UNLV SWIMMING NEWS: Rebels Send Two To NCAA Championships




Both men’s and women’s NCAA Championships will be held in Atlanta this year
UNLV will sent a pair of swimmers to the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships that are being held this week and next in Atlanta, Ga., at the Herb McAuley Aquatic Center on the Georgia Tech campus. The championships have been changed to a four-day competition for each meet, with the 800 Free Relay now taking placing on Wednesday night as the solo event of the first day.

This year the Rebels will be sending one representative for each of the women’s and men’s teams. Junior Lina Rathsack comes into the meet Rathsack ranked 31st in the 100 breast, 47th in the 200 breast and 63rd in the 200 IM. She will swim the 200 IM on Thursday, the 100 breast on Friday and the 200 breast on Saturday.

One the men’s side senior Dillion Virva will be returning to the NCAA Championships for his fourth and final year. The MW champion in the 50 free for the fourth straight year, he is seeded fifth in this year’s event with an entry time of 19.09, which is a UNLV and WAC record time. The 50 free will be held on Thursday, while Virva will also swim in the 100 fly (47th) on Friday and in the 100 free (50th) on Saturday. Virva’s top individual finish at the NCAA championships was in his sophomore year when he placed 14th in the 50 free to earn Honorable Mention All-America status.

The two UNLV swimmers will be competing all three days individual events at the championships. ESPN3.com will be streaming the third and fourth day of finals of both the men’s and women’s Championships.

2016 NCAA Women’s/Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships

Coach Herb McAuley Aquatic Center

Atlanta, Georgia

UNLV Schedule

Thursday, March 17

200 IM- Lina Rathsack

Friday, March 18

100 Breast- Lina Rathsack

Saturday, March 19

200 Breast- Lina Rathsack

Thursday, March 24

50 Free- Dillon Virva

Friday, March 25

100 Fly- Dillon Virva

Saturday, March 26

100 Free – Dillon Virva


Pac-12 Announces Agreement to Host Men’s Basketball Tournaments at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas


Three-Year Agreements with T-Mobile Arena and Las Vegas Events Announced 

The Pac-12 has reached an agreement with T-Mobile Arena and Las Vegas Events to keep the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas for the next three years, the Conference announced today. The tournament will be played in T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas’ newest sports and entertainment venue being developed by joint venture partners AEG and MGM Resorts International and set to open April 6, 2016. 

The Pac-12 originally brought the tournament to Las Vegas in 2012 after more than a decade in Los Angeles. Last year, the Pac-12 extended its agreement to host the 2016 tournament in Las Vegas, and now the Pac-12 has committed for the next three years.

The season-ending conference championship tournaments in Las Vegas have drawn great attendance over the four years at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, culminating with a sellout of all sessions this year, and provided an exciting experience for Pac-12 student-athletes and fans. 

“In only four years, we have created one of the very best post-season tournaments in all of college basketball here in Las Vegas,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “Our fans have responded, the atmosphere has been electric, and our student-athletes have really enjoyed playing in front of great crowds. We are now thrilled to build on our success in the state-of-the-art T-Mobile Arena and deliver a world-class experience to more Pac-12 fans.”

This year’s tournament continues tonight at 6 p.m. PT at the MGM Grand Garden Arena as the top four seeds – Oregon, Arizona, Utah, and California compete in the semi-final round. The 2016 championship game will take place tomorrow night at 7 p.m. PT with the conference title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line. 

Dan Quinn, general manager of T-Mobile Arena, said, “T-Mobile Arena is thrilled to be the new home of the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas.  Over the last four years the Las Vegas community and college basketball fans nationwide have watched the tournament grow in popularity and we look forward to continuing its success as we showcase the city’s newest sports and entertainment venue.”
T-Mobile Arena will seat nearly 18,500 Pac-12 fans for the tournament and offer an unparalleled fan experience. The venue is scheduled to host more than 100 events annually including UFC, boxing