2018 WAC Championship
On the first night of the 2018 WAC Championships, the Grand Canyon men and women combined to win 3 of the 4 relays, dropping only the women’s 800 free relay, and breaking the conference record in the men’s 200 medley relay. Despite winning both relays, the GCU men are in 3rd place following the initial session, due to big diving performances by Wyoming and Air Force.
In the women’s 200 medley relay, the GCU team of Iryna Glavnik (25.73), Marina McInelly (28.44), Diana Jaruseviciute (24.10), and Samiha Mohsen (22.33) combined to post a 1:40.60 to win the event by well over a second. They came in a little over a second off the conference record of 1:39.38, which was set by San Jose State, a team that is no longer in the conference.
Mark Nikolaev led off the GCU men’s 200 medley relay with a sizzling 20.86. That’s one of the fastest backstroke splits we’ve seen at any conference meet so far, with only a handful of swimmers even breaking 21 seconds. He was followed by Youssef El Kamash, who did his job by posting a 23.68 on the breast split. Daniil Antipov came in next with a 20.45 fly split, which more than did the job for tonight, but ideally would be sub-20 seconds for them to make a run at the A final at the NCAAs. Bogdan Plavin anchored the relay with a 19.44, which again was perfectly fine for the conference meet, but will need to be closer to 19-flat to give GCU a chance in March. Their final time of 1:24.33 came in just under their mid-season time of 1:24.46.
Northern Arizona took control of the women’s 800 free relay, posting a 7:17.94 to mark themselves as the only team to break 7:20. GCU was leading through the halfway mark, but fell to 5th by the finish. NAU ended up beating GCU by 9 seconds on the final 400 yards of the race, while they gained a lead by much less dramatic distances over Idaho (2nd place), and New Mexico State (3rd).
Daniil Antipov ran down UNLV’s Forrest Beesley on the final 50 of the men’s 800 free relay to give GRand Canyon the win. Antipov went into the final 50 1.16 seconds behind Beesley, but touched him out in the end 6:27.88 to 6:28.00. That bodes well for the rest of GCU’s relays this weekend, as the 800 free relay is their slowest.