March 27, 2014
AUSTIN, Texas (UNLVRebels.com) - Facebook Photo Gallery
Thanks to its best day ever in the history of the UNLV men's swimming and diving team, in which it scored in three events on the same night for the first-time ever, the Rebels finished the first day of action in 13th place with 34 points on Thursday at the 2014 NCAA Men's Swimming Championships. This year's meet, which continues on Friday before concluding on Saturday, is being held at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center on the University of Texas campus.
Texas holds the first day lead with 146 points, just one point ahead of second place California (145), while Florida is third with 137. The Rebels are the only school from a non-power conference in the top 20 of the team standings, while their 34 points thus far is already the third most ever scored by UNLV at the NCAA championships. The action continues on Friday with preliminaries beginning at 9 am (PT) and the finals at 5 pm (PT). The night finals on both Friday and Saturday will be streamed live on ESPN3.com.
After turning in the morning's sixth-fastest swim in the first event, the 200 free relay in a new school record time of 1:17.30, the Rebels came back at night to again place sixth, this time with a 1:17.58. That gave UNLV its first-ever top-eight finish in the event, with its previous best a ninth-place showing in 2006, and the morning time also lowered the WAC record time the team had previously set a month ago. Earning Relay All-American honors due to their top-eight finish were sophomore Dillon Virva, sophomore Tom Paco-Pedroni, senior Guilherme Passos and sophomore Samuel Lameynardie.
UNLV had two individual swims on Thursday, highlighted by Virva in the 50 free, as the sophomore claimed his first career individual Honorable Mention All-American honor by placing 13th in a time of 19.43. The WAC and UNLV record holder had qualified 10th in the morning in 19.19, just off his career-best time of 19.11, and he is the first-ever Rebel to place in the top-16 at the national championships in the 50 free. His 13th place finish is also the highest individual finish by a UNLV swimmer since Kier Maitland's 10th place swim in the 1650 free in 2010.
Also swimming in the 50 free was Paco-Pedroni. The sophomore gave UNLV two top-20 finishes in the event, thanks to a career-best time of 19.51 that tied him for 19th place, just .09 seconds out of qualifying for the consolation heat.
The night finished with the 400 medley relay. Avoiding a DQ that had hit six other relay teams in the morning prelims, the Rebels were the last qualifier after placing 16th with a time of 3:09.25. In the night session, the quartet of sophomore Henrique Machado, senior David Szele, Virva and Paco-Pedroni posted a time of 3:09.78 that was good for 15th place, and earned all four swimmers Relay Honorable Mention All-America recognition.
UNLV will swim in four events on Friday: the 200 Medley Relay, the 100 fly (Virva), the 100 breast (Szele) and the 100 back (Machado).
2014 NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Championships
Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center
Thursday, March 27
First Day Results
13. UNLV - 34 points
200 Free Relay - Dillon Virva, Tom Paco-Pedroni, Guilherme Passos, Samuel Lameynardie - 6th (1:17.58)
Honorable Mention All-American status
50 Free - Dillon Virva - 13th (19.43)
400 Medley Relay - Henrique Machado, David Szele, Dillon Virva, Tom Paco-Pedroni - 15th (3:09.78)
Other UNLV swims
50 Free - Tom Paco-Pedroni - Tie-19th (19.51)
New UNLV and WAC Record Set
200 Free Relay - 1:17.30 (Dillon Virva, Tom Paco-Pedroni, Guilherme Passos, Samuel Lameynardie)