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Men’s swimming team competes against University of Utah.

January 8, 2021

Photography by Nate Edwards/BYU

Nate Edwards, BYU Photo

Local colleges: Swim coach Brooks released by BYU; UVU's Estrada earns WAC medalist honors

By Sean Walker, KSL.com | Updated - Apr. 21, 2021 at 7:19 p.m. | Posted - Apr. 21, 2021 at 6:21 p.m.



PROVO β€” Coming off one of its better years in recent program history, BYU's swimming and diving team will see a change at the top.

Head coach John Brooks will not have his contract renewed for the upcoming season, BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe announced Wednesday. Top assistant and sprint coach Shari Skabelund will serve as the program's interim head coach through the 2021-22 season.

Brooks has led the program since 2012, a span that saw the Cougars capture four Mountain Pacific Sports Federation titles and advance to the NCAA championships twice.

His tenure also includes four All-Americans earning nine citations, including current sprinter Josue Dominguez, who will represent the Dominican Republic at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

BYU is coming off an MPSF Championship in February, where the men's team won by 135 points over Hawaii and the women finished second with their second-highest conference team score in program history.

Dominguez was named MPSF men's swimmer of the year, with BYU's Katie McBratney earning women's swimmer of the year and Brooks named coach of the year following the meet.

That's coming from a program that has just four individual men's swimming championships in program history, all by freestyle swimmer Bud Shields in the 1920s. The Cougars have never finished above No. 20 at the NCAA championships, which they did in 1972.

The BYU women finished 11th overall in 1991, and won three individual titles β€” all by divers.

Skabelund, who has coached at BYU in various capacities since 1987, was a Region 18 champion in the 100-yard individual medley as a competitor in 1978 and the 100-yard butterfly in 1980, qualifying for AIAW nationals in 1978 and 1979. She was the first female swimmer to complete four years of eligibility at BYU.

UVU's Estrada crowned medalist at WAC championships, first NCAA qualifier in program history

Utah Valley freshman golfer Victoria Estrada birdied two of her final four holes to finish with a final-round 71 and medalist honors at the WAC women's golf championships, clinching the program's first-ever automatic berth in the NCAA Regional.

Playing near her hometown of Henderson, Nevada at Boulder Creek Golf Club in Boulder City, Estrada led the Wolverines to a fourth-place finish with a three-round team total of 0-0.

"Victoria played a spectacular round of golf today with an exceptional finish," UVU coach Sue Nyhus said. "The wind was steady all day but started gusting on the back nine. On her 18th hole she had to re-tee the ball three times because the wind kept knocking the ball off the tee. But it didn't bother her as she shot 2-under on the last four holes. With near birdies on the other two holes as well."

New Mexico State won the WAC team title with a 9-over-par 873, followed by Grand Canyon, Seattle, UVU and UT Rio Grande Valley.

Estrada advances to the NCAA Regionals, which will be held May10-12 at four different sites nationally. The field will be announced during the NCAA women's golf selection show April 28 on the Golf Channel.

Fernandez back-to-back POY as Cougars gather all-MPSF postseason awards

Also Wednesday, BYU men's volleyball star Gabi Garcia Fernandez was named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Year by conference coaches. The 6-foot-7 opposite from San Juan, Puerto Rico is the fifth player in league history to win back-to-back player of the year honors, and the third to be selected to the all-MPSF first team four times in his career.

A .300 hitter in 12 of BYU's 20 matches with 14 double-digit kill totals, Garcia Fernandez will lead the Cougars into the MPSF Tournament at 7 p.m. MDT Friday in Provo.

BYU's Davide Gardini and setter Wil Stanley were also named to the seven-member all-MPSF first team. Middle blocker Felipe de Brito Ferreira and outside hitter Zach Eschenberg earned second-team honors, and teammate Miki Jauhiainen was an all-MPSF honorable mention.

Volleyball history made

Weber State volleyball standout Rylin Adams made history Wednesday.

The 5-foot-9 senior from Lehi earned AVCA Division I All-America honorable mention honors, becoming the first Weber State's women's volleyball player to clinch All-American status in program history.

Adams averaged 4.40 kills per set on .228 hitting percentage in leading the Wildcats to Big Sky regular-season and tournament titles for the first time in program history, and Weber State's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1987. The senior was named Big Sky MVP and first-team all-conference, as well as to the Big Sky All-Tournament team and a member of the AVCA Pacific North All-Region team.

Adams wasn't the only All-American from the state of Utah, either.

Utah outside hitter Dani Drews, who became the first Ute to earn Pac-12 Player of the Year honors since joining the conference, was named first-team All-American by the AVCA. Utah teammate Kenzie Koerber joined her as a second-team All-American, and BYU's Kennedy Schenberg was named to the third team.

Also among the honorable mention recipients were BYU's Taylen Ballard-Nixon, BYU's Whitney Bower, and Utah Valley's Kazna Tanuvasa.

The full list of AVCA All-America honorees is available here.

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