BYU vs Utah Swim and Dive Preview: Cougars Seek to Avenge Holy War Loss

Utah 163 BYU 137. Papers displaying the score of last year’s meet are posted on the BYU men’s lockers. 

Swimmers see it each time they put their swimsuit on for practice in the morning and face it yet again after they shower and head home for the day. The team is motivated, and they’re hankering for a win.

The Holy War comes back to BYU waters this weekend February 9-10, as the Cougars look to avenge last year’s men’s and women’s losses to the Utes and send out their seniors on a high note.

The upcoming meet has been on the mind of the team for months.

“Whenever we are arriving at a hard set we say, ‘hey bro, we got Utah in two months! We got Utah in one week!’ Last year sucked and we told each other it’s not gonna happen again,” said Junior Luigi Riva.

And it all seems to be working. BYU is coming off dominant victories for the men and women at their home meet vs Colorado Mesa and Air Force, and they’ve even had some recent record setting success.

On January 20 Junior Jordan Tiffany posted a Richards Building pool record for the 200 Individual Medley at 1:45.56

And at the Air Force Diving Invitational last weekend Sophomore diver Alexia Jackson broke her previous school record of 281.75 on the platform to rise up to ninth nationally in the platform score.

Know the Foe

Despite the Cougar’s success, Utah still poses a challenge. The Ute women and men come into Provo having won their last home meets versus Colorado Mesa with 219-81 in the women’s competition and 201-97 in the men’s. 

The Ute women lost most recently on the road at Washington State 117-145. Against Wyoming the men won 158-96, and Utah has had some record breaking success of their own.

Men’s swimmer Brandon Miller just had one of his best meets against Wyoming. He finished with a career high three first-place finishes in one meet by topping the 100 back at 49.96, the 200 back at 1:48.42, and the 400 IM at 4:01.79.

As for the women, Summer Stanfield had a good showing against Washington State. She put up a team-high 22 points by taking second in the 200 free, first in the 200 back at 1:56.69, and first in the 200 IM at 2:01.34, which goes down as a Gibb Pool Record.

Series History

The BYU men have lost four of the last five meets vs Utah, but have been performing better the past couple years. Last year BYU lost in Salt Lake City with a narrow difference 137-163, while the year before the Cougars triumphed to snap a five meet Utah win streak with a strong showing of 180-120.

The BYU women have similarly struggled against Utah, as the Utes have pulled out victories over Cougars over all five of the most recent meets, though one of them came by a narrow margin of four points in 2020.

BYU swim and dive will look to get a rivalry win in the series Friday at 4 PM in the Richards Building.

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