ROCKWALL, Texas, March 24. GRAND Canyon University picked up five wins on the second night of competition at the CSCAA Collegiate Classic in Rockwall, Texas as numerous season bests fell by the wayside.
Western Kentucky opened night two with a win in the women’s 200 medley relay, as the quartet of Nadine Laemmler (24.96), Claire Conlon (28.23), Susan Marquess (24.50) and Paige Drazga (23.01) cruised to a 1:40.70, more than a second in front of Rice’s 1:41.75 and Grand Canyon’s 1:42.43. Minutes later, the men’s 200 medley relay finish came down to the final touch. Incarnate Word built a huge lead on Grand Canyon over the first three legs, touching a full second ahead at the last exchange, before GCU’s Michael Branning made the race very interesting. Branning outsplit Incarnate Word’s Mehdi El Hazzaz, 19.34 to 20.38, to nearly erase the deficit, but Incarnate Word had just enough left to win, 1:28.79 to 1:28.84. Daniel Torres (22.08), Thiago Parravicini (24.66) and Andrii Nikishenko (21.67) joined El Hazzaz on the winning relay. Western Kentucky rounded out the top three in 1:29.65.
Grand Canyon freshman Hannah Kastigar completely dominated the women’s 400 IM, winning by almost nine seconds with a 4:13.79. That lowered her own school record of 4:14.69 from last month’s Western Athletic Conference Championships. Rice’s Lauren Fitzgerald, also a freshman, came in second with a 4:22.19, while her teammate, Shelbi Ragsdale, touched third in 4:23.33. BYU picked up its first win of the meet as junior Rafa Alfaro cruised to the men’s 400 IM title with a time of 3:48.58. Louisville’s Loui Little touched six seconds behind in 3:54.77, just ahead of Grand Canyon’s Iegor Lytvenok (3:54.99).
The Cougars made it two wins in a row after senior Kim Doroghian picked up her first win of the meet in the women’s 100 fly. Doroghian posted a 54.41 to easily outdistance Grand Canyon’s Rebecca Coan (55.31) and Western Kentucky’s Courtney Marx (55.54). In the men’s 100 fly, Grand Canyon senior Ivan Nechunaev got to the wall first in 47.36, just ahead of Western Kentucky’s Tyler Groneck, who touched at 47.74. BYU’s Lucas Aquino rounded out the top three in 48.05.
Five swimmers cracked 1:50 in the women’s 200 free, led by Rice’s Cora McKenzie, who also broke 1:49 with a 1:48.92 for the win. McKenzie passed second place finisher Susan Marquess of Western Kentucky down the stretch after Marquess went out fast in 52.98. Marquess wound up second in 1:49.03, while Rice’s Karina Wlostowska beat out two others for third with a 1:49.78. Grand Canyon’s Illya Glazunov, last night’s winner of the 50 free, displayed some versatility in the freestyle events with a victory in the 200. Glazunov touched in 1:37.37 to top Western Kentucky’s Jesse Musser (1:38.34) and Incarnate Word’s Mehdi El Hazzaz (1:38.42) by roughly a second.
In the women’s 100 breast, Western Kentucky’s Claire Conlon and Rice’s Rachel Moody separated themselves from the pack from the get-go and pushed each other down the stretch in a wire-to-wire finish. After turning with a .34 second advantage at the 50, Moody held on for the win by .04, 1:01.41 to Conlon’s 1:01.45. BYU’s Riley Buer separated herself from the field to take third in 1:04.68. Meanwhile, in the men’s 100 breast, Incarnate Word teammates Rostik Fedyna and Thiago Parravicini pushed each other to greater heights, as both swimmers broke 54 and finished 1-2, with Parravicini taking the win in 53.49 and Fedyna coming in second in 53.83. Connor Dwyer of Western Kentucky claimed third place honors in 54.41.
Western Kentucky backstroke ace Nadine Laemmler led the way in the women’s 100 back with a stellar 53.13, half a second faster than her previous season best of 53.68 from the Conference USA Championships. Grand Canyon’s Iryna Glavnyk also blew away her season best by over a second with a 53.85 for second. Glavnyk had previously been 54.93 at the WAC Championships. Western Kentucky’s Allie Duff took third in 54.63. BYU got its third win of the night in the men’s 100 back as sophomore Jake Taylor topped the final heat in 47.47. Incarnate Word’s Daniel Torres also broke 48 with a 47.91, while Incarnate Word’s Andrii Nikishenko touched third in 48.67.
Grand Canyon closed out the women’s events with a victory in the 800 free relay. Rebecca Coan (1:51.86), Samantha Magnani (1:52.07), Hannah Kastigar (1:51.20) and Iryna Glavnyk (1:48.32) finished in 7:23.45, just off their season best of 7:22.72 from the WAC meet last month. Rice (7:24.65) and Western Kentucky (7:29.96) finished second and third. The Grand Canyon men made it a sweep of the distance relay as Jacob Lambros (1:38.80), Mazen El Kamash (1:38.54), Illya Glazunov (1:37.18) and Iegor Lytvenok (1:40.44) posted a 6:34.96 to beat BYU (6:36.42) and Western Kentucky (6:41.05) to the wall.