2018 WAC Championship: Nikolaev Breaks 100 BK Record Twice


On day 3 of the WAC Championship, Mark Nikolaev re-broke his own WAC record twice in the 100 back, and briefly lost and then reclaimed then lost again his spot as the fastest 100 backstroker in the nation this year. The WAC Record in the 100 back stood at 44.99 before Friday’s sessions, which is the time Nikolaev swam at the Northwestern TYR Invitational in November. In finals, Nikolaev went 44.88 to win the event by nearly 3 seconds, and shave .11 seconds of the record. He then led off the 400 medley relay in 44.71, taking nearly another 2-tenths of a second off the record. Nikolaev lost his spot at number 1 in the NCAA rankings this year for a couple hours though, as Harvard’s Dean Farris went 44.81 in the Ivy League Championships about 2 hours before Nikolaev went his 44.71 lead off split. He lost the record again after Coleman Stewart of NC State went 44.5 at the ACCs the same night.

The GCU men’s 400 medley relay went their 2nd fastest time of the season to break the WAC meet record of 3:08.80. The team of Nikolaev (44.71), Youssef El Kamash (53.54), Daniil Antipov (46.07), and Mazen El Kamash (43.23) combined to post a 3:07.55, which was just off their season best and WAC record of 3:07.48. They’re less than 1-tenth of a second of the NCAA ‘A’ cut in the 400 medley relay, which isn’t that imprtant since GCU is already qualified to swim all but the 800 free relay at NCAAs, but they will still need to be about 2 seconds faster to have a shot at the A final at the NCAAs.

Daniil Antipov broke the WAC conference record in the 100 fly, blasting a 46.08 to win by nearly a second. Unfortunately, that time comes in at around 40th in the national rankings, which won’t be enough to earn him an NCAA invite.


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