Seven Rebels Named To MWC 10-year Team
Oct. 15, 2008
LAS VEGAS - Seven former UNLV swimmers were named to the Mountain West Conference 10th Anniversary Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving Teams, it was announced by the conference on Wednesday. UNLV placed a league-high four swimmers on the 10-member men's team, while the Rebels' three representatives on the women's 10-member team was also the most of any MWC school.
The teams was selected by a combined panel of media, institutional and conference personnel, and an on-line fan poll. In order to be eligible for consideration, candidates must have been a first-team All-Mountain West selection at least once in their careers.
The four Rebels on the men's team were Jacint Simon, Jonathan Hugo, Joe Bartoch, and Richard Hortness. Simon is the only swimmer in conference history to be named MWC Swimmer of the Year three times, as he earned the award in 2000, 2001, and 2002 (the Rebels swam in the WAC his freshman season). Simon won a total of eight MWC individual titles, including three straight in the 200 and 500-yard free, while his time of 4:21.19 in the 500 free was a conference record until it was broken this past season.
Hugo (2002-05) was one of the top backstrokers in MWC history, as he won three straight titles in the 100-yard back (2003, 2004, 2005), and was also a strong sprint freestyler, capturing the MWC individual title in the 50 free twice (2003, 2004), and the 100 free title in 2003. He was the MWC Swimmer of the Year in 2003 with three individual titles and two relay championships, and lead UNLV to its first-ever MWC championship his senior year in 2004-05.
Bartoch was a part of three MWC championship teams, and turned in one of the most impressive performances in the conference championship meet history his senior season in 2005-06, when he two individual titles in conference record times (100 free in 43.63, 100 fly in 47.12). A three-time champion in the 100 fly (2003, 2005, 2006), Bartoch was the MWC Swimmer of the Year in 2006.
Hortness became the first swimmer to win the MWC "Sprinters Cup", as he won the 50, 100, and 200 free at the 2008 conference championships. All three of his swims rank as the second-fastest in MWC history, and he was named MWC Swimmer of the Year after leading UNLV to its fourth-straight men's championship title. Hortness was also the 200 free champion in 2007.
On the women's side, Lorena Diaconescu, Raluca Udroiu, and Kim Bonney were all selected to the team. Diaconescu was a three-time MWC Swimmer of the Year (2000, 2001, 2002), as she won a total of seven conference individual titles, including three straight in the 200 free (2000, 2001, 2002). Diaconescu also claimed titles in the 100 free (2000, 2002) and in the 500 free (2000, 2001), and swam on a total of five MWC championship relays. She still holds the UNLV record in the 100, 200, and 500 frees.
Udroiu is the top backstroker in school history, and won two MWC titles each in the 100 back (2003, 2005) and the 200 back (2002, 2003). She also added wins in the 200 IM (2005), and in the 400 IM (2002), and was twice named MWC Swimmer of the Year (2003, 2005). In 2005, she lead the Rebels to their first conference championship meet victory.
Kim Bonney (2005-08) is the most recent Rebel to be named MWC Swimmer of the Year, and she easily ran away with the award after winning all three of her individual swims at the 2008 championships. She not only set a new league record in the 200 breast, but also set new team records in the 100 breast and the 100 breast while also swimming on four championship relays, three in league record time. She finished her career with four individual titles after winning the 200 breast as a freshman in 2005.
Anniversary teams will be chosen for each of the 19 conference-sponsored sports during the 2008-09 seasons in celebration of the Mountain West's 10th season of play.
The MountainWest Sports Network - Mtn. will broadcast a series of special presentations highlighting the 10th year of the Mountain West Conference.