PROVO, Utah, January 30. THE BYU women's swimming and diving team won the final race of the night to edge the University of Utah, 127-110, while the 20th ranked men's team easily defeated the Utes, 144-95, to earn the MWC dual meet title.
The meet went back and forth all night, and the 400 free relay was no different. The Cougars A team trailed Utah until the final leg of the race, when BYU's Britney Davis edged Utah's Melissa Young to the wall, giving BYU the victory in the relay and the meet.
"I had given up on the A team," women's coach Stan Crump said. "And I was hoping the B team would place third because that would have given us the victory in the meet, but then I noticed everyone cheering for the A team."
Crump said Davis swam the meet of her life and she needs competition like this to bring the best out of her. Besides anchoring the 400 free relay, Davis won the 200 and 500 free. In the 500 free, Davis beat Utah's Marta Stepanczuk by less than half a second.
"The Utah girls have been dominating the 500 all year," Crump said. "If it wasn't for her they'd have gone 1-2-3."
The Cougars also won the 400 medley relay and went 1-2-3 in the 200 breast with Tamber McAllister placing first.
With the victory, the Cougars avenge an earlier loss to the Utes. BYU improves to 5-2 in conference, while Utah lost its first conference dual meet of the season. The Utes are still guaranteed at least a share of the MWC dual meet title.
On the men's side, the Cougars dominated from start to finish, losing only one race-the 100 breast-all night.
"We had a great performance tonight," men's coach Tim Powers said. "We had some really fast times tonight. Times that would have beaten almost anyone in the country."
Two Cougars, Mark Chay and Zach Ancerson, won two events with Chay winning the 200 free and 100 back and Anderson triumphing in the 500 and 1000 free.
Also winning for BYU were James Bekker (50 free), Randy Belliston (400 IM), Diogo Yabe (100 fly) and Kurt Mullen (100 free). BYU also won both relays.
The two teams split the diving events with BYU's Justin Beardall winning the 1-meter and Utah's Sterling Richards taking the 3-meter."
“The women won a share of the regular season championship, which is unprecedented. The guys completed a wonderful turnaround this season to finish the season 7-1,” comments Utah Head Coach Michael Litzinger. “I’m extremely proud of both teams.”
Utah finishes 9-2 overall (6-1 in MWC competition), for the season and earns a share of its first MWC championship in school history. Utah fell behind early by 32 points because of diving competition but managed to win six of the 13 events. Marta Stepanczuk won the 1000 free (10:22.53), Amy Barefield won the 50 free (24.37), Jamie Trapp added a victory in the 200 IM (2:10.57), Meghan Demchuk finished on top in the 200 fly (2:09.28), Alison McInturff won the 100 free (52.93) and Marissa Martin won the 200 breast (2:05.25). “We out swam BYU tonight, but it is a swimming and diving meet and the Cougars did an outstanding job of rising to the challenge to win,” adds Litzinger.
The Ute men lost to the 20th ranked Cougars, finishing the season 7-1 overall (3-1 in MWC competition). Evan Castro was the lone winner for Utah as he finished first in the 100 breast, with his season best time of 56.60. “We ran into a very good team this weekend. There were a lot of close events but we just didn’t win the touches. BYU swam a great meet,” states Litzinger. “Now it is time for both teams to focus on the conference championships.”