The BYU swim and dive team finished the UNLV and Arizona invite with 12 top-10 finishes on Nov. 24. The swim team traveled to Las Vegas to compete in the UNLV invitational while the diving team headed off to Tucson, Ariz. for the Wildcat diving invitational.
The swimmers faced some tough competition in Las Vegas. The women had to battle nine other schools such as No. 1 California, UCLA, Arizona State and Colorado State. Six other teams from Stanford, Arizona State, UC-Santa Barbara, Wyoming and Northern Arizona competed against the men.
The swimming and diving meet was set up similar to the conference championship format, where the swimmers compete in the morning preliminary heats to qualify for the final events later that evening.
“The diver’s goal is to see how well they place in our zone, because the majority of divers there will be from our zone,” said head coach John Brooks. “This invite helps prepare them for zone competitions to ultimately qualify for NCAA (championships) but also gives them the chance to browse the competition on a national level.”
Matt Hooper did well for the Cougars, placing fourth in the men’s 1-meter dive with a score of 291.55. Arizona placed first and third while USC placed second.
Two Cougars placed in the top 10, helping BYU finish sixth overall. Nicholas Suder took fourth place in the men’s 3-meter with a score of 337.35, while fellow cougar Bryce Farabee took sixth place with a score of 320.50. Raleigh Williams Taylor, the female diver representing the BYU women’s team, placed in the top 10 in the women’s 1-meter dive.
“I felt we could have done better, but we did a good job and really learned a lot,” said head diving coach Keith Russell. “I think that now we have a chance to make some big improvements.”
Back in Las Vegas, the female swim team placed seventh with 200 points. Earning fifth place in the women’s 1650 free was Camille Okelberry with a time of 17:20.16. The women also scored fifth place in the women’s 800 free relay consisting of Angela Bennion, Jessica Ampuero, Allison McCormick and Valerie McMullan.
Riley Buer finished the women’s 200 breast event in the top ten for her first college invitational.
The men earned a total of 259 points and took sixth place overall in the invite. Stott Bushnell added to the Cougars’ top ten wins by finishing the men’s 200 free event in 1:41.27. Dallin Johnson also finished in the top-10 with a time of 16:39.02 for the 1650 free event.
It will be another two weeks before the BYU swimmers and divers see more action. On Dec. 5 they will head off to Austin, Texas, for the Texas Invitational.