UNLV’s Vuk Celic Sets WAC Championships Record in 500 Freestyle

Vuk Celic Photo Courtesy: UNLV Athletics/@UNLV_Swim_Dive on Twitter

UNLV senior Vuk Celic won the WAC championship in the 500 freestyle Thursday in record fashion, smashing the WAC Championships and school records.

The Serbian grad student (and national record-holder/Olympic A-cut holder) went 4:16.75 in the finals, an improvement from 4:20.19 in the morning prelims. The time is a UNLV record and it downs the time of 4:17.23 set in 2014 by Mitchell Huxhold of Cal State Bakersfield. (Huxhold retains the outright conference record of 4:16.71 from NCAAs that year.)

Celic’s splits:

23.52 – 25.54 – 25.84 – 26.10 – 26.09 – 26.09 – 26.19 – 26.16 – 25.94 – 25.28

The time is also an NCAA B cut, one of four in the race. UNLV monopolized the top five spots in the race, with Christopher Mykkanen second and Panos Bolanos filling out the podium. Unsurprisingly, Vuk Celic led the way to a win in the 800 free relay Wednesday with Mykkanen, Bolanos and Bryan Chavez.

UNLV also went 1-2 in the 50 free, with Reece Hemmens outtouching teammate George Ratiu by .02 in an NCAA B cut of 19.91. Those two, with Ratiu going out in 19.94 and Hemmens anchoring in 19.04, helped the Rebels win the 200 free relay in 1:18.42.

After two days of the four-day meet, UNLV had a sizeable lead with 333 points to 212 for Air Force and 199.5 for Grand Canyon University.