Rebels Finish Second In 2018 WAC Championships|
Feb. 24, 2018
HOUSTON, Texas (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV wrapped up action Saturday night with a second place finish and two more individual titles at the 2018 Western Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championships, held at the CRWC Natatorium on the campus of the University of Houston.Freshman Brad Gonzales recorded his second individual title of the championships in the 1650 free, while freshman Mark Theall won his first career title with a first place swim in the 100 free.The Rebels finished with 780 points, while Wyoming won this year's championships with 851.
UNLV had three swimmers in the top 10 scorers for the meet, Gonzales in third place with a point total of 55, freshman Grant Norgan in fifth who scored a total of 52 points, and senior Dylan Tarazona who followed behind in sixth with 51 points. Gonzales received Freshman of the Year, the second-ever Rebel to win the award and first since Tomasz Piotrowski in 1997.
THE RUNDOWN - MEN:
* Freshman Brad Gonzales took the 1650 free title after crushing the field with a swim of 14:54.18, a full 30 seconds ahead of the next finisher. His seeded time of 14:46.31 is the overall fastest time in program history. Junior Ethan Klien placed eighth with a personal best time of 15:52.60, dropping six seconds from his seed time. Gonzales is the first Rebel to win a conference title in the 1650 Free since Kier Maitland won four straight titles in the Mountain West from 2008-11.
* Freshman Grant Norgan finished fourth in the 200 back with a personal best time and an overall third best program time of 1:45.24, also a NCAA 'B' mark. Junior JP Piotrowski placed 13th with a swim of 1:49.52. Freshman Richard Szilagyi took 15th with a time of 1:50.94.
* Freshman Mark Theall won the 100 free title with a 43.66, giving UNLV a win in the event for the second straight year. His prelims time of 43.63 tied for the eighth best program time and a personal best, making this the final event in perfect sweep of the free events by the Rebels, as they previously captured the 50, 200, 500, 1650 Free events. Senior Forrest Beesley finished third in the event with a swim of 44.05, a NCAA 'B' time. Senior Or Sabatier followed behind in fourth, with a time 44.30. Senior Dylan Tarazona placed fifth, swimming a personal best of 44.32, only .02 seconds behind. Senior Rob Gilchrist finished seventh for the Rebels with a personal best of 44.51, giving the Rebels their highest scoring event of the night.
* Senior Francois Van Wynsberge placed fourth in the 200 breast, swimming a 1:58.63. His 1:57.67 in the morning prelims is the eighth-fastest on the record books at UNLV. Freshman Sean Gage finished eighth with a personal best of 2:01.24. Senior Serginni Marten won the consolation heat to place ninth with a swim of 2:00.29, a personal best.
* Senior Avi Cohen captured sixth in the 200 fly, touching the wall in 1:47.84. Senior Joe Starkweather finished 10th, recording a 1:51.65. Sophomore Dagen Kipling followed behind placing 11th with a swim of 1:51.71.
* UNLV set a season best time and an overall fifth-fastest program time in the 400 free relay which earned the team of Or Sabatier, Mark Theall, Dylan Tarazona and Forrest Beesley a first place title with a time of 2:53.49, almost four full seconds lower then its previous best time this season. It marks the second straight year, and fourth of the last five that UNLV won the WAC title in the event.
"I am very proud of what this team accomplished this weekend. Of course we'd love to walk away with the team title, but this was such a better effort than a year ago that the improvement stands out. The team scored so many more points, from the top of the roster to the bottom. Of course you have to hand it to our very motivated and large senior class, they really led the way in terms of preparing well for this Championship. But our freshmen guys were phenomenal, and point toward great things to come."
"We are looking forward to having Brad represent UNLV at the NCAA National Championship in a few weeks."
"The last relay tonight was a real barn-burner, a big nod to Dylan Tarazona on leg three for closing the gap, and anchor Forrest Beesley for finishing strong."
-HEAD COACH BEN LOORZ
2018 WAC Men's Swimming & Diving Championships
Saturday, February 24
Final Day Results
1. Wyoming - 851
2. UNLV - 780
3. Grand Canyon - 630
4. Air Force - 447
5. CSU Bakersfield - 376
6. Seattle - 246
1650 Free - 1st place - Brad Gonzales (14:54.18*)
200 Back - 4th place - Grant Norgan (1:45.24*)
100 Free - 1st place - Mark Theall (43.56*), 3rd place - Forrest Beesley (44.05*), 4th place - Or Sabatier (44.30), 5th place - Dylan Tarazona (44.32), 7th place - Robert Gilchrist (44.51)
^ - NCAA 'A' Automatic Time
* - NCAA 'B' Provisional Time
~ - NCAA Diving Zone Qualifying Score