Feb. 23, 2013
MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (UNLVRebels.com) -
The 25th-ranked UNLV men's swimming and diving team came from behind on the final day to win its first-ever Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship title on Saturday night from the East Los Angeles College campus. It's the eighth league title in the last nine years for the Rebels, who had won seven straight championship trophies in the Mountain West from 2005-11. UNLV entered the final event needing a top three finish to clinch the victory, and would finish second in the 400 free relay to post 613 total points, while Wyoming was the overall runner-up with 603.5 and BYU came in third with 598. UNLV head coach Jim Reitz was also named the MPSF Men's Coach of the Year.
UNLV began the day trailing BYU by five points, and were down to Wyoming by 14.5 points after the first two races of the night. The Rebels turned the meet around though thanks to having a total of eight swimmers in the finals of the next three events. First up was the 100 free, where Samuel Lameynardie posted a runner-up finish in a new UNLV record time of 43.22, which is also a NCAA 'B' time. He was joined in the top eight by Guilherme Passos (seventh, 44.82) and Tom Paco-Pedroni (eighth, 44.85). UNLV scored two more in the event, with Dillon Virva winning the consolation heat to place ninth in 44.99, and Cody Roberts adding a 13th place finish in 45.34.
The Rebels again placed three in the top eight of the next event, the 200 breast. Giacomo Gremizzi would place second with a time of 1:58.80, a NCAA 'B' standard and the fifth fastest in school history. David Szele was fourth in 1:59.30, a 'B' time as well, and Brandon Meier placed eighth. UNLV then won its lone event of the night, the 200 fly, as Balint Batka defended his title from a year ago while also setting a new MPSF record with a 'B' time of 1:44.59, the third fastest swim in school history. Also scoring was Joe Riggert in eighth (1:50.23), Andrew Mooers in 12th (1:49.86) and Dylan Wolf in 14th (1:50.79).
After the diving scores were factored in, with Lucas James' placing 13th with a score of 233.45, UNLV stood with 579 points while Wyoming was right behind with 571.5 entering the last event of the night, the 400 free relay. Wyoming would have to finish at least three places ahead of UNLV to take the lead, but instead the Rebels posted a runner-up finish behind BYU, posting a time of 2:55.50 third-fastest time in program history and a 'B' standard. Making up that relay squad was Paco-Pedroni, Virva, Gremizzi and Lameynardie.
The night had started with the 1650 free, where Matt Roe would place in sixth thanks to a 'B' time of 15:26.90. Machado also scored in the 200 back for the Rebels, touching the wall in 1:46.18, the third-fastest time in school history and a 'B' time, to place fourth.
The next competition for the Rebel swimmers will be the NCAA Championships, held this year on March 28-30 in Indianapolis, Ind.
Saturday, February 23
New Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Record Set
New UNLV Record Set
^ - NCAA 'A' Provisional Time