Three-Peat! Rebel men claim third-straight MWC Championship
Feb. 24, 2007
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - The UNLV men's swimming and diving team won three events on the final day, including an upset in the 1650 free, and ensured the victory with a win over BYU in the final event to claim its third straight conference title at the 2007 Mountain West Swimming and Diving Championships held at the Oklahoma City Community College. The Rebel women meanwhile finished the meet in third for the second straight year.
The Rebels would claim the men's title with 699.5 points to 684.5 for BYU. Air Force was third in 633, with Wyoming in fourth (520), Utah in fifth (459.5). and TCU took sixth place (431.5).
Johan Claar began things off with the upset of the meet, holding off Air Force's Chris Knaute in the 1650 free by less then half a second, 15:16.41 to 15:16.87. Knaute had entered the night on a quest to become the second swimmer in MWC history to win the same race four straight years, but instead fell to Claar, who shattered the previous UNLV school record by over 10 seconds.
The second win of the night was in the 200 breast, where Jonas Andersson claimed the title in a time of 1:58.17, the second new school record of the night. The third win came in the 400 free relay, which UNLV won for the third straight year, as Richard Hortness, John Byers, Claar, and Brandon Nelms outtouched the Cougars by just .18 seconds, winning in 2:57.80 to seal the championship title.
UNLV also claimed a total of two runner-up finishes, as Devin Phillips was second in the 200 back in 1:48.46, fourth-fastest ever in Rebel history, while Nelms was runner-up in the 100 free in 44.26.
Also scoring on the night for UNLV, beginning in the 1650 free, was Erik Ringdahl (10th, 16:01.70) and Matt Morton (16:15.97). In the 200 back, Jeff Ellingsen was fifth at 1:49.11, Tiger Christian was sixth at 1:49.77. Hortness was third in the 100 free (44.56), followed by John Byers in fifth (45.35). Tamas Bosnyak joined Andersson in scoring in the 200 breast as he finished fourth in 2:02.51, while Adrian Law (ninth, 1:51.12) and Daniel Egly (11th, 1:51.67) On the platform diving, Eli Tanimoto took 11th place (215.50), and Vincent English was 15th (190.30).
The UNLV women claimed two championship victories on Saturday. Lani Seaman won the 1650 free title in 16:45.43, fourth-fastest ever at UNLV, while Bailey Kuestermeyer won the 200 breast title in a time of 2:18.40.
Joining Seaman in scoring in the 1650 free was Marva Harpak (eighth, 17:28.23). In the night's next event, Amanda Weinbrecht earned runner-up honors in the 200 back, going 2:01.59, while Jenna Neff was 11th (2:06.40) and Kari Nettenstrom 14th (2:07.60). Marina Sandback led UNLV in the 100 free, taking fifth in 51.18, with Katie Wronn winning the consolation heat in 51.39, good for ninth.
Two more Rebels scored in the 200 breast, with Kim Bonney finishing fifth (2:22.26), and Norah Vogan 14th (2:25.35). Jenna Neff placed 15th in the 200 fly (2:11.64) in the final individual event. In the 400 free relay, Wronn, Lauren Browning, Megan Hunt-Higgins, and Sandback teamed up to finish third in 3:24.84.
BYU won the women's title with 747 points, with Utah taking second at 618, and the Rebels in third with 527. Wyoming was fourth (480), Colorado State came in fifth (406), TCU was sixth (394), New Mexico seventh (260), Air Force was eighth (173), San Diego State came in ninth (145).