LAS VEGAS, Nevada. January 5. UNLV’s Johan Claar set a new Mountain West Conference record to highlight the day as the Rebels swam North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Wyoming in an unscored invitational on Thursday afternoon from Buchanen Natatorium. The meet however did count as a conference meeting between UNLV and Wyoming, and the Rebels pulled off a sweep, with the men (4-1, 3-1) claiming a 145.5-95.5 win, while the UNLV women (3-3, 3-2) won 150.5-90.5.
The divers led the way for the Cowboys as they finished in first, second and third place on both diving boards. John Lynch won both the 1 and 3-meter competitions with respective scores of 303.53 and 279.15. Kevin Bretting placed second with scores of 249.23 and 250.65 while Tyler Miller placed third with scores of 224.25 and 250.13.
On the men’s side, the Rebels claimed first place in nine of 13 events against the Cowboys to earn the win. Overall against all three men’s teams, Claar won both of his events to push his consecutive win streak to 15 collegiate races in his freshman season. His first win came in the 1,000 free, swimming a time of 9:17.82 to break the previous conference record by over two seconds. Former Rebel Jacint Simon held the previous record, at 9:19.87. Claar also won the 500 free with a time of 4:30.70.
On the Cowboys side of the dual, Eli Bell and Ron Fogel each swam to dual wins over the Rebels. Bell won the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:42.43 and Fogel won the 200 butterfly in a time of 1:52.39. Henry Holmberg placed second in both the 500 and 1000 freestyles and Alex Larkin placed second in the 200 breaststroke.
Winning events for UNLV in the overall invitational was Brandon Nelms in the 50 free (20.81), Joe Bartoch in the 100 free (45.40), and Jonas Andersson in the 200 breast (2:06.69). The Rebels’ 400 medley relay squad of Devin Phillips, Andersson, Bartoch, and Nelms placed first with a time of 3:24.60, while Bartoch, Nelms, Richard Hortness, and Claar swam to a first place swim in a time of 3:05.62.
On the women’s side, the Rebels claimed wins in nine of 13 events to claim its third conference win of the season. Winning events for UNLV against the Cowgirls was Wendy Williams on the 1-meter board (269.10), Ana Danalakova in the 200 free (1:55.20), Katie Wronn in the 50 free (24.02), Bailey Kuestermeyer in the 200 IM (2:07.27) and the 200 breast (2:17.64), Marina Sandback in the 100 free (52.42), and Amanda Weinbrecht in the 200 back (2:05.14). UNLV also claimed wins over Wyoming in both the 400 medley and 400 free relays.
“It was nice to get back to swimming competitively after a long break,” said UW head coach Tom Johnson. “I thought we raced hard against the defending Mountain West Conference champions. We raced especially well considering we just finished 10 days of very tough training in San Diego. “I was also very pleased with our divers today. The men going 1-2-3 on both boards was very impressive and our women were very tough as usual.”