PROVO, Utah – Nicholas Suder was named the MPSF Male Diver of the Year, Payton Sorenson and Alexandria Sorensenwere named MPSF Male and Female Rookie of the Year andKeith Russell was named MPSF Male Diving Coach of the Year on Tuesday by the Mountain Pacific Sport Federation.
Additionally, twenty-six members of the BYU men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams were named to MPSF All-Conference teams for their performances this past weekend at the MPSF Conference Championship.
“I’m really proud of the way we performed this past season,” head coach John Brooks said. “Our hard work paid off and our results this past weekend are evidence of that.”
Sorenson had an extremely productive first MPSF Championship Meet to be named the MPSF Male Rookie of the Year. He placed third in 50 Free (20.01), placed fourth in 100 Back (48.74), third in the 100 Free (43.90) and helped set MPSF meet and school records in the 200 Free Relay (1:18.30) and the 400 Free Relay (2:55.02). Sorenson was named to the first-team all-conference team for the relays and freestyle events and was selected to the second-team for the 100 back. On the season, he recorded two first-place finishes and four second-place finishes. He also took part in three first-place and two second-place relay finishes.
“Payton was one of our most improved swimmers on the season,” Brooks said. “He is very deserving of the award and had an excellent MPSF meet last weekend. He swam his best under difficult circumstances and was a great addition to our program this year.”
Sorensen turned in a remarkable MPSF Championship Meet in her first appearance while being named the MPSF Female Rookie of the Year. She finished fourth in the 50 Free (23.28) and 100 Free (50.69), was a member of the second-place 200 Free Relay (1:31.97) and fourth-place 400 Free Relay teams (3.24.13), and was sixth in 100 Fly (55.01), earning all-conference recognition in those events. On the season, Sorensen recorded three first-place finishes and six second-place finishes. She was also a member of relay teams that had three first-place and four second-place finishes.
“Allie did everything we expected of her this season,” Brooks said. “She was consistent and performed well for us when it counted. We are excited to see what she will do for us in the future.”
In his first season after returning from an LDS church mission to Seattle, Wash., Suder was named the inaugural MPSF Male Diver of the Year. He claimed the one-meter and three-meter MPSF Diving Championship, scoring 328.65 and 356.95, respectively, and placed third on platform with a score of 274.50. His one-meter dive was the second-best score for the entire conference this year, while his three-meter dive ranked number one. Suder had six first-place finishes on the season. At the Wildcat Diving Invite, he placed fifth on the 3M with a score of 355.55. At the Air Force Invite, he placed sixth on 3M with a score of 303.45 and fourth on the 1M (313.00).
“What a great honor to win the award,” Suder said. “I worked really hard this season to get back into diving form and it paid off. I set my goal to win the 1-meter and the 3-meter at conference and I was able to do that.”
Keith Russell wins his 15th diving coach of the year award, including 14 when the Cougars were in the Mountain West Conference to go along with this year’s inaugural winner. Russell coached sophomore Nic Suder to a pair of MPSF titles and first-team all-conference accolades on all three boards. Furthermore, Matt Hopper was a second-team selection on the three-meter, as was Trayton Speth on platform. Last season he coached MPSF Male Athlete of the Year, Brandon Watson. Russell served as the only diving judge from the United States in the 2008 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, China.
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