By WAYNE ARBALLO
The University of Utah swim team visits BYU today as the two schools embark on their final WAC match of the season.
Since 1963, the Utah men’s team has won 22 WAC titles and is 25-10 since coach Dennis Teach took over in 1995.
However, the Utes have yet to beat coach Tim Powers, who has been the BYU men’s swim coach for the last 23 years.
Although Utah is not expected to win, they could give BYU problems tonight.
Men’s swimmer Keith Cardon said he’ll be focused at the task on hand and give no consideration to the past. He said he expects a good meet with “everybody going out and trying to doing their best.”
Last year’s WAC Freshman of the Year, Arunas Servikas, said that even though he isn’t particularly worried about Utah, he isn’t going to relax his effort or intensity.
“We’re going to try to swim the best we can and give them a good competition,” Servikas said. “We’re not worried. We’re looking forward to having this meet with them.”
The Ute women, on the other hand, are a dismal 54-121 lifetime and have never placed higher than fourth in the WAC.
“Basically … we just kind of view that meet as an extra practice,” said Cougar swimmer Carrie Jensen. “Even though our schools are rivals, they’re not exactly our arch rivals. We have fun competing against them but it’s not like ‘we got to kill the Utes.'”
Senior All-American Sarah Street said Utah really didn’t pose a threat, but BYU shouldn’t take the Utes lightly.
“We don’t know what recruits they have,” Street said. “They lost some pretty big swimmers … but they still have a couple of girls who are really good … but we’re not that worried. They’re a good one to start off with because they’re a building program.”
The diving team is looking at Utah as a definite threat, though.
“They’re going to be probably one of our toughest competitors in the WAC,” diver Rachelle Smith said.
Diving coach Keith Russell said Utah’s experience is what weighs on him most.
“Their strengths are that they’ve got some divers that have some experience,” Russell said. “They’ve got some nice strength and power, and yet they’re beautiful, too, so it will be great. It should be a really good contest.”
The first race will start at 6 p.m. at the Richards Building pool. Admission to the meet is free.