2018 WAC Championships Day 4: Nikolaev Shatters 200 Back Record

2018 WAC CHAMPIONSHIP

TEAM STANDINGS

WOMEN

  1. Northern Arizona – 810
  2. New Mexico State – 601
  3. Idaho – 585
  4. Grand Canyon – 519
  5. Northern Colorado – 384
  6. CSU Bakersfield – 364
  7. Seattle – 213

MEN

  1. Wyoming – 851
  2. UNLV – 780
  3. Grand Canyon – 630
  4. Air Force – 447
  5. CSU Bakersfield – 376
  6. Seattle – 246

The Northern Arizona women and Wyoming men came away with team titles on Saturday, Febraury 24th. Northern Arizona ran away in the women’s standings, coming in a whopping 209 points ahead of runner-up New Mexico State.Mark Nikolaev shattered his own WAC record in the 200 back on the final day of competition, while Daniil Antipov broke the conference record in the 200 fly.

Nikolaev blasted a lifetime best 1:40.81 to shatter his own conference record of 1:42.00 in the 200 back. He won the race by 2 seconds over runner-up Wade Nelson. Nikolaev was already able to swim the 200 back at the NCAAs, since he has an A cut in the 100 back, but his time in the 200 would now earn him an invite even if he didn’t have that A cut. He was out pretty fast, gitting the 100 mark at 48.65, and coming home in 52.16, which is a pretty big disparity between 100s for a 200 back. Another consequence of this race is that it pretty much guarantees that Nikolaev will be swimming the 200 back as his 3rd event at the NCAAs, along with the 100 back and 200 IM. There was a question as to whether the 200 back or 100 free would be better for him to swim, since he has been 42.8 in the 100 free this year, but now that he could potentially score in the 200 back, the choice seems pretty clear.

Daniil Antipov blasted a 1:42.60 to break his own conference record of 1:42.87, which he set back in 2016. That time was good enough to win by 2 seconds over the field, on the back of a lead which he created in the first half of the race. He came into the 100 wall at a fast 48.53. Additionally, that time puts Antipov in a good place to be invited to the NCAAs, where he comes in at 25th in the NCAA rankings. With the Pac 12 and MAC men’s conference meets left, it seems likely Antipov will be able to hang on to get invited to the NCAAs.

UNLV freshman Brad Gonzales won the 1650 in his 2nd fastest time of the season, posting a 14:54.18 to win by over 30 seconds. Gonzales holds the conference record with a 14:46.31, which he set back at his mid-season meet. That time will surely get Ginzalez an invite to the NCAAs, since his time is 12th in the NCAA rankings with only the Pac 12s left in the major conferences, and the MACs in the mid-majors. Gonzales is actually in good position to be able to score at the NCAAs if he can match or better his season best.

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