Nov. 8, 2007
LAS VEGAS -
BYU-UNLV Swim Notes
The UNLV Rebels men's and women's swimming and diving teams open conference play this Friday as they travel to BYU for a dual meet at 5 PM PST. The Rebel women had their meet at San Diego State cancelled due to the wildfires last week, so this, along with the men, is their first meet since the Arizona State meet.
Women's Preview: The UNLV women's swim team comes into Saturday's meet still feeling out its incomers, while the returners are just getting settled in. The Rebels have a wealth of talent in all of the events, so now it is just time for them to start performing.
The top returnees for the Rebels have to be Bailey Kuestermeyer, Kim Bonney and Marina Sandback. Kuestermeyer is the defending MWC champion in the 200 breast and will contend for the conference title in both IM events. Bonney, who also swims breast and IM, will team with Kuestermeyer to form one of the best 1-2 punchs in both events in the country. Sandback is the team's top returning sprint free swimmer and will look to claim a MWC title this season after finishing fifth at the conference swim a year ago.
Also returning to the mix this season are Amanda Weinbrecht, Marva Harpak and Megan Hunt-Higgins. Weinbrecht is a backstroke specialist, but also contributes in butterfly events. She was the runner-up last season in the 200 back, so another year of seasoning could render a MWC championship come March. Harpak was stellar in her freshman season a year ago, proving herself to be one of the top distance free swimmers in the Mountain West. Hunt-Higgins will be looked upon to step up this season after swimming well at the conference meet a year ago.
Roxy Camuso and Ana Dangalakova are two sophomores that are going to be looked upon to steadily improve this year. Camuso swam at the conference meet last season, and is a swimmer to watch throughout the year. Dangalakova, who didn't swim last season, shocked everyone in 2005-06 when she took home the 400 IM title, and was the highest point scorer in that meet for UNLV. A return to form from her will be intregal to the success for the Rebels. The freshman class is large in numbers and talent this year. Lisa Gillespie (IM, Back), Bridget Crowley (Sprint Free), Madison Rousell (Sprint Free) and Samantha Plantaric (Free/Fly/Back) should all contribute this season, while fellow freshmen Megan Clark and Kelsey Clarke will also provide depth.
Men's Preview: The #21 Rebel men open their conference slate this weekend as they travel to Provo, Utah for a huge MWC meet with the Cougars of BYU. The Rebel men have a ton of talent and depth this season, as they try to win their fourth-straight Mountain West title. The mix of youth and veterans will be something to watch throughout the season for the men, as they have a very strong freshman class to go with the already experienced-laden group returning.
Leading the returners for UNLV are Richard Hortness, Johan Claar and Jonas Andersson. Hortness, who already has been named MWC swimmer of the week this season, returns as one of the best sprint free swimmers in the nation. Claar was among the top distance free swimmers in the county last season, and will contend again in the Mountain West. Andersson returns as the Rebels best breast swimmer, as he was top three in both breast events at the conference meet.
Devin Phillips and Tamas Bosnyak will be solid senior contributors, along with returners Thomas Andolfsson and Jeff Ellingson. The freshman class is chock-full of talent, highlighted by David Seiler, Peter Lorring and Kier Maitland. John Mendoza will score well at distance events, while Mike Merrill should compete well in sprint events.