Finals week: BYU women’s swim and dive faces Boise State

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The BYU women’s swim and dive team will not only be stressing over finals this week like everyone else at BYU, but they will also be preparing to compete against Boise State on Saturday in their last meet of the semester.

“The meet is the day after finals, so we’re going to be traveling the last day of finals,” Head Coach John Brooks said.

Brooks will not be requiring the women to practice during finals week, since it would be a violation of NCAA regulations, but when Boise State wanted to compete with BYU he decided scheduling it on Saturday would be enough motivation to keep the  competitive women’s team consistent in their training during the last week of the semester.

“It was designed to keep them focused through finals,” Brooks said. “It will be an interesting meet because Boise State will be in the middle of their finals and we’ll have finished our finals.”

Taryn Toolson Lewis, a captain of the women’s team, thinks the coach’s plan will work.

“Obviously, if we have a meet at the end of the week, he knows that we’re going to want to continue training,” Toolson Lewis said. “Honestly, swimming is one of those sports where it comes first before a lot of things besides school, family and church. It’s pretty high up on our priorities, so we’re going to do what we can to stay in shape and train.”

Toolson Lewis said the coaches are offering two available practices a day and are very flexible in helping the swimmers train during this week.

Overall, Toolson Lewis thinks the meet against Boise will be beneficial for the women’s team to have all to itself.

“It’ll be a fun bonding trip going up there, because Boise is a good team and I think it will be a good meet,” Toolson Lewis said. “We just need to prove that we are fast enough to beat them because we beat them two years ago and we want to prove that we are still the faster team.”

The Boise State swim and dive team has only existed for six years; however, they do not lack any experience in winning. In the past three seasons, the Broncos’ women’s team has been named conference champions twice: in the Western Athletic Conference and most recently in the Mountain West Conference last year.

This year the Broncos have won two dual meets against the University of Idaho and Oregon State but lost to Arizona. Last week, they finished second in the Missouri invitational, tailing Missouri, but beating out U.C. Davis and UNLV.

The lady Cougars also come into this meet with a conference championship from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation from last year under their belt.

This meet will be the home opener for Boise State, and with finals in the mix, the outcome is difficult to predict.

“Because of finals, I have no idea how well our girls will perform,” Brooks said. “It’s another chance to race, but also a chance to race a good, respected team.”

For this week, it’s all about focus, Toolson Lewis said.

“We’ve just got to put our heads down, finish through finals and then focus on the meet and do our best,” Toolson Lewis said.

The meet will start Dec. 15, at the Boise-West Family YMCA at noon. For meet results, visit the schedule page at byucougars.com.

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