Rebels Win Two Events On Second Day Of The WAC Championships|
Feb. 23, 2017
HOUSTON, TEXAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The Rebels held off Grand Canyon to win the 200 free relay and Kasey Foley captured the 50 free sprint title on Thursday night at the 2017 WAC Men's Swimming and Diving championships, held this year at the University of Houston's CRWC Natatorium. The Rebels ended the second day with 208 points, trailing second day leader Wyoming (285), Air Force (267) and Grand Canyon (242).
"I was really proud of entire team today, we far exceeded the predictions," said head coach Ben Loorz. "That is what we have been training to do, and expecting to do. Everyone really stepped up to get the job done in the morning prelims, giving us a chance to fulfill our potential at night. In finals, we had a couple back-slides, but clearly had some phenomenal examples of rising to the occasion as well."
In the highlight of the night for UNLV, Or Sabatier, Kasey Foley, Dylan Tarazona and Tom Paco-Pedroni claimed the third-fastest time in program history with its 1:17.55 first-place finish. This was the Scarlet & Gray's fourth straight title in the 200 free relay, and it came in a NCAA `A' Automatic time bringing them up to 11th in the country.
Foley, a senior from Willows, California, posted the second-best time in program history in the 50 free with his 19.48 finish. This is the Scarlet & Gray's fifth straight 50 free conference title, and fourth straight in the WAC as they extended Dillon Virva's streak from 2014-16. With Foley's NCAA `B' provisional time in the event, he has a strong chance of reaching nationals as he currently sits 18th in the nation.
He wasn't the only Rebel to score in the event, as Sabatier took third (19.72) and Paco-Pedroni was fourth (19.74), both in NCAA `B' times as well. In the consolation heat, Tarazona placed 12th (20.14, personal-best), Forrest Beesley was 13th (20.31, personal-best) and Joe Starkweather finished 15th (20.35, tied for personal-best).
"A huge congrats to Coach Patrick Orta and his sprinters, they were lights-out tonight," Loorz said. "We knew this sprint group could generate an NCAA "A" cut on a relay, but the 200 Free Relay has so many small details, and it is such a fast cut that it's never a guarantee. But luck favors the prepared, and our guys were rock-solid tonight, great starts, great turns, just really good execution."
The day started off with the 3-meter board, where Robert Morgan led the Rebels by finishing 9th, scoring 292.60 points. Alex Rojas would finish 16th, earning 180.20 points. The next event on the night was the 200 IM, where UNLV saw Francois Van Wynsberghe finish eighth in 1:49.23. His swim of 1:48.74 in the preliminaries was the seventh-fastest time in school history. Chris Havton was 12th in a time of 1:50.40, while Christian Sobczak claimed 18th (1:51.40).
In the 500 free finals, spring transfer Jan Kutnik finished third with a time of 4:25.02, good for the sixth fastest time in program history. Ethan Klein captured 12th (4:28.84), while he now sits 10th on the all-time program list with his preliminary performance time of 4:28.18. Brenton Sayers rounded out the 500 free scorers for the Rebels, finishing 16th with a time of 4:42.77.
The four day meet continues on Friday before concluding on Saturday night.
2017 WAC Men's Swimming & Diving Championships CRWC Natatorium Houston, Texas