Rebels Dominate Second Day At MWC Championship
Feb. 28, 2008
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - The UNLV men's swimming and diving teams completely dominated action on the second day of the 2008 Mountain West Swimming and Diving Championships held at the Oklahoma City Community College, winning four of the day's five events to move into first place with 306 points. The Rebel women meanwhile moved up two spots and currently are in third place with 214 points after claiming wins in three events.
The Rebel men, three-time defending champions, began the night with a 1-2-4 finish in the 500 free, beginning with Johan Claar's championship swim of 4:21.67. Claar's time is the second-fastest in UNLV history, and is a NCAA "B" time, as was teammate John Mendoza's time of 4:23.55, which placed him second. Kier Maitland meanwhile finished fourth in 4:26.66. Claar is the first Rebel to win the 500 free at the MWC championships since Jacint Simon won three straight titles from 2000-02.
Devin Phillips won the next conference title for the Rebels, as he claimed the 200 IM in a time of 1:49.01, also the second-fastest in UNLV history and just under the NCAA "B" time standards. It was also UNLV's second-ever title in the event. Tamas Bosnyak placed seventh in 1:52.90, while Jonas Andersson was eighth (1:54.22) and Jeff Ellingsen 12th (1:52.32).
UNLV posted a 1-2 finish in the night's next event, the 50 free, as Richard Hortness won in a new team record time of 19.73, and was the only swimmer to go under 20 seconds. He was also under the NCAA "B" time, as was Thomas Andolfsson, who took second in 20.16. Calan Eldridge scored in the event as well, taking eighth in 20.79.
Three Rebels scored on the 1-meter diving, led by Matt Arb's eighth place finish (257.60). Eli Tanimoto took 10th (250.55), while Vincent English was 13th (235.15). UNLV finished the night by winning the 200 free relay for the seventh time in the nine-year history of the MWC championships. Hortness, Phillips, Tiger Christian, and Andolfsson posted a time of 1:20.01, which is a NCAA "B" time.
UNLV now holds 36-point lead over second place Wyoming (270), while BYU is in third at 226. TCU is fourth (216), Air Force fifth (191), while Utah rounds out the men's field in sixth (134).
On the women's side, UNLV began with a fifth-place finish from Marva Harpak in the 500 free (4:54.36), fifth-fastest ever at UNLV. Kim Bonney then won UNLV's second MWC title of the meet, by taking the 200 IM in a new school record time of 2:01.47, and it was also a NCAA "B" time. Two more Rebels scored in the event, with Ana Dangalakova taking ninth (2:04.90) and Lisa Gillespie 12th (2:06.24).
Megan Hunt-Higgins then won the next event of the night, becoming the first Rebel to win a conference title in the 50 free since Sally Fleisher in 1987, by swimming a time of 22.86 to out-touch BYU's Aleesha Miller (22.95). The time was a new UNLV record, and is a NCAA "B" time. Marina Sandback placed third in the event in 23.10, while Madison Rousell was 10th (23.69) and Megan Clark placed 14th (24.02).
On the 3-meter diving, Wendy Williams led the way with a 13th-place score of 241.65, while Caitlin Kelly placed 15th (232.35). UNLV finished the night by winning the 200 free relay for just the second time ever at the MWC championships, this time in a new conference record time of 1:31.83, a NCAA "B" time. Hunt-Higgins, Bonney, Rousell, and Sandback teamed up for the win.
BYU leads the women's standings with 342 points, with Wyoming in second at 247.5. UNLV is third, and followed by Utah in fourth (210), Colorado State (155), New Mexico (112.5), TCU (108), San Diego State (81), and Air Force (67).
The four-day meet continues tomorrow, and will conclude on Saturday.