By Geoffrey Paulsen
The BYU men and women”s swimming and diving team come home this week to host in-state rival Utah on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006, in the Richards Building Pool at 6 p.m.
This will be the Cougars final dual meet of the season before they head to Oklahoma City, Okla., for the Mountain West Conference Championships. The men are undefeated in conference (4-0). Their only loss of the season came to the University of Washington Jan. 4, 2006, by a slim margin of five points. The Ute men are 2-2 in conference.
The Cougar women are 6-1 in conference, second place to undefeated Utah, 7-0.
BYU men and women approach this meet having swept their road-trip last weekend at Air Force and at Wyoming.
Both the men and the women fell to the Utes last year. Because of the loss, the men shared the Mountain West Conference Championship with the men, and the Utah women won the championship.
“Last year was last year,” women”s coach Stan Crump said. “The girls” motivation is to be the best.”
Junior Brett Allen will try to remain undefeated in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle for the season. He has the best time in the 50- yard freestyle this season in the Mountain West.
Just behind Allen in second place in the 50-free is Utah senior Jonathan Larsen, who also has the best time in the 100 free. The two will face off in both events.
“It should be an interesting race,” men”s coach Tim Powers said. “They will bring out the best in each other. You can throw the records out.”
With a win against Utah, the BYU women will split the dual meet championship with the Utes.
“We would love to beat them,” Crump said. “But our focus is to win at the Mountain West Conference Championships.”
The women”s only conference loss came to the Texas Christian Horned Frogs Jan. 13, 2006. The women attempted a late comeback, but were eventually defeated 109-134.
The Utah women also struggled with Texas Christian, but came out on top 129-114, their closest conference competition of the year.
“They have three really strong events and we have three strong events,” Crump said. “The rest will be toss-ups. We have to win our share of the toss-ups.”
Sophomores Angela Goodson, Jaime Bloom and U-Nice Chan, and freshmen Leilani Roberts have had strong seasons for the Cougars, but Crump says someone to look for is junior Brittany Davis.
“Brittany is ready to go,” he said. “If she can break into her form of the last few years, it will really help us in the meet.”
The BYU-Utah rivalry isn”t what it has been in the past, at least for the swimming and diving teams, but still Powers said the Cougars don”t want to drop one at home to their in-state rival.
“No one can remember the last time we lost at home,” he said. “We don”t want to lose now.”