Air Force Men Sweep Grand Canyon In Two-Day Dual

by SwimSwam 0

November 11th, 2019 College, News

Air Force v. Grand Canyon (M)

Courtesy: Air Force Athletics

PHOENIX, Ariz. – The Air Force Academy men’s swimming and diving team completed a weekend sweep of Grand Canyon with a 139-102 win over GCU, Saturday evening, Nov. 9.

“It was a great weekend of swimming for us being able to defeat the defending conference champion twice in their own pool,” Head Coach Rob Clayton said. “We’re really excited about where we are at and are excited to work on some details before we are back in action at Texas A&M.”

Overall Air Force won eight events out of 13 overall, including both relays and six individual events.

The day started with a relay win in the 200 medley relay. That was followed by individual wins by sophomore Isaac Gwin in the 200 free and 100 back, as well as wins in the 400 IM and 100 breast by senior Zach Nelson.

The other two individual wins came from freshman Wen Zhang in the 100 free and the 100 fly by sophomore Aaron Pang in the 100 fly. Finally in swimming, the Falcons took gold in the 200 free relay.

Over on the diving board, junior Jack Zocher placed third in the 1-meter while freshman Brett Jenkins took third in the 3-meter.

Air Force is now off until the end of the month when they head down to the first big Invitational of the season, the Art Adamson Invite hosted by Texas A&M University. The event will run Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 21-23.

Courtesy: Grand Canyon Athletics

The Grand Canyon men’s swimming and diving team lost 133-108 and 139-102 to tough WAC opponent Air Force in home weekend dual meets at Fr. Edward Reese Aquatic Center.

“Our men are very much a work in progress, and they ran into a very good Air Force team that is very clearly much further along than we are so far this season” GCU head coach Steve Schaffer said. “Were it not for the strong performance of our divers, seniors Pietro Hufnagel Toscani and Nick Benson, the margin of our losses would have been bigger.”

Day 1

Sophomore Kainan Coerin, freshman Amir Haviv, sophomore Mazen Shoukri and sophomore Florent Janin started the meet strong with a second-place finish in the 400-yard medley relay in 3 minutes and 21.66 seconds.

A stellar performance from Shoukri earned him his first win of the weekend in the 50 freestyle (20.86). Freshman Omar Elsayd finished second in the event (20.90).

Sophomore Samuel McKenzie, who won WAC Swimmer of the Week after his last performance at Seattle U, won his first event of the weekend in the 100 freestyle (45.39) and freshman Mikhail Lyubavskiy won the 500 freestyle (4:36.85). McKenzie and Lyunavskiy also took second and third in the 200 freestyle in 1:40.26 and 1:41.63.

In the 1,000 freestyle, sophomore Alonso Carazo Barbero claimed second place (9:34.41) while senior Wiktor Jaszczak placed third (9:45.39).

Toscani and Benson dominated the diving, taking first and second with Toscani earning 316.85 points in the 1-meter dive and 326 in the 3-meter dive and Benson with 271.45 in the 1-meter and 273.10 in the 3-meter.

Day 2

On Saturday, the Lopes had several strong performances in its loss to Air Force.

“To our guys’ credit, though, we had a good percentage of season-best swims” Schaffer said. “That’s a good trend as we will start to unload for our midseason invitational at Purdue.”

Coerin, Haviv, Janin and Elsayd placed second in the 200 medley relay (1:32.29) in the first event of the day.

“They all swam very well on both days of the meet,” Schaffer said. “It was good to see upperclassman Wiktor Jaszczak really starting to come on as well.”

Lyubavskiy showed well this weekend, winning the 1,000 freestyle (9:32.47) and 500 freestyle (4:36.15).

“Freshmen and sophomores continue to lead the way for us,” Schaffer said. “Mazen Shoukri, Sam McKenzie, Florent Janin and Omar Elsayd had great swims in the shorter freestyle events.”

Shoukri finished first in the 50 freestyle (20.60) and McKenzie took second in the 200 freestyle (1:39.61).

GCU swept the top three spots in the 500 freestyle with Lyubavskiy taking first, Jaszczak in second (4:39.26), and freshman Griffin McKean in third (4:39.52).

Toscani won the 1-meter (299.0) and 3-meter (364.50) diving with Benson right behind him with scores of 274.75 and 285.50.

“Overall, both programs are moving in the right direction,” Schaffer said. “We are excited to rest and see how we compete at the Purdue Invitational in two weeks.”

Up next, the Lopes travel to West Lafayette, Indiana, to compete in the Purdue Invitational on Nov. 21-23.

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