Jaren Wilkey, BYU

Senior Payton Sorenson and freshman Gwen Gustafson stood out during the Deseret First Duel on Saturday afternoon at the Ute Natatorium despite falling to Utah.

“We fought hard and swam better than we previously have at this meet and at this time of the year,” BYU head coach John Brooks said. “Despite coming up short, I wouldn’t want to coach a better group of men and women.”

Sorenson and Gustafson dominated in the freestyle events. Sorenson took the win for the men in both the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle with times of 20.57 and 45.36, respectively. Gustafson led the women, posting times of 23.54 in the 50-yard freestyle and 51.44 in the 100-yard freestyle.

The relays kicked off the meet as the men took the win in the 200-yard medley relay with a team of Kunmi Ogunfeibo, Josue Dominguez, Javier Matta and Sorenson. Teammates Brynn Sproul, Mariah Lindsay, Ellie Thornbrue Brinton and Gustafson also placed high in the 200-yard medley relay, taking second for the women.

Cougars Matta and Tiare Coker both earned second in their individual 200-yard freestyle events with times of 1:42.83 and 1:53.40, respectively. Coker continued to shine as she touched second in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 56.58. Tama Tuitama also posted a second-place time of 1:51.48 in the men’s 200-yard backstroke.

Lindsay continued to impress as she came in second in the 200-yard breastroke, earning a time of 2:22.73. She put the crowd on its feet at the end of the meet as she out-touched Ute Sarah Lott, helping BYU take first in the women’s 400-yard freestyle relay at 3:26.81.

The dive team started the meet on Friday night competing in the men’s 1-meter and the women’s 3-meter.

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On Friday, Nathan Gonzales secured the win for BYU in the 1-meter event with a score of 336.90. Morgan Mellow took the lead for the women in the 3-meter event, placing third and recording a season-high 297.38.

For the divers on Saturday, Gonzales came in second at 340.13 in the 3-meter, while Kennedy Cribbs took the lead for BYU in the women’s 1-meter, posting a score of 270.08.

The dive team will next compete in the Air Force Invitational for its final competition of the season on Feb. 1-2. The meet will be held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the USAFA Cadet Natatorium.