Night Of The Sprinters
Feb. 25, 2010
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - A record-setting performance in the 50 yard free propelled the UNLV men's squad into first place after the second day of action on Thursday night at the 2010 Mountain West Conference Swimming and Diving Championships held at the Oklahoma City Community College Aquatic Complex. The Rebels won a total of three events on the men's side to jump from third to first place, while the Rebel women made a move of their own, rising up two spots into sixth place.
The highlight of the night for the Rebels was the men's 50 free, as UNLV became the first-ever school in conference history to record the top seven finishes in the same event. Steven Nelms won the event in a time of 20.02, the third straight year a Rebel won the 50 free title. He was followed by Kyle Virva (20.17), Cody Roberts (20.22) and Andrew Morrell (20.27), all of who posted NCAA 'B' times. In fifth place was Charlie Tapp (20.38), while Calan Eldridge was sixth (20.38) and Thomas Andolfsson seventh (20.43). Michael Lowenstein also scored in the event, tying for 11th in a time of 20.86. UNLV scored a total of 112.5 points in the event, the fourth of the night, which jumped them from third into first place in the standings.
Kier Maitland began the night for the Rebels by defending his title in the 500 free with a new MWC record time of 4:19.82. Classmate John Mendoza tied for second with a swim of 4:24.89, and both times for the Rebels were 'B' cuts. Tyler Bush placed 16th in the event, swimming 4:36.20 for 16th.
Next was the 200 IM, where Nick Blank just missed out on a repeat championship, placing second in a 'B' time of 1:48.54. Right behind was teammate David Seiler in third, as he touched the wall in 1:49.05, also a 'B' time.
UNLV ended the night by winning the 200 free relay for the 10th time in the 11-year history of the event. Nelms, Tapp, Andolfson and Virva teamed up to post a time of 1:19.24, more then two seconds ahead of the runner-up Air Force squad. The swim was another 'B' performance.
The Rebels finished the day with 303 points to stand atop the men's standings, moving past first-day leader BYU, who is second with 285.5 points. In third is Wyoming with 236, while Air Force is fourth (212.5), TCU is fifth (146), and Utah sixth (136).
On the women's side, UNLV started out by placing two in the top 16 of the 500 free. Marley Prothero was seventh with a swim of 4:58.34, while Nakayla Chan placed 11th in 4:57.61. Lisa Gillespie followed with a fourth-place performance in the 200 IM in a time of 2:01.81, a NCAA 'B' time. Also scoring in the event was Brittany Ozar in eighth (2:04.56) and Ana Dangalakova in 10th (2:03.38).
Four Rebels scored in the consolation heat of the 50 free. Madison Rousell was 10th in 23.29, while Haley Porter was 11th (23.41), Megan Clark 14th (23.66) and Andree-Anne Genereux 15th (23.77). UNLV would place fourth in the 200 free, with Rousell, Porter, Clark and Genereux posting a time of 1:33.22.
BYU remained in first on the women's side with 320 points after two days. Wyoming is second with 288, while San Diego State is third (194), Utah fourth (166), and Colorado State fifth (141). UNLV stands with 134 points for sixth, and is followed by TCU in seventh (103), New Mexico in eighth (92) and Air Force rounds out the field in ninth with 41 points.
The four-day meet continues tomorrow, and will conclude on Saturday.