The Utes celebrate their Deseret Duel win
Dec. 1, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY - The noise was deafening as fans packed into Ute Natatorium to watch the Utah Utes take on the BYU Cougars. The two teams were neck and neck with the meet coming down to the final two events. The Utes won three out of four final heats to pull ahead, besting BYU 181-117 on the women's side and 156-144 on the men's side.
"The last time we beat BYU on both sides was in 2005," said Utah head coach Greg Winslow. "I'm really excited about that. I'm really just excited about how the team has come together after a long November, a lot of travel and a lot of different challenges. I am really happy and really proud of them."
For the athletes old and new, facing BYU is a matchup unlike any other.
"I feel like I am more excited for this meet than I am for conference, for Pac-12's," said Utah junior Samantha Zuch. "This whole week we were all so excited and it's way better than any other meet. It feels so good to win. We're all so happy and excited and there is no other feeling like it."
Even as a freshman, Bence Kira'y could feel the intensity of the rivalry.
"I was really excited before the meet, because this is not like a normal dual meet for us," said Kira'ly. "We were ready to beat them and I think everyone did great."
The Ute came out strong in the water and proved their all around depth as a team. Distance freestyle events were huge for Utah as Zuch took the top spot in the 1000 free (10:28.54), closely followed by Kayla Buck (10:33.62) and LeighAnne Oliver (10:46.09) in second and third.
Pulling another top-three sweep in the 500 free were Kira'ly, Holmstrom and Hansen (4:39.50, 4:46.50 and 4:46.76)
The Ute women claimed four out of five top times in the 200 fly, as Petra Soininen took the runner-up slot (2:05.93), followed by Paolina Carnevale (2:08.36), Sydney Bull (2:09.01) and Melissa Paakh placing third, fourth and fifth.
Swartz brought in her second win of the evening, topping the 50 free with a time of 23.76. Jamora followed in third (24.35).
Kiral'y earned another win, topping the 200 fly (1:52.32), while David Fraser was right behind in second (1:52.89).
Another win came for Swartz in the 100 free (52.24), capping her evening with an individual sweep. McMullan followed suit, taking the runner-up spot (53.47), while Treasa Ring was fifth (54.78).
Heaven headed the men's 100 free effort, finishing in third (47.02), while Bjorn Gunnarsson was fourth (47.33) and Holmstrom was fifth (47.35).
The Utes also topped the 100 fly on both ends with Soininen and Alexandre Fernandes winning their races (56.58 and 50.56).
Ligeza and Buck came away with a one-two finish in the 200 IM (2:05.38 and 2:09.89), while Sydney Bull was fourth (2:12.08).
The women summed up the meet with a win in the 400 free relay (3:30.46) due to the efforts of McMullan, Zuch, Caldwell and Jamora.
The divers were a key to the Utes success as Kersten Merry topped the 1-meter and Utah men won both events.
The Utah men swept the 1-meter with the Utes taking the top four places. Brandon Stoppelmoor came away with the win (327.60) and was followed by Jacob Crayne (304.65), Nelson Foo (298.80) and Caleb Herrick (287.92)
Herrick found the top spot in the 3-meter (343.12) with Foo close behind in second (336.82). Stoppelmoor took fourth (318.82).
Click here for full meet results.
The Utes take the weekend off from competition and then travel to Arizona to face the Arizona State Sun Devils Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. PT.