On Jan. 21, Utah and BYU fans braved the snowstorm and filed into the the Ute Natatorium for the holiest swimming and diving rivalry meet between the team down south and the team up north. The stands were full of the color red and a few dashes of blue as Cougars and Utes came to cheer on their favorite teams. In the end, the men scored 189-109 against the Cougars while the women won outstandingly with a score of 181-112.
This meet was different than the rest. Not only was it the rivalry meet, but it was also the last time the seniors would be competing at home. Senior McKay King, a transfer student who attended BYU for three years before coming to Utah for his senior year, was one of those seniors taking his last swim at the U.
“Ever since I transferred, this [meet] is what’s been on my mind, what’s gonna transpire at this meet,” King said. “I love being on the winning side of it.”
Coming in first place was a common finish for the Utes against the Cougars. Sophomore Daniel McArthur took first place in the 100 back (49.25) and the 200 back (1:49.48). Junior Jack Burton also came in first place in the 100 breast (56.88), while Ganem Tebet-Beaz came in at second (58.14). Burton also came in first place in the 200 breast (2:06.01).
“Before the meet [head coach Joe Dykstra] told us, ‘This is going to be one of the most fun meets of the season, but it’s going to be the most competitive where we are just going to go out there and race,’” said McArthur.
A 200 medley relay team consisting of Paul Unger, Burton, Colten Montgomery and Mckay King took first place, coming in at 1:29.49. Montgomery also came out on top during the 100 fly at 49.17.
The relay team of Shayla Archer, Genevieve Robertson, Kristine Pataray and Gillian St. John swam their way into first place in the 200 medley, touching the wall at 1:43.68.
Sophomore Jordan Anderson came in first in the 200 fly with a time of 2:06.32. Junior Dorien Butter came out on top during the 200 free with a time of 1:54.12 as well as the 100 free (52.11).
Robertson came out on top in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events with times of 1:04.74 in the 100 and 2:18.69 in the 200. Coming in at a close second was fellow Ute Stina Colleou who touched in at 1:05.65 in the 100 and 2:19.69 in the 200.
Senior Kristine Pataray finished in first place in the 50 free at 23.95. Junior Kat Wickham also finished in first in the 500 free touching in at 5:09.30. Another first place finish would go to sophomore Julienne Tadena in the 200 IM (2:07.56)
With everyone on the team excelling in each event, and the score being significantly high, the Utes managed to have some fun while competing. The Natatorium was full of teammates shouting, cheering and encouraging each other while standing on the sides of the pool. That encouragement helped Utah come out with several victories.
“The seniors really wanted to do well today, and I think the rest of the team really wanted to do well for the seniors,” Dykstra said. “We just competed really hard, which is what I’m proud of.”
Coming up next for the Utes will be the Air Force Diving Invitational in Colorado Springs on Jan. 27.