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BYU swim: Cougars prepare for the 2017 part of the season

Junior Preston Jenkins (center) stands in the pool after a race. He is one of the stalwarts for BYU swim and dive during the 2016-2017 season
Junior Preston Jenkins (center) stands in the pool after a race. He is one of the stalwarts for BYU swim and dive during the 2016-2017 season
Tabitha Sumsion, BYU

Swim and dive teams of BYU are in the middle of the 2016-2017 season and are ready to take on more competition.

To prepare for the remainder of the season, the Cougars finish the year 2016 and start 2017 with a week's worth of training at LaJolla High School in California.

“We are looking for a strong finish to the season with the last several home meets,” said BYU head coach John Brooks. “We have had several successful competitions in 2016 and we are always working to improve. Our teams are excited to take on the Utah Utes before we head to the MPSF and NCAA Championships.”

Several athletes have made huge strides in their competition, including Payton Sorenson, who earned a No. 4 rank in the country for the 50 freestyle and has received three athlete awards so far this season. Preston Jenkins has several first-place finishes in the backstroke and freestyle and thus far received one athlete of the week honor in the 2016-2017 season.

For the women, Anna Dahl is on the verge of breaking her personal and school record in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.34) and Tiare Coker continues to take first place in several of her butterfly and freestyle events. Lauren Shaw Taylor has also had several top-three finishes in the backstroke and received the Athlete of the Week award early in the season.

BYU’s teams continue their participation in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation for its sixth-consecutive season.

Senior Rainer Ng and junior Shawn Western will captain the men’s team throughout the season. They are eagerly working for another MPSF Championship win, hoping to add a fourth title to the previous three years. Last season, the men's team had six first-team All-MPSF honors and three second-team All-MPSF.

Emma Richards and Riley Merrill are captains for the women’s team. The team has placed fourth overall for the past two years. Last season, the women’s team had three first-team All-MPSF and five athletes that were second-team All-MPSF performers.

Keyka (Erica) Leonhard will be captain over the women’s dive team and Kevin Dreesen is over the men’s dive team. The diving team has already seen success throughout their first competitions of the season, with three of the men's divers already qualified for the NCAA championships in March 2017.

The first home swim meet of the 2017 season will take place on Jan. 6, at 5 p.m. MST, at home in the Richards Building against Harvard. Only the BYU men's swim team will be competing in the meet against Harvard, while the BYU women's swim team will have an intersquad competition.

The dive team will have its first meet the following week on Jan. 14, against Grand Canyon in Provo at noon MST.

Ralph R. Zobell has worked for BYU Athletic Media Relations in various capacities for over 30 years. You can view his bio at or contact him at