UNLV vs. Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, November 5. IN a close battle, the University of Utah women’s swimming and diving team beat UNLV, 164-136, to improve its record to 5-2. The Utah men fell just short of the Rebels, 128.5-165.5, giving them a 2-3 record.

“I felt a pretty strong passion today,” said Utah junior Bjorn Gunnarsson. “I wish we could have walked away with the win but we’re moving in the right direction. We put up a really good fight.”

The Ute women utilized their depth as points were collected from all sides of the roster. Traycie Swartz had a great meet finishing first in the 50 free (23.85) and the 100 back (56.82) while also contributing in the winning 200 medley relay (1:45.01) along with Nicole Ligeza, Hannah Caron and Samantha Zuch.

It was Danielle Caldwell with the break-out win of the afternoon as she touched in a time of 2:05.32 to take first in the 200 back. Sarah Cox was close behind in third (2:08.90).

Zuch collected two wins for the Utes in the 100 breast (1:05.89) and the 500 free (5:07.50) while also assisting Caldwell, Swartz and Valerie McMullan in the 200 free relay win (1:36.39).

Freshman Melissa Paakh touched in second place in the 200 fly (2:12.14), right behind Caron who took the top spot with a time of 2:08.40.

Caron also finished first in the 100 free (53.25) and placed second in the 100 fly (57.55).
Ligeza easily beat the competition in the 200 IM (2:08.37), when she touched in more than five seconds faster than the second-place finisher.

McMullan, Biter-Mundt and Cox took the two, three and four spots in the 200 free (1:55.92, 1:58.29, 1:59.09) and LeighAnne Oliver assisted with a runner-up placing in the 1000 free (10:45.40).

Third place in the 500 free went to McMullan (5:15.51) while Kayla Buck placed third in the 200 breast (2:30.45) and Chardonnay Biter-Mundt snagged third in the 50 free (24.87).

Diving was impressive once again as Jasmine Matkovic and Ellis Walters took the top two spots in the 3-meter dive (284.40 and 268.87) while Walters placed second in the 1-meter dive (260.55) and Matkovic was third (238.80).

“On the women’s side, we had some kids step up that haven’t stepped up in the past and that’s a sign that we’re growing as a team. I was really impressed with that,” Utah head coach Greg Winslow said. “It was a great team effort.

“We had lot of great individual performances on the men’s side,” said coach Winslow. “[Austin] Fiasone winning the 100 back was a huge win. Gunnarsson had a great meet and so did Nick Soedel.”

Fiascone won the 100 back with a time of 51.60, just milliseconds shy of his personal best, and beat out UNLV’s 100 fly honorable mention All-American selection Cody Roberts for the top spot in the meet.

Eric Bonicelli contributed to the Utes on several occasions by placing second in both the 1000 free (9:48.69) and the 200 fly (1:59.74) and taking third in the 500 free (4:49.08).

An exact tie at 21.00 in the 50 free split the win between Soedel and UNLV’s Steven Nelms. Gunnarsson touched in second place just .30 seconds behind (21.30).

Major Robinson was the runner-up in the 200 back (1:54.68) while Karson Applin did the same in the 100 fly (51.14).

The Utes took the two, three and four spots in the 200 IM with Ken Tiltges, Eric Murray and John Tilghman (1:58.86, 1:58.87 and 2:02.88).

Fiascone, Tiltges, Applin and Soedel collaborated in the second place 200 medley relay (1:33.19) as the team of Gunnarsson, Winter Heaven, Applin and Soedel grabbed second in the 200 free relay (1:23.08).

Other notable Ute performances include Heaven’s third-place finish in the 200 free (1:44.26) and Applin’s third-place 100 breast (58.10) along with Gunnarsson’s runner-up 100 free (46.24).

Corey Williams also placed third in the 200 breast (2:12.06).

Men’s diving posted top scores across the boards. In the 1-meter dive, Nelson Foo was first (298.12) followed by Caleb Herrick (273.60) and Brandon Stopplemoor (220.80). Herrick was first in the 3-meter dive (310.05) with Stoppelmoor and Foo in second and third (290.25 and 289.42).

On Wednesday, the Utah men will face Air Force at 6 p.m. at Cadet Natatorium.

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