March 22, 2005
LAS VEGAS - UNLV is sending six swimmers to this week's 2005 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships in Minneapolis, Minn., and are hoping to post the best team finish in the program's history. The Rebels are coming off their first-ever Mountain West Conference championship, where they ended BYU's five-year reign, and the six Rebels ties for the most going to NCAAs in school history. This year's meet, being held at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center, begins on Thursday and concludes on Saturday night.
"This is one of the largest team's we've ever taken to the NCAAs, and should be one of our best as well," said head coach Jim Reitz. "Only 12 other teams will take more swimmers then we will, so that should put us in a good position. Our hope is to score in all four relays, while getting as many second swims into the night scoring sessions as possible."
UNLV's best chance to score in the individual events come with junior Joe Bartoch, the two-time defending MWC champion in the 100 yard fly. He is seeded 16th in the 100 fly as he enters the championships with a career-best and MWC record time of 47.30. Bartoch will also swim the 50 (56th seed) and 100 (48th seed) frees, and on all four relays for the Rebels.
Three Rebels are swimming two individual events each. Senior Jonathan Hugo will swim both the 100 back (32nd seed) and the 100 free (56th seed), while sophomore Brandon Nelms is the 18th seed in the 50 free (19.77) and the 41st seed in the 100 free. Both will swim on all four relays as well. Senior Michael Day qualified in both the 100 (43rd seed) and the 200 (24th seed) flys.
Senior Patrick Adams qualified in the 100 breast (22nd seed), and will swim the breast leg on both the 200 and 400 medley relays, while classmate Bjorn Erickson is competing in the 100 breast (40th seed) and the 200 free relay.
UNLV will swim four relays this week at the NCAA Championships, with the 200 medley relay seeded eighth and the 200 free relay seeded 11th. Both set MWC and school records at the conference championships back in February. The Rebels will also swim in the 400 medley and free relays.