UNLV Men and Women Take Down Arizona


  • January 7-8, 2021
  • Buchanan Natatorium, Las Vegas, NV
  • SCY
  • Prelims/Finals
  • Final Results

The hosts UNLV Rebels wrapped up a two-day invite-style meet against visiting Arizona with another bevy of victories. Both teams’ released acknowledged that the Wildcats didn’t bring a full squad (and were missing most of their returning NCAA qualifiers), and times could indicate that UNLV was perhaps a little fresher than Arizona, and in the end, the UNLV women won 1348-712 and the men won 1195-811.

UNLV freshman Ruby Howell was the star of the day on the women’s side, as she hit lifetime bests in winning the 400 IM in 4:21.30 and the 200 breast in 2:15.43. Howell also won the 200 IM yesterday with a personal best time.

Fellow Rebel Kristina Schneider won the 200 free with a 1:49.96. She also just missed another victory in the 100 free, getting touched out by Arizona’s Kayla Filipek 100 free 50.19 to 50.22.

UNLV other individual champions were Kacey Kiuchi, who won the 200 back with a 1:58.53, and Teneka Ash, whose 17:00.34 won the 1650 free by nearly 17 seconds. Besides Filipek, Arizona also got an individual win from Maddy Burt, with a 54.78 in the 100 fly.

The Rebels swept both of today’s relays, first taking the 400 medley by nearly two seconds this morning with a 3:45.19, then winning a tight 200 free relay to close out the meet, 1:31.80 to 1:31.95.

On the men’s side, UNLV took five of seven individual events, and the squads split the relays in a couple of close races.

During the afternoon distance session, Vuk Celic won the 1650 by almost 24 seconds with a time 15;02.85, which appears to move him #3 all-time among UNLV swimmers, as the Rebels swept the top four spots.

Once the evening got session got going, Arizona got rolling with back-to-back wins. The Wildcats went 1-2 in the 200 free, with Daniel Namir going 1:36.04, and Ogi Maric, who won the 200 IM and 100 back yesterday, took 2nd in 1:37.16. Right after that, Jake Hand earned the Arizona men’s only other individual win with a 4:53.23 in the 400 IM.

From there, UNLV rattled off five straight victories. Casey McEuen hit 47.76 to win the 100 fly by nearly a second, then won Panos Bolanos won a three-man 200 back race with a time of 1:48.30. Ivan Zukov was the only man to break 2:00 in the 200 breast with a 1:58.15, and Richard Szilagyi led a 1-5 UNLV sweep of the 100 free with a 44.60.

The two teams split today’s relays in a pair of close races. In the morning session, the Wildcats came out on top in the 400 medley relay, 3:13.55 to 3:13.63. In the evening, the Rebels won by the 200 free relay by a slightly wider margin, 1:19.62 to 1:20.05.

Arizona Release

LAS VEGAS — The Arizona men’s and women’s swimming teams finished up the UNLV Invitational on Friday evening in Las Vegas.

The Wildcats, who sent just 11 members of its women’s team and 16 members of its men’s team, with many of its top swimmers out, facing a fully-rested and tapered UNLV program, fell 1,348-712 on the women’s side and 1,195-811 on the men’s side.

There were many highlights, though, for the Cats, who had a strong showing given the circumstances. Arizona won four races on Friday night: Daniel Namir earned an NCAA B Cut with a victory in the 200 free, Jake Hand set a personal best in winning the 400 IM and Maddy Burt (100 fly) and Kayla Filipek (100 free) picked up wins on the women’s side.


