BYU held its inaugural meet Dec. 7, inviting swimmers from all levels to compete in the Richards pool.
“This gave the high school kids who don’t have the opportunity to participate in preliminaries or finals meet a chance to compete with the college kids and get that experience,” said Yolanda Bates, an assistant swim coach.
The Richards pool and seating was packed with swimmers ages 12 years old and over along with their parents, fans and chaperones. More than 20 schools from the surrounding Utah county and aquatic clubs participated in the three day event.
Dallin Johnson swam the 200 breast and 200 individual medley against fellow BYU swimmers and younger club swimmers.
“It can get these youngsters excited and gives them a chance to swim in a college pool,” Johnson said.
Fellow BYU swimmer Camille Okelberry said she enjoyed swimming against college athletes when she was younger and was happy to reciprocate the sentiment.
“(The invite) was fun; it’s a good chance to jump in and swim without the stress of a regular meet,” Okelberry said. “When I was young I always liked swimming against the college kids because it helped me see where I could get. It’s good for us to race them, and it’s good for them to race us.”
BYU plans to build on the tradition by holding its second annual invite next December.