The BYU swim and dive team gathers at the Richards pool for a meet against Air Force. (BYU Photo)

BYU swim & dive starts year off strong with win against Air Force

BYU swim and dive started 2021 off with a win, hosting Air Force in the first meet of the year at the Richard Building pool. The Cougars ended the meet with 388 points and 27 gold times, while the Falcons had just 291 points and 11 gold times. The meet began Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. MST and continued Saturday morning at 10 a.m MST.

BYU set four pool records this weekend, including three from freshman Tanner Nelson. Nelson set two of these records in the 200 and 500-yard freestyle Friday night.

Pool records have been set frequently by BYU swimmers recently with the new Richards Building pool built in 2018. This weekend, the 1,650-yard freestyle race was swum for the first time in the pool, warranting two new records.

Nelson and Regan Geldmacher set the pool records for BYU in the 1,650 freestyle, with times of 15:59.02 and 17:42.11, respectively.

Geldmacher, a freshman from West Richland, Washington, who specializes in distance freestyle events, knew the challenge associated with the “mile” 1,650-yard freestyle coming into the race.

“The mile is a pretty tough race, and it can be daunting. As far as mindset goes, I know I can finish it no matter how slow, so it can’t get worse than that,” Geldmacher said. “I just go into it knowing that I’ve put in the work already at practices and in the weight room, and I think about just two or three things to focus on and improve while I’m racing.”

Setting a pool record is a moment you never forget as a swimmer. This pool record is the first for Geldmacher, and she hopes she can keep her “name up on that board for a long time.”

Other notable individual swims included Katie McBratney, who placed first in the 200-yard IM, 400-yard IM, and 100-yard breaststroke; as well as Brad Prolo, who took first in the 100-yard breaststroke the 200-yard butterfly. Brynn Sproul also had two gold times for the Cougars with a 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke win.

BYU dive also had two significant victories on Saturday with Mickey Strauss and Kennedy Cribbs. Strauss, a Provo native, took first in the men’s 3-meter dive event with a score of 369.90, while Cribbs came out on top in the women’s 1-meter dive with a score of 302.25.

The Cougar’s next meet is Friday, Jan. 21 against Colorado Mesa and Denver at the Richards Building Pool. The meet will begin at 2 p.m. MST.

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