Grand Canyon University swimmer
Courtesy of: Kyle Staggs
ROCKWALL, Texas, March 22. THE College Swim Coaches Association of America is hosting a new collegiate swimming championship that will feature two universities making the transition to Division I, as well as a few others that would be considered mid-major programs.

The CSCAA Collegiate Classic will feature eight Division I teams, and will largely be a showcase for Grand Canyon University and University of the Incarnate Word. Both teams are in the first of a four-year transition from Division II to Division I in the NCAA, and as such are not allowed to compete in the NCAA championships. The other teams either have swimmers that were on the brink of making the NCAA roster or are still working to bring their programs to that level. A couple of swimmers in the four-day meet that starts tomorrow could have vied for scoring positions in next week's men's NCAA championships, so they will be looking to do virtual battle with those racing further south in Austin.

One of those swimmers is Thiago Parravicini from Incarnate Word, whose 1:54.67 in the 200 breaststroke would have ranked 17th in next week's Division I meet. Parravicini swam in the Texas Invite last December, posting a 1:55.49. He placed in the top three in 2013 and 2014 in the 200 breast at the Division II championships.

Iegor Lytvenok of Grand Canyon posted a 400 IM time of 3:45.59 that would have barely earned him an invitation to the NCAA championships, and he'll be the class of the field not only in that event, but in the 200 IM, where he's the top seed with a 1:44.84. He'll contend with Brigham Young's Jake Taylor for the win in the 200 backstroke, where Taylor takes the top position with a 1:42.42. That time missed out on an invitation to the NCAA championships by one hundredth of a second.

On the women's side, Grand Canyon freshman Hannah Kastigar will be the star of the meet, coming in as the top seed in the 400 IM and 200 fly. She'll race Western Kentucky's Nadine Laemmler for the 200 IM win, where Laemmler comes in with the top-ranked time of 1:59.92 to Kastigar's 2:00.68.

Another swimmer to watch is Grand Canyon's Michael Branning, who won the Division II title last year in the 50 free. He and teammate Illya Glaunov are the only two swimmers with seed times under 20 seconds, as Branning has a 19.77 to his credit to Glazunov's 19.80.

With the meet new to the list of championship meets, many of the events have only enough swimmers to warrant a timed-final swim. Only two events -- men's 200 free and 100 free -- have more than 16 swimmers entered.

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