Rebels Split With Sun Devils.
Oct. 30, 2005
LAS VEGAS - Two first-place swims by freshman Johan Claar in his first collegiate meet and a first-place finish in the final relay lifted the UNLV men's swimming and diving team past No. 25 Arizona 121-120 in the season opener for the Rebels on Sunday afternoon from Buchanan Natatorium, while the 17th-ranked Sun Devil women posted a 134.5-107.5 win. It is the second straight year the UNLV men have opened the season by defeating a ranked ASU squad.
In the men's meet, the Rebels (1-0) began by winning three of the first five events for a slight 47-46 lead. UNLV started by taking the top two spots in the 400 medley relay, in times of 3:25.37 and 3:28.32. Claar then just held off Arizona State's Lucas Azevedo in the 1000 free, winning by 0.19 seconds, and his time of 9:22.60 was the fourth fastest in UNLV history. Brandon Nelms (20.68) and Joe Bartoch (20.78) followed with a one-two finish in the 50 free. The Sun Devils climbed back into the meet after sweeping the 1-meter diving, and added a first-place in the 200 fly to take a 74-56 edge.
Bartoch's first-place swim in the 100 free (45.44) cut into the ASU lead, and the turning point came in the following event. Tiger Christian (1:52.39), Devin Phillips and Adam Martinson gave UNLV a 1-2-3 sweep in the 100 back, and an 87-81 lead in the meet. Claar then posted his second win of the meet, winning the 500 free by almost four seconds over Azevedo in a time of 4:31.45. A second ASU diving sweep, this time in the 3-meter, gave the Sun Devils a 105-100 lead, and they held a 116-108 edge going into the final relay. Needing to post at least a first and third place finish in the 400 free relay to win, the Rebels did just that, as they took first in a time of 3:04.65 to win by one point.
On the women's side, Arizona State won the first four events to grab a 50-24 lead, and the Rebels were not able to come within 20 points the rest of the meet. The UNLV freshmen did provide several highlights for the team however, as Bailey Kuestermeyer won both the 400 IM (4:29.03) and the 200 breast (2:19.73), while Amanda Weinbrecht took the 200 breast in 2:04.52. Wendy Williams was first on the 3-meter board for UNLV with a score of 249.23, and the Rebels closed out the meet by out-touching Arizona State in the 400 free relay by 0.09 seconds, with a time of 3:29.43.
Next up for UNLV, the teams will travel to Forth Worth, Texas, to take on TCU in a Mountain West Conference meet on Friday at 12 pm (PST).