Payton Sorenson led BYU swimming and diving in a hard fought battle against Denver and Minnesota on Saturday afternoon at the El Pomar Natatorium in Denver, Colorado.
Against Denver, the men’s team was barely edged out, 185-167, with the women’s team dropping the matchup, 255-97. The men’s team dropped the matchup to Minnesota, 221.50-130.50, while the women’s team was defeated, 282-70.
"I am really proud of our women’s team and how hard they fought today," BYU head coach John Brooks said. "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."
Highlights from Saturday's action included Sorenson, who had a second-place finish in the men's 100-yard freestyle and was part of two relay teams who placed first and second. Stephen Richards also earned a win in the 400 individual medley. On the women's side, Ellie Thornbrue had a big win in the 100 butterfly. For the divers, Kevin Dreesen earned a first-place finish in the 3-meter event, beating out a tough Minnesota team.
Richards won the men’s 400 individual medley for BYU, posting a 4:01.67 finish in the event.
Sorenson earned a second-place finish for the Cougars in the men’s 100 free, clocking a time of 45.02.
In the men’s 200 backstroke, Taylor raced to a time of 1:46.90, good enough for second place.
In the men’s 500 free, Luis Ventura clocked 4:40.38, good enough for a third-place finish.
In the last event of the day, Stirling, Sorenson, Jenkins and Taylor took second for BYU in the men’s 400 free relay with a time of 2:58.86.
“I am really happy with our performances against a strong Minnesota team,” BYU head diving coach Tyce Routson said. “Dreesen had his second best list of the year and beat out some skilled divers. We had Ali Tippetts-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.”
In the women’s 1-meter dive, Tippetts-Kottcamp posted the best score for BYU, diving to a 271.70 for fifth place overall.
Dreesen took the top spot for the Cougars in the men’s 3-meter dive event, earning a 398.20 for first place.
BYU swimmers and divers return to the Richards Building Pool to host rival Utah in its final home meet of the season Saturday, Jan. 23, at 11 a.m. MST, in Provo, Utah. Admission is free, and all fans are invited to come support the Cougars.