2:03.96. The win marked the third first-place finish for Grant on the night – more first-place titles than any other Cougar on the night.
Slenys tallied a second-place finish in the men’s 200 IM with a time of 1:55.68.
The women pulled ahead early in the 400 free relay with K. Ferrell out in front, M. Menezes in second, N. Menezes in third and Miller anchoring, coming in with a time of 3:29.03. With the crowd on its feet in the last event of the night, neck-and-neck in the 400 free relay, TCU out-touched BYU in the men’s event, earning second place with a time of 3:06.70. Keil, Bates, Kendrick and Mason made up the men’s relay to finish off the meet.
The Cougar women will be back in the Richards Building Pool Thursday to take on SDSU at 4 p.m. and Friday against Colorado State at 6 p.m. The men will be back in the water Jan. 21 against Air Force in Colorado Springs.
H2O Cougars Back Home Friday
PROVO -- After over a month of no competition the BYU swim and dive team will be back in the water at the Richards Building pool Friday to take on conference opponent TCU at 6 p.m. The meet was changed from Thursday to Friday to accommodate TCU travel plans.
“They are a very good team and have a lot of foreign swimmers,” BYU head coach Tim Powers said. “It should be a very good competition on both the men’s and women’s side. We’re both coming off of Christmas training, it will just come down to who is less tired.”
The Cougar swimmers returned from training against UC San Diego and Truman Saturday. The swimmers last competed in the Toshiba Classic Nov. 19-21 and the divers last competed in the BYU Diving Invitational Dec. 5. With over a month of no rigorous competition, the team is ready for its third conference meet of the season.
TCU will compete at Utah on Wednesday before coming to Provo. The Horned Frog men boast a 2-0 Mountain West Conference record and 3-0 overall while the Cougar men are 0-1 in conference meets and 2-1 overall. The BYU women present an untouched 5-0 overall record, with two conference wins.
The BYU women are proved to be the team to beat in the conference with three returning conference champions and one former All-American diver, Tawni Jones.
“TCU has a very improved team on the men’s side,” said Powers. “They can compete with anyone in the conference this year.”
Having beaten Air Force on the road and Wyoming at home, the TCU men will fight to be one of the best teams in the conference this season.
Admission to Friday’s meet is free and fans are encouraged to attend.