Senior Evan Castro came from behind on the last leg of the 200 breast to finish first (2:05.77) and help the men's team beat No. 19 BYU.
Feb. 4, 2005
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah men's and women's swimming and diving teams defeated Brigham Young University on Senior Night, to claim the regular-season MWC titles.
The women won the regular-season MWC title outright for the first time in the history of the program by beating BYU 155-88. Utah improves to 9-0 overall and 7-0 in the MWC to finish the dual-meet season undefeated for the first time in the history of the women's program. The women won 11 of the 13 events in the meet, and the Utes never trailed the Cougars. Last year, the women shared the MWC title with Colorado State.
The men earned a share of the regular-season MWC title by edging No. 19 BYU men's team 135-108. Utah never trailed in the meet, winning 11 of the 13 events to beat the Cougars for the first time since the 1996 season. Utah improves to 4-2 on the season and 3-1 in the MWC.
Utah honored its ten departing seniors in their last home meet of the season. Seniors Jorge Amorim, Evan Castro, Matan Ratz, Cody Rempfer, Katie Hathaway, Juliette Johnson, Marta Stepanczuk, Loren Sweny, Jamie Trapp and Melissa Young were honored before the meet in front of a full-capacity crowd.
The lady Utes jumped out to a 15-2 lead after finishing first and second in the 400 medley relay. Utah then swept the 1000 free with Stepanczuk (10:14.71), Rachael Curci (10:35.81) and Sweny (10:43.72) finishing first, second and third respectively. Sophomore Alison McInturff (1:50.97) then finished first in the 200 free to boost Utah's lead to 43-12. Amy Barefield (23.97) and Amber Walker (24.80) finished first and third, respectively, in the 50 free to help Utah's lead widen to 55-19.
After the break, freshman Michelle Blair finished first in the 200 fly with a time of 2:05.24, while McInturff (52.55) and Young (53.56) finished first and second in the 100 free to help Utah to a 98-33 lead. Sophomore Marissa Martin finished first in the 200 back (2:02.30) and Stepanczuk claimed her second win of the night in the 500 free with a time of 4:56.84. Curci finished second in the 500 free with a 5:04.86 mark.
In the diving competitions, sophomore Kelsey Patterson finished second in the 1-meter event with a score of 283.13 behind BYU's Angela Nelson, who scored 289.13 points. Patterson finished first in the 3-meter event with a score of 276.37.
For the men, Utah claimed the top spot in the 400 medley relay to take an 11-6 lead after the first event. Utah's Eric Jorgensen helped the Utes gain a 23-13 edge after finishing first in the 1000 free with a time of 9:43.79.
However, BYU would cut Utah's lead to three points at 29-26 after Ratz (1:42.02) finished second in the 200 free for Utah behind BYU's Kenneth Carpenter (1:41.56). Utah would go on to win the next nine events.
Utah improved its lead to four points, after junior Jonathan Larsen won the 50 free with a time of 20.97, edging out BYU's Brett Allen, who finished with a time of 21.08.
The Cougars wouldn't get any closer than that after Utah's Rempfer and Nick Galen finished first and second respectively in the 200 IM. Rempfer swam the event in 1:52.91, while Galen finished with a 1:54.50 mark to help Utah to an 11-point lead at 52-41.
After the diving break, Rempfer won the 200 fly with a time of 1:49.02 to put Utah up by 16 points at 64-48. Larsen won the 100 free with a time of 45.42, while Andrew Cole (1:51.27) finished first in the 200 back and Jorgensen won the 500 free with a time of 4:40.03 to help Utah to a 108-80 lead.
After the second diving break, Utah needed 14 points to seal the victory. Senior Evan Castro came from behind on the last leg of the 200 breast to finish first (2:05.77) and the 400 freestyle relay team of Cole, David Maasberg, Ratz and Nick Philpot finished second (3:07.52) to help Utah beat the Cougars for the first time in nine years.
Sterling Richards finished first in the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events with scores of 345.44 and 341.02 respectively.
"I'm very proud of both our teams," said Head Coach Michael Litzinger. "To have the men falter at the beginning of the year and come back and win their last four meets and earn a share of the MWC title is tremendous.
"For the women, it was business as usual. We shared the title last year with Colorado State, and our goal this year was to win it outright. I can't think of a better way to send off our seniors than a win over BYU and a MWC title. Evan Castro pulled through for us in the 200 breast, and that is something he has been doing consistently for us during his career at Utah."
Utah travels to Oklahoma City, Okla., to compete in the MWC Championships Feb. 23-26.