NCAA Div. I: BYU Sweeps Both Mountain West Team Titles for 4th Straight Year -- February 23, 2003
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.,February 22. FOR the fourth straight year, the BYU men's and women's swimming and diving teams claimed the Mountain West Conference Championship title, after four days of competition in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The No. 18 men's team, who were winners of the MWC regular season title as well, won the championships in dominating fashion recording 908 points, 273 better than second place Air Force (635). For the women, the Cougars came out on top with 662 points, besting Colorado State (617.50) by 44.50 points.
All three BYU head coaches received recognition for their team's extraordinary performances on the season and at the conference championships: men's head coach Tim Powers was named MWC Men's Coach of the Year, women's head coach Stan Crump was named MWC Women's Coach of the Year, and diving head coach Keith Russell was name MWC Diving Coach of the Year.
Senior Aaron Russell was named the MWC Diver of the Year after sweeping all three diving (1-M, 3-M, platform) events during the championships. He also set a new MWC record on the platform with a score of 499.80. Russell went undefeated in conference action in the three-meter event during the season, was 3-1 on the one-meter springboard.
Freshman Travis Price set a new MWC Championship record in the 1,650-yard freestyle event turning in a time of 15:32.80. The Cougar men set four new MWC records at the championships and three new school records.
The second Cougar record came in the last event of the championships when senior Jeff Mason turned in a time of 44.17 in the 100-yard freestyle event leading off the 400 freestyle relay, breaking the previous record of 44.39 set by Arunas Savickas in 2000. Mason was the runner-up in the 100 free itself, being out-touched by 0.04 seconds by UNLV's Jonathan Hugo.
In the last event of the championships, the Cougars won the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 2:57.10, setting the third school record for the team.
The Cougar women led the eight-team field by only 30 points going into the final day of competition, and rallied to pull ahead of the field to claim the title in the last seven events.
Senior Cortnee Adams won her third MWC title at the championships on Saturday; this time she won it in the 100-yard freestyle. Adams turned in a top time of 49.83 besting the competition by nearly a full second.
For the second consecutive year, junior Tamber Covington won the 200-yard breaststroke title. This time she turned in a time of 2:15.50. It was Covington's second MWC title of the championships as she won the 100 breast on Friday.
In all, the Cougars set a combined five MWC records, six school records and claimed an impressive 14 individual MWC Championship titles.
The Cougars will now wait to hear from the NCAA as to which athletes will be invited to the NCAA Championships held in Austin, Texas, on March 20-22 for the women and March 27-29 for the men.