Utes knock out BYU second year in a row

S-Swimming Colby Patterson
Freshman Nolan Rogers competes in the breaststroke at a meet earlier this month at the Ute Natatoriume. Photo by Chris Ayers.

Freshman Nolan Rogers competes in the breaststroke at a meet earlier this month at the Ute Natatoriume. Photo by Chris Ayers.

Utah’s swim and dive teams drove down south to take on rival BYU, but came out on top as they beat the Cougars for the second straight year on Friday night.

The Utes won handily on the both sides and broke three pool records in the process. The men came away with a 172-128 victory while the women were just as impressive winning by a score of 175-125.

“I knew [BYU] could give us some trouble and they certainly did. I also knew if we took care of our business, we’d come out okay,” said head coach Joe Dykstra.

Taking care of business is exactly what they did. Bence Kiraly broke a 10-year-old pool record in the 400-yard individual medley touching in 3:56.64. Nick Soedel broke the other two records, finishing with a time of 19.91 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle and a 43.90 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle. The pool records that Soedel broke dated back to 2006 and 2007.

“That was [Soedel’s] first time dipping under twenty seconds in a duel meet. There are not a lot of people out there that go sub-twenty seconds in a duel meet,” said Dykstra.

Trying to mentally prepare for a race in swimming can be exhausting, but for Soedel, it’s rather easy.

“I don’t really think when I do the [50-yard freestyle],” Soedel said. “I envision my race when I get on the blocks and when they say take your mark, I hold my breath and jump off. I just blink after that.”

Although it was a night to remember individually for Soedel, he was also happy with how well the team performed as a unit.

“We all got behind each others backs and pushed through,” Soedel said. “Everyone was really confident when we came here. We were here on a mission and it feels pretty good.”

The divers also contributed to the victory as Kersten Merry nabbed victories in the 1-meter (299.93) and 3-meter dives (300.52). On the men’s side, Josiah Purss finished first in the 1-meter dive with Jacob Crayne winning 3-meter.

Although Utah “swam” away with the victory, the team still needs to fine-tune certain things before it can make the jump to the next level. The Utes next meet comes against Denver, who just recently beat BYU as well. Soedel knows how important it is to focus on the little things to get a big result.

“Tweak little things in our races. People, including me, had some bad turns and starts,” he said.

With only two meets left until Pac-12 championships, coach Dykstra is stressing his team to focus on all aspects of their swims in order to get past Denver and push forward to the end of the season.

“We’ve got to be better than we were today to go up and win at Denver next week,” he said. “I told them after our meeting today. I said we’re still making too many mistakes and not paying enough attention to the small details on an everyday basis. And if we want to go from being a good team to a great team. We have to get better at the small details each and every day at practice.”

i.smith@chronicle.utah.edu