2019 Western Athletic Conference Day 1: Northern Arizona Leads

grand-canyon-university-butterfly-northwestern-invitational
Photo Courtesy: Deb Schaffer

By Devin Javens, Swimming World College Intern.

The Western Athletic Conference opened the first day of competition with women’s and men’s 200 medley relays, men’s 1 meter diving, women’s and men’s 800 freestyle relays, and wrapped up the session with women’s 3 meter diving. The championship meet is a four day meet, running from Wednesday until Saturday. The women’s teams competing are California Baptist University, California State University-Bakersfield, Grand Canyon University, New Mexico State University, Northern Arizona University, Seattle University, University of Idaho, and University of Northern Colorado. The men’s teams competing are California Baptist University, California State University-Bakersfield, Grand Canyon University, Seattle University, University of Nevada Las Vegas, University of Wyoming, and the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Following the first day of competition, the women’s scores are being led by Northern Arizona University with a total of 133 points. The University of Idaho is in second place with 97 points, while New Mexico State University is in third with 89 points. Grand Canyon University is currently leading the men’s scores with a total of 114 points. They are followed by the University of Wyoming (95 points) and University of Nevada Las Vegas (94).

Day 1 Results

Women’s 200 Medley Relay

The University of Northern Colorado women started out the meet strong with a first place finish in the 200 medley relay. The relay of Madelyn Moore, Maria Heymans, Morgan King, and Emily Hamel led the race from start to finish with freshman, Moore, swimming the fastest backstroke split in the field (25.16). However, Northern Arizona’s Elisa Rodriguez gave the Northern Colorado women a run for their money, splitting her freestyle leg with a 21.95, but was not able to close in on the Northern Colorado women (1:40.66) and touched the wall second with a final relay time of 1:41.20.

The medley relay was pretty tight race with not even a second separating the second through fifth place teams. Finishing in third place was New Mexico State University (1:41.59), followed by the University of Idaho (1:42.11) and Grand Canyon University (1:42.18). California Baptist University (1:42.66), CSU-Bakersfield (1:44.53), and Seattle University (1:47.05) were also a part of the final heat.

Men’s 200 Medley Relay

The Grand Canyon University men swept the rest of the field with a time of 1:25.78, finishing almost two seconds ahead of California Baptist University (1:27.65). Grand Canyon senior, Mark Nickolaev, led off the relay with a blistering backstroke split of 20.79, securing the lead for his teammates for the rest of the race. He was followed by Bogden Plavin, Daniil Antipov, and Mazen Shoukri.

The U.S. Air Force Academy finished in third place with a time of 1:27.73, while fourth place went to CSU-Bakersfield with a 1:28.15. University of Wyoming took fifth (1:28.39) and Seattle University unfortunately was DQ’ed.

Men’s 1 Meter Diving

Finishing seventh in the prelims, Grand Canyon junior, Tosca Hufnagel, turned around to take first in the finals with a score of 333.80. In second with a score of 321.25 was the freshmen from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Tazman Abramowicz. The first place seed for the finals session was Ryan Russi from the University of Wyoming who took home third place in the finals session with a score of 297.00.

Women’s 800 Freestyle Relay

The CSU-Bakersfield relay of Jayssie Haynes, Maddie Cosgrove, Autumn D’Arcy, and Alisa Cooke took home gold in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 7:20.36, beating out the second place finishers from Northern Arizona (7:22.05) by well over a second. However, the real battle was for silver, as the Idaho women were narrowly edged out of second place by .10, finishing third with a time of 7:22.15. Idaho senior, Leah Fisk, threw down the fastest split in the field with a time of 1:47.88, however it was not enough to close the gap for second place.

The University of Northern Colorado (7:24.74), New Mexico State University (7:26.15), California Baptist University (7:29.70), Grand Canyon University (7:35.88), and Seattle University (7:37.18) also placed in the top eight.

Men’s 800 Freestyle Relay

In a similar fashion to the 200 medley relay, the Grand Canyon men again took first place in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 6:25.07. The relay consisted of Samuel McKenzie, Florent Janin, Mark Nickolaev, and was anchored by senior, Daniil Antipov, with the fastest split amongst all the men. He touched the wall with an anchoring split of 1:34.40. Finishing second was the University of Nevada Las Vegas (6:28.38) and California Baptist University took home third (6:29.27).

The battle for fourth place ultimately went to the U.S. Air Force Academy (6:31.20) as they narrowly edged out the University of Wyoming (6:31.93). Also a part of the pack was CSU-Bakersfield (6:32.59) and Seattle University (6:42.04).

Women’s 3 Meter Diving

Maintaining her first place position from the prelims was the Northern Arizona University senior, Tatiana Kurach. She was the only diver in the field to score a total of over 300 points, finishing with a 305.30. Raina Brommer from New Mexico State University took second with a total of 287.60 points, and Chris Torrente from Northern Arizona University took third with a score of 278.80.