Air Force Men, Cal Baptist Women Lead; 2020 WAC Day 2 is Scored as Timed Finals

2020 WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Due to a water main break near the University of Houston, Thursday finals of the 2020 WAC Championships were cancelled. Yesterday’s prelims were scored as timed finals. The break occurred less than 5 miles away from campus, and the University of Houston has no running water. The meet carries on today with timed finals. Spectators are not allowed in the facility as there are no working bathrooms. Portable toilets and wash stations were brought in for athletes and staff.

Read on for a recap of Thursday’s events and an update on the team scores. Keep in mind, this was a very unexpected event, and swimmers may not have put forth their full effort in prelims, especially those who could swim conservatively and still make the final.

MEN’S HIGHLIGHTS

Freshmen led the charge with the top 3 in the 500 free. UNLV freshman Chris Mykkanen led the 500 free, dropping nearly 3 seconds off his best in 4:21.86. Grand Canyon’s Mikhail Lyubavskiy swam his lifetime best 4:23.23, dropping almost a second. Air Force’s Wen Zhang made a massive drop, taking nearly 10 seconds off his time in 4:23.39.

UNLV’s Hayden Hemmens (4:23.41) and Wyoming’s Jacob Harlan (4:23.74), who droppedover 3 seconds from his best, were closely behind. This is one example of the impact unexpected finals cancellation. Hemmens was the 2019 silver medalist and has a lifetime best of 4:19.94. Wyoming’s Ryan Netzel, the 2019 bronze medalist, was 6th in 4:24.68.

Air Force’s Zach Nelson (1:46.69), the 2019 runner-up, finished just 3 hundredths ahead of UNLV freshman Ogi Maric (1:46.72) in the 200 IM. Air Force’s Isaac Gwin was also within hundredths of the top spot with a 1:46.74 for 3rd. All 3 men broke 1:47 for the first time.

Grand Canyon’s Mazen Shoukry clipped his best to take the 50 free in 19.71. Air Force’s Matthew Lattin, the 2019 bronze medalist, also swam a best to take 2nd in 19.86. Wyoming’s Grant Sloan, who moved from the B final in 2019 to the top 8 this season, took 3rd in 19.89 as he broke 20 for the first time.

NOTE: The below team scores do not include Thursday diving, which will be completed on Friday.

TEAM SCORES THROUGH DAY 2 – MEN

  1. Air Force 247
  2. UNLV 182
  3. Wyoming 180
  4. Grand Canyon 172
  5. Cal Baptist 120
  6. Cal State Bakersfield 97.5
  7. Seattle 49.5

WOMEN’S HIGHLIGHTS

Cal State Bakersfield freshman Mikayla Popham (4:52.55) topped the 500 free. Cal Baptist’s Mackenzie Mergel dropped nearly 2 seconds in 4:53.79 as she outpaced Grand Canyon’s Talita Te Flan (4:54.26) and GCU freshman Kelsey Andrusak in a close finish for 2nd. Andrusak dropped a second for 4th in 4:54.55. Cal Baptist’s 2019 champion Rebecca Oviedo was 8th in 4:58.46.

Bakersfield got back-to-back wins as Autumn D’Arcy led in 2:01.94, repeating as champion. Cal Baptist’s Isabella Rhodes, the 2019 bronze medalist, was just 2 tenths shy of a best with a 2:02.32. New Mexico State’s Jordan Andrusak was closely behind for bronze in 2:02.38, nearly catching up to Rhodes’ time as she outsplit her on the free leg. Grand Canyon’s Alyssa Christianson was within tenths of her best for 4th in 2:02.89.

We saw the same top 3 as last season in the 50 free. After tying for the title in 2019, Northern Arizona’s Elisa Rodriguez and Northern Colorado’s Madelyn Moore were the top 2 finishers. Rodriguez repeats as champion with her 22.81, while Moore took 2nd in 22.95. UNC’s Emily Hamel repeated as the bronze medalist in 23.03.

NOTE: The below team scores do not include Thursday diving, which will be completed on Friday.

TEAM SCORES THROUGH DAY 2 – WOMEN

  1. Cal Baptist 192
  2. Northern Arizona 178
  3. New Mexico State 158
  4. Grand Canyon 151
  5. Northern Colorado 127
  6. Cal State Bakersfield 112
  7. Idaho 94
  8. Seattle 58

0
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

Read More »