Rebels Take Four To NCAA Championships
March 22, 2006
LAS VEGAS - UNLV is sending four swimmers to this week's 2006 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships in Atlanta, Ga., and are ready for another strong finish after placing 24th in the 2005 championships.
The Rebels enter the meet having won their second straight Mountain West Conference championship, easily outdistancing the rest of the field, as they were 145 points over the second place BYU Cougars. Though UNLV does not bring as many as last year's NCAA team of six swimmers, they look to have a stronger chance in scoring in the individual events. This year's meet, being held at the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center, begins on Thursday and concludes on Saturday night.
UNLV's best chance to score in the individual events come with senior Joe Bartoch, the two-three defending MWC champion in the 100 yard fly. He is seeded 13th in the 100 fly as he enters the championships with a career-best and MWC record time of 47.12. Bartoch will also swim the 50 (28th seed) and 100 (22nd seed) frees, and on both relays for the Rebels.
Two Rebels are swimming two individual events each. Junior Brandon Nelms is the 29th seed in the 50 free and the 46th seed in the 100 free, while freshman Richard Hortness is seeded 48th in the 50 free and 44th in the 200 free. Both will swim the relays as well, and will be joined on them by junior John Byers.
UNLV will swim the 200 and 400 free relays this week at the NCAA Championships, with the 200 relay seeded 13th and the 400 free relay seeded 16th. Both relays won MWC championships titles back in February. The Rebels placed 13th in the 200 free relay and 16th in the 400 free relay in the 2005 NCAA Championships.