BYU women come up short in Salt Lake

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    By Amy Young

    In a disappointing end to the dual-meet season, the BYU women?s swimming and diving team fell to the University of Utah 155-88 in the Ute Natatorium Friday.

    More than just bragging rights was at stake when the Cougars, 5-1 in conference matchups, faced their bitter rivals. In fact, a win would have placed them in a three-way tie for first place with the Utes and UNLV.

    With the loss, the Cougars fell to 5-2 and third place in the MWC, giving Utah the regular season championship outright for the first time in the school?s history. The Utes started the meet in their skin suits and sped past the Cougars, finishing first and second in the 400-medley relay. Utah then swept the 1000 freestyle, giving them a 31-5 lead.

    ?Those are the kinds of results you can have when you show up in [skin suits] and are well rested,” BYU women”s head coach Stan Crump said. “We”ll get another chance at them again in three weeks. Today, they just wanted it worse than we did.”

    The Utes beat the Cougars in all but one event, the 200-breaststroke. BYU freshman Jamie Bloom (2:20.23) pulled in the team?s only first-place finish in the pool with teammates Melanie Grant (2:22.78) and Kiersten Braithwaite (2:23.70) finishing right behind her.

    This valiant effort came too late as only one more event remained, and the Cougars could not match the Utes in points. Sophomore-standout Brittany Davis picked up three top-three finishes, earning 11 points for the Cougars, but in the end, it was not enough.

    The divers gave their all to help the team as freshman Angela Nelson managed to place first on the 1-meter with a score of 289.13 and second on the 3-meter with a score of 271.87. Teammate Kristin Pitt pulled in a third-place finish in each of the diving events.

    “Our women really overcame a lot to dive,? BYU diving coach Keith Russell said. ?Overall, I think they did well,”

    The Cougars will have a two-week break to rest and prepare for the MWC Championships in Oklahoma City Feb. 23-26. The Cougars, the five-time defending conference champs, will look to grab another title and redeem their loss to Utah.

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