Women’s 200 Free
2. Julia Heimstead (1:49.96)

Men’s 200 Free
1. Daniel Namir (1:36.04) • NCAA B Cut
2. Ogi Maric (1:37.16)

Women’s 400 IM
2. Axana Merckx (4:22.83)

Men’s 400 IM
1. Jake Hand (3:53.23)

Women’s 100 Fly
1. Maddy Burt (54.78)
2. Julia Heimstead (55.02)

Men’s 100 Fly
2. Brooks Taner (48.62)

Women’s 200 Back
2. Skylar Dikeman (1:58.64)

Men’s 200 Back
3. Ty Coen (1:51.53)

Women’s 200 Breast
2. Kati Hage (2:19.98)

Women’s 100 Free
1. Kayla Filipek (50.19)

UNLV Release

LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – The UNLV men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams close victories in the 200 free relays capped off a number of tight wins Saturday to finish with the final total point advantages against short-handed Arizona in the UNLV Invitational at the Jim Reitz Pool.

UNLV’s women’s team finished with a 1,348-712 advantage over the Wildcats’ women’s squad, which only competed in the meet with 11 swimmers. In the men’s standings, the Rebels ended the two-day invite with the 1,1195-811 edge over a limited Arizona men’s side with only 16 swimmers.


*In the first individual final of the day, junior Teneka Ash won the 1650 free with a top Mountain West time of 17:00.34 in a race only contested by the Rebel women’s squad. Junior Filio Raftopoulou (17:17.20), sophomore Diana Neagu (17:25.93) and junior Camila Quineche (17:33.34) rounded out the exclusive Scarlet and Gray event in second, third and fourth, respectively.
*Junior Kristina Schneider tacked on another UNLV first-place finish in the 200 free, finishing with a time of 1:49.96. Senior Lauren Smith followed Schneider among the race leaders for the Scarlet and Gray with a third-place finish (1:50.80).
*Freshman Ruby Howell recorded three total wins for the two-day meet, as she notched her second individual win for the Rebel women in the 400 IM with a MW season-best time (4:21.30) and her third victory in the 200 breast (2:15.43) on the day.
*UNLV was led in the 100 fly by senior Kate Afanasyeva’s third-place finish with a time of 55.26.
*Continuing her momentum from her top-3 finishes in the competition’s opening day, freshman Calysta Bartlett capped off her strong meet for UNLV with a third-place finish (2:20.31) in the 200 breast.
*Junior Kacey Kiuchi (1:58.32) added another UNLV win in an exciting 200 back race that went down to the wire, touching just ahead of Arizona’s Skylar Dikeman by a slim .32 second margin.
*Another tight finish on the day came in the 100 free, as junior Kristina Schneider (50.22) landed in second place within .03 seconds of the top spot and freshman Malia Fernandez (50.85) followed right behind in third.
*The nail-biting finishes continued into the final event in the 200 free relay, as the UNLV ‘A’ squad (1:31.80) of Schneider, senior Eva Kim, Afanasyeva and senior Caitlyn Schreiber edged the Arizona ‘A’ team (1:31.95) by .15 seconds for the victory.


*Vuk Celic (15:02.85) reeled off a decisive win for the Rebel men in the 1650 free with an NCAA ‘B’ cut and the NCAA’s 13th fastest time UNLV’s sweep of the event. Sophomores Christopher Mykkanen (15:26.60) and Cameron Castro (15:33.33) placed second and third, respectively, to round the top spots in the race for the Scarlet and Gray.
*Junior Ivan Zhukov put forth a strong battle with Arizona’s Jake Hand in the 400 IM, leading the way for the Rebel men in the event with a second-place finish and a WAC season-best mark (3:56.96).
*The Rebel men gave UNLV a sweep of each of the meet’s men’s breast races, as Zhukov (1:58.15) took first with an NCAA ‘B’ cut, junior Sam Willstrop (2:00.01) finished second and junior Jack Binder (2:01.22) placed third in the 200 breast.
*Leading all UNLV swimmers in the 200 free, Celic also posted a third-place finish with a time of 1:38.27 to lead all UNLV swimmers for that event.
*Junior Casey McEuen recorded a victory in the 100 fly event with the only sub-48 second time in the finals, logging a time of 47.76 to move him into a tie for the WAC’s top mark on the year.
*In the 200 back, UNLV came away as the frontrunner once again with sophomore Panos Bolanos’ (1:48.30) and freshman McKay Mickelson’s (1:49.04) respective first-place and second-place finishes.
*A first-place finish by senior Richard Szilagyi (44.60) in the 100 free and a two-way tie for second place by freshman Reece Hemmens (45.07) and senior Bryan Chavez (45.07) concluded the meet’s individual events for the Rebel men.
*The final 200 free relay race also saw the Rebel men’s ‘A’ squad (1:19.62), consisting of Szilagyi, McEuen, junior Sean Gage and Hemmens, earn a narrow win over the Arizona ‘A’ unit (1:20.05) by less than .50 seconds to close out the meet. Their time marked the 16th best in the nation on the season.

QUOTABLE: “We really appreciate Arizona making the trip to race against us this weekend. We had some fantastic head-to-head matchups today, and our relays stepped up big time there to end the meet on a high note with their times.” -Head coach Ben Loorz

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1 year ago

On the Arizona Press release: It is okay to speak for yoursel, “Arizona sent just 11 swimmers…” It is NOT okay to speak for someone else, “facing a fully-rested and tapered UNLV program.”

Mid-Major Power
1 year ago

More should be expected out of Arizona given their pedigree, conference, facilities, etc…However, give UNLV some credit. They are a solid non-power conference program. For years, they had an outstanding sprint free group and some pretty good relay showings at NCAAs.

1 year ago

This is hilarious – UNLV was “fully rested and tapered” for a January 8 dual meet! lol

1 year ago

Well it was their mid season Invite so yeah they tapered and shaved

Reply to  ASU Fan
1 year ago

Nope, not tapered/ shaved – suited up just like U Arizona! Proud mom of a UNLV swimmer

1 year ago

It’s sad how far Arizona has fallen. It wasn’t that long ago when they were winning relays and won NCAAS. Now they lose to UNLV and in the press release make multiple excuses.

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
1 year ago

No one in power willing to do anything…

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
1 year ago

When is baby bush contract done? Time to move on. The “rebuild” has been a full tear down and only getting worse. For Arizona swimmers currently to think this is a great program fit and for former swimmers to not be upset and wanting change, tells you everything.

1 year ago

Arizona release did a great job in making excuses. A top ten program should always expect everyone to take their best shot.

1 year ago

Yeah we see those kind of things from their coaches and athletes on social media and in comments sections all the time…but it was a little jarring to see it in a press release.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Let’s not mention the fact of course that most of UofA seniors and their top swimmers had to quarantine due potential COVID break so their A relays were filled by the guys who are usually on the C relay.. but you do you swimswam.. we all know how much “love” you got for our program.. it’s ok

Reply to  AZBOY
1 year ago

Oooh buddy. I think you’re missing why everyone’s making fun of you.

And now you’re doubling down on it.

This was not the response. Sorry bruh, I would’ve stayed out of the comments on this one.

Human Ambition
Reply to  AZBOY
1 year ago

I remember when we in UNLV beat Arizona 1997. Both their MR teams got DQed. No excuses at all.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

If I remember correctly, Ohio State send 6 men and 6 women to a dual meet against Pittsburgh last Winter and got crushed by Pittsburgh. Don’t remember the Buckeyes making excuses. Do remember Pittsburgh making headlines about winning the meet and X amount of events.

Eva Kim
1 year ago

Super proud of my teammates throwing down after a hard week of training! Cant wait to shave & taper for conference!

Reply to  Eva Kim
10 months ago


Last edited 10 months ago by lol
1 year ago

… UNLV wasn’t even close to being rested or tapered…

Reply to  Swammer
10 months ago

look at the conference times compared to this meet lmfao

1 year ago

Lol fully rested and tapered, can we get a fact check?

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