NAU Women Win Fourth Straight, Air Force Goes Back to Back at WAC’s

WAC Championships

  • CRWC Natatorium Houston Texas
  • February 22, 2017- February 25, 2017
  • Results

The WAC championships took place this past weekend in Houston, Texas and it was the Air Force men taking home their second title in as many years, and the Northern Arizona women won their fourth straight title.

On the men’s side Air Force only won four events the whole meet, but were able to put numerous swimmers in the B and C finals securing crucial points on the back end, that the competition could not match.  The team of Devon Davis, Zach Knoche, Steffen Mount, and Lars Kuntson won the 200 medley relay in a time of 1:26.67.  Davis, Knoche, Mount, and Jordan Dahle then went on to win the 400 medley relay a day later.  The two individual winners for the Falcons came from Andrew Faciszewski in the 500 free in a time of 4:23.62, and Zach Knoche in the 100 breast clocking in at 53.17.

Of note Mark Nikolaev of Grand Canyon broke his own conference record and got an A cut time in the 100 back going 45.11. Because Grand Canyon is currently transitioning to Division I, though, he won’t be eligible for the NCAA Championships. The team will be post-season eligible for the first time next season.

On the women’s side Northern Arizona took the team title home for the fourth straight year.  It was much of the same story in the women’s meet as it was in the men’s meet.  Northern Arizona only won five events during the course of the championship.  However, much like the Air Force men, they relied on depth and not their heavy hitters to carry them through the meet.  The team of Claire Hammond, Kimmy Richter, Kate Bier, and Alina Staffeldt took home the top spot in a time of 7:20.31.  Richter then went on to win the 500 free the following night going 4:51.24 and winning the race by over two seconds, and then followed it up with a win in the mile on Saturday going 16:49.31.  Staffeldt scored the other wins for the Lumberjacks going 54.06 to win the 100 fly, and 1:59.30 to win the 200 fly.

Of note, Blaise Wittenauer-Lee of Seattle broke the conference record in the women’s 100 breast going 1:00.52

Team Scores

Men:

  1. US Air Force Academy 794.5
  2. Wyoming 754
  3. Grand Canyon University 563
  4. University of Nevada Las Vegas 525.5
  5.  The University of North Dakota 357
  6. C S U Bakersfield 300
  7.  Seattle University 220

Women:

  1. Northern Arizona University 615.5
  2. New Mexico State University 551
  3. Idaho 544
  4.  Grand Canyon University 509
  5. The University of North Dakota 507
  6. C S U Bakersfield 358
  7. University of Northern CO 277.5
  8. Seattle University 274

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RedHawkaLoogie

Of even greater note, Blaise Wittenauer-Lee went 2:09.85 in the 200 Breaststroke, which should get her an invite to NCAA’s.

Brad Flood

CONGRATULATIONS to the NAU Lady Lumberjacks!!!

A Special KUDOS to the Senior class, having never lost a WAC Championship Meet! There are few college swimmers & divers that get to go through life having won 4 conference championships. Something SPECIAL indeed!!!

Congrats also to my good friends, Coaches Andy Johns & Nikki Kelsey for building such a consistent winning program. Recognizing the challenge of running a swimming program at an altitude of 7000 feet, and consistently achieving conference championship excellence at sea level, on just 2 days decent. Quite a feat when you consider it!

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