The Cougars and Utes face off today in swimming and diving to compete in the Deseret First Duel in Salt Lake City.
Head Coach John Brooks will bring the BYU men’s and women’s teams to the Ute Natatorium to compete against his alma mater.
Brooks not only swam as a letter-winner during his time as a student at the University of Utah, he also worked after graduating as a volunteer coach in 2005-2006 when the Ute women’s team won the Mountain West Conference Championship and the men placed 23rd in the NCAA Championships.
“It will be a great opportunity to play a noble opponent,” Brooks said in a press release. “They have a great team and so it will be great competition. It will be a test to see who trained harder over the Thanksgiving break.”
Before the break, the Cougars had an impressive performance at the Arena Invitational placing fifth in the men’s competition and seventh in the women’s. Brent Murray and Garret Beaman who are both former Ute swimmers swam with Jordan Fletcher and Payton Sorenson at the invite breaking the school record in the 200 relay and ranking fifth in the nation.
Three other relay teams also placed in the top 16 at the invitational, with two of those teams obtaining the second fastest times in the school record books. Several swimmers also made it to the finals, so despite a rough record this year for dual meets, the Cougars are looking for a win this meet.
“We always look forward to this meet every year. It’s our favorite dual meet because the rivalry is so big and intense,” women’s captain Londyn Clawson said. “It’s just really fun to race them and it’s important — especially since we haven’t been winning a lot of dual meets. We want to win this one more than any other dual meet.”
Clawson was the only BYU swimmer to make it into the finals of the Saturday races at the Arena Invitational and placed fourth in the 200 breast.
“I just love racing at this meet,” Clawson said. “I think it really unifies our team just because we all have the same goal: we want to beat Utah.”
BYU has a stellar record against Utah in the Deseret First Duel after winning last year in both the men’s and women’s races and winning five out of the last six meets, but the Utes don’t look like they will go down without a fight this year.
The Utah men’s team holds a 2-1 record in dual meets, while the women have a 3-4 record. The Utes placed third in both the men’s and women’s competitions at the Purdue Invite recently, and ranked 25th in the nation according to the College Swimming Coaches Association of America.
“We are looking forward to a really close meet on both the men’s and women’s side as we face BYU,” Utah Head Coach Greg Winslow said in a press release. “I am excited to see all the support of fans and alumni that will be cheering in the stands.”
The meet begins at 5 p.m. today and the results can be found on the men’s schedule page at byucougars.com.