BYU swimming and diving loses on the road to Denver and Minnesota

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BYU’s swim and dive teams fell to Denver and Minnesota at the El Pomar Natatorium in Denver, Colorado over the weekend.

Natalie Bothwell
BYU swimmers practice at the Richard’s Building Pool in Provo, Utah. The Cougars lost a tough road meet against Denver and Minnesota on Saturday afternoon. (Natalie Bothwell)

The men’s team lost a close matchup to Denver, losing 185-167. Overall, it was the best performance of either BYU squad over the weekend. The women lost to Denver 97-255. Both the men and women fell to Minnesota 130.50-221.50 and 70-282, respectively.

“I am really proud of our women’s team and how hard they fought today,” BYU head coach John Brooks said in a press release. “They really battled and I was impressed with how they fought it out. On the men’s side, historically in the matchup with Denver the home team has won, so I think that is a really positive thing that we were close. I was very pleased with both teams.”

The men’s team found leadership in Payton Sorenson despite their losses. Sorenson finished in second place in the men’s 100-yard freestyle and contributed to first and second place finishes in the men’s 200 free relay and men’s 400 free relay, respectively. Both of these relay teams included Jake Taylor, Connor Stirling, Preston Jenkins, and Sorenson.

BYU’s Stephen Richards’ also added to the team with a first place finish in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:01.67. Several other swimmers contributed to the men’s team. Taylor earned a second place finish in the men’s 200 backstroke, posting a time of 1:46.90. Rainer Ng took third place in the men’s 100 fly with a time of 49.95. Cougar Luis Ventura clocked a 4:40.39 in the men’s 500 free event to earn a third place finish.

On the women’s side, Ellie Thornbrue had an impressive race in the women’s 100 fly with a 56.40 finish, good enough for first place.

“I am really happy with our performances against a strong Minnesota team,” BYU women’s head coach Tyce Routson said.           “[Kevin] Dreesen had his second best list of the year and beat out some skilled divers. We had Ali Tippets-Kottcamp achieve her NCAA Zone cut to make a total of five members of our team to qualify for those Zone championships. I am really optimistic about our momentum going into our meet against Utah next week.”

Tippetts-Kottcamp posted the best score for BYU’s women’s dive team, winning fifth place with a score of 271.70. Dreesen won the men’s 3-meter dive event against tough competition, posting a score of 398.20.

The Cougars return home Saturday, January 23 at 11 a.m. MST in Provo, Utah to take on the University of Utah.

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