UNLV Wins Final Relay to Claim First Mountain West Championship Since 2005 (VIDEO)

UNLV is the 2021 team champion at the Mountain West Championships; Photo Courtesy: Mountain West

It took one final race and one tenth of a second to separate two in-state rivals at the Mountain West Swimming & Diving Championships.

In the concluding 400 freestyle relay Saturday night, UNLV held off Nevada by .10 seconds, allowing the Rebels to win their first conference title since 2005 by a mere nine points, 1,349 to 1,340.

UNLV and Nevada were running second and third after three legs, with San Diego State out front by 1.42 seconds on Nevada and just shy of two seconds on UNLV. The lead held until the 350-mark. But UNLV anchor Kristina Schneider and Nevada finisher Caitlyn McHugh charged. At the end, Schneider touched first in 3:21.09. Second was McHugh in 3:21.19 and third was San Diego State anchor Evonne Stehr in 3:21.20. Schneider (48.74) and McHugh (49.33) supplied the two fastest splits in the race.

Event 21  Women 400 Yard Freestyle Relay
    School                                 Seed     Finals Points 
  1 U N L V (W)  'A'                    3:23.50    3:21.09   64  
     1) Filippova, Julia JR           2) Smith, Lauren SR             
     3) Fernandez, Malia FR           4) Schneider, Kristina JR       
                 24.66        50.82 (50.82)
        1:15.24 (24.42)     1:41.87 (51.05)
        2:05.53 (23.66)     2:32.35 (50.48)
        2:55.52 (23.17)     3:21.09 (48.74)
  2 Nevada  'A'                         3:37.47    3:21.19   56  
     1) Wijkhuijs, Josien JR          2) Berkenfield, Colette SO      
     3) Brady, Emma SO                4) McHugh, Caitlyn SR           
                 24.11        50.84 (50.84)
        1:14.91 (24.07)     1:41.09 (50.25)
        2:05.18 (24.09)     2:31.86 (50.77)
        2:55.19 (23.33)     3:21.19 (49.33)
  3 San Diego St  'A'                   3:26.16    3:21.20   54  
     1) Geyer, Samantha JR            2) Thormalm, Klara SR           
     3) Ryan, Mia JR                  4) Stehr, Evonne SO             
                 24.27        50.97 (50.97)
        1:14.20 (23.23)     1:40.63 (49.66)
        2:04.25 (23.62)     2:30.44 (49.81)
        2:54.04 (23.60)     3:21.20 (50.76)

San Diego State, which won the 200 medley and 800 free relays on the first day, finished third in the team standings with 1,309 points at the four-day meet. The Aztecs, who were the two-time reigning champion, got a consolation price with Klara Thormalm named the Swimmer of the Meet. She won the 100 breaststroke and finished second in the 200 breast and 50 free. She also swam butterfly on the winning 200 medley relay.

Wyoming’s Katelyn Blattner won a pair of events at the meet, claiming the 200 free and 100 back. She was denied a third win in the 200 back by Fresno State’s Athena Clayson, who also won the 100 back. Schneider was the only other double champion at the meet, taking the 50 and 100 free.

Nevada’s Donna Depolo (200 breast, 100 breast) and Julia Adamczyk (100 fly, 400 IM) each earned a gold and silver medal. UNLV’s Teneka Ash, the winner of the mile, tied for second in the 200 fly. McHugh recorded top-three finishes in the 500 free, 1,650 and 400 IM.

Wyoming’s Melissa Mirafuentes was named the diver of the meet after winning the platform competition and finishing second in both the one-meter and three-meter competition. The diving events had three separate winners, with Ximena Lechuga Gonzalez of San Diego State claiming the one-meter and Isabel Vazquez of Nevada prevailing on three-meter.

UNLV’s Ruby Howell was named the Freshman of the Meet. Kylie Stronko of Air Force earned the Senior Recognition Award.

Mountain West Championship

  1. UNLV 1,349 points
  2. Nevada 1,340
  3. San Diego State 1,309
  4. Wyoming 965
  5. Colorado State 925
  6. Fresno State 829
  7. Air Force 726
  8. San Jose State 345
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