Courtesy: UNLV Athletics
LAS VEGAS – The UNLV men’s swimming and diving team has signed an impressive 13-member class for the 2018-19 season, head coach Ben Loorz announced Tuesday.
“This is a very large class for us that is full of some top-ranked talent as well as some guys who are real up-and-comers,” Loorz said. “We graduated a large senior class, so it was important to fill those gaps, and we feel like we have done that with this recruiting class. We are very excited to see how they all progress this summer, and are excited to welcome them to campus in the fall. We expect this class to have huge and immediate impact for us in the WAC, and to have NCAA scoring capability in the future as well.”
Among the highlights of the recruiting class are the three European representatives, as Kamil Kzamierczak (Lodz) and Michael Cukanov (Aleksandrow Lodzki) are both from Poland, while Ivan Zhukau, a top international breaststroker, hails from Minsk, Belarus.
Kzamierczak was a participant in the 2017 Junior World Championships in the 100m back, and he current ranks fourth in Poland (short course 25m) in the 50m back (23.44), sixth in the 100m back (52.04) and also holds personal best times of 23.42 in the 50m fly, 52.41 in the 100m fly, and 1:49.17 in the 200m free. Cukanow meanwhile competed in the 2017 European Junior Short Course Championships. His long course times in his specialty event are 54.52 in the 100m fly and 2:01.51 in the 200m fly.
Zhukau, who swam at the 2016 European Junior Championships, holds impressive long course times of 29.07 (50m breast), 1:03.87 (100m breast) and 2:14.19 (200m breast).
The rest of the class comes from the United States, starting with Lebanon, Oregon native Casey McEuen, who claimed a pair of state titles for Lebanon High School in February, including posting a time of 20.18 in the 50y free, while he also claimed the 100 fly title (49.19).
The Rebel signing class is heavy with athletes from the Golden State, as four are California natives, led by junior college transfer Hayden Hemmens, 2018 CCCAA Co-Swimmer of the Year for Orange Coast College. Hemmens claimed three individual conference titles at this month’s championship meet (200 and 500 free, 200 back). A native of Newport Beach, Hemmens is a very versatile swimmer, and was the 2017 Surf Ironman American champion as well.
Hayden Cornellison of Temecula (Great Oak High School) is a junior national finalist, while both he and Santa Maria native Wyatt Marsalek (Santa Maria Swim Club) are US Open qualifiers as well. Also from California is Bert Phung, native of Campbell from Peak Swimming.
“Joining Zukov in the breaststroke group from the class are Sam Willstrop and Jack Binder from Texas and Utah which is historically fertile recruiting ground for UNLV Swimming,” said Loorz. “Both are 6’4″ rising talents and we expect a lot from them.” Willstrop (San Antonio) swims for Alamo Area Aquatic Association and won the 200y breast at the NCSA Spring Junior National Champioships in March, while Binder, a native of Cottonwood Heights, was the 2017 Utah 5A state champion in the 100y breast, and won the 2018 title in the 100y fly while helping Brighton High to the state championship title.
The Rebels added a pair of swimmers from Arizona, starting with Michael Klauss (Scottsdale), who has the Rebel coaches excited about his versatility. He has several junior national cuts while earning a winter national championship cut as well, and swims for Scottsdale Aquatic Club. He is joined by another Scottsdale native, Michael Niezgodzki, who represents Phoenix Swim Club.
Diver Tazman Abramowicz is a springboard specialist who is one of the top young male divers in Canada (Calgary), and will join last year’s top WAC freshman diver Jesse Cawley.
2018-19 UNLV Men’s Swimming & Diving Recruiting Class
Kamil Kazmierczak (Lodz, Poland)
(SCM) 50 Back: 23.44, 100 Back: 52.04, 50 Fly: 23.42, 100 Fly: 52.41, 200 Free: 1:49.17
Michal Cukanow (Aleksandrow Lodzki, Poland)
(LCM) 100 Fly: 54.52, 200 Fly: 2:01.51
Ivan Zhukau (Minsk, Belarus)
(LCM): 50 Breast: 29.07, 100 Breast: 1:03.87, 200 Breast: 2:14.19
Hayden Hemmens (Newport Beach, California)
(SCY) 200 Free: 1:37.84, 500 Free: 4:26.34, 200 Back: 1:46.36
Wyatt Marsalek (Santa Maria, California)
(SCY) 500 Free: 4:31.60, 1650 Free: 15.23.46
Hayden Cornellison (Temecula, California)
(LCM) 100 Back: 57.31, 200 Back: 2:04.74
Bert Phung (Campbell. California)
(SCY) 100 Fly: 49.80, 200 Fly: 1:50.79
Casey McEuen (Lebanon, Oregon)
(SCY) 50 Free: 20.18, 100 Free: 45.31, 100 Fly: 49.19
Michael Klauss (Mesa, Arizona)
(SCY) 200 Fly: 1:48.44, 200 Back: 1:49.49, 200 IM: 1:51.86, 400 IM: 4:00.45
Michael Niezgodzki (Scottsdale, Arizona)
(SCY) 200 Free: 1:39.89, 500 Free: 4:33.18, and 200 Fly: 1:50.87
Sam Willstrop (San Antonio, Texas)
(SCY) 100 Breast: 56.28, 200 Breast: 2:03.69, 50 Free: 20.95
Jack Binder (Salt Lake City, Utah)
(SCY) 100 Breast: 56.99, 100 Fly: 51.03
Tazman Abramowicz (Calgary, Alberta)