BYU Leads-Off the Season Beating Out Utah and Villanova
PROVO -- The BYU swimming and diving team edged out in-state rival Utah and Villanova for their first pre-season meet and victory at the annual Don Reddish Relays at Utah Thursday night. The BYU men took eight out of the 12 relays and the women took half of theirs, going six for 12.
Junior Brett Allen stood out for the Cougars with a 20.51 lead on the 50 free in the 200 freestyle relay, and Junior Jorge Azevedo clocked in at 49.6 in the 3x100 fly. Freshman John Kendrick made a good show for the Cougars with a 4:40 in his leg of the 500 free.
"I'm pleased with our guys' performance tonight," said men's swimming coach Tim Powers. "We're about where we were hoping to be."
With equal momentum, the women led their portion of the relays. BYU women's swimming coach Stan Crump said the success is just a forecast of the season ahead.
"Pretty good for mid-October," said Crump. "We'll be hard to beat."
BYU's 400 medley relay team, made up of senior Brittany Davis, sophomores Angela Goodson and Jamie Bloom and freshman Leilani Roberts finished in 3:55.67, nearly five seconds ahead of Utah's team, who came in at 4:00.26.
The women have two more weeks of training before they head to Stockton, California for their last warm-up before the regular season at the Pacific Invitational Oct. 28-29. The men will report to the Big West Shootout in Irvine, California Nov. 4-5 for their final preseason match-up before BYU hosts UNLV to begin the regular season Nov. 11.
Cougars Getting Their Feet Wet
PROVO -- The Cougars will kick off their 2005-2006 swimming and diving campaign this week with the annual Don Reddish (Beehive) Relays in Salt Lake City versus in-state rival Utah and Villanova Thursday at 6 p.m. Thursday's relay event will precede the traditional homecoming Blue/White alumni meet Friday in the Richards Building Pool at 6 p.m.
Last year's Beehive relay proved productive for the Cougars. The men finished first and the women tied with Utah, including a clean sweep on the boards. The two in-state rivals both fared well last season as the BYU men split the Mountain West Conference regular-season title with Utah and the Cougar women followed the Utes with a second-place finish. The BYU men and women then went on to finish second behind UNLV at the MWC Championship meet.
Thursday's relay will not be scored on the season, but women's swimming coach Stan Crump said he sees it more as an opportunity to break-in the freshman and have some fun.
"It's nice to drive up the road and get some racing in," Crump said. "It will also be a chance to watch the girls compete and see how they're doing."
The women will be returning senior Brittany Davis, last season's conference champion in the 500 free and 200 back. Sophomore Angela Goodson, a contender in backstroke, will add an additional threat to the Cougar's roster.
The men's team is expected to be led by returning juniors Jorge Azevedo, a finalist in the 100 free last season, and Brett Allen, a top sprinter for BYU.
Men's swimming coach Tim Powers said the meet will give his team a sense of where they are - and where they want to be.
"We're training really hard right now," Powers said. "And we'll just keep getting better."
BYU diving coach Keith Russell anticipates the divers will also perform well, returning three conference champions in sophomores Ron Morris, Angela Nelson and Kristin Pitt. Cougars will also look to freshman Austin Barrand, a two-time High School All-American from Highland Ranch, Colo., to tally additional points.
"As the season goes on we'll build more momentum and perform at a higher level," coach Russell said. "But I am expecting a good contest Thursday."
In addition to the scheduled relay competition, divers will perform a synchronized diving exhibition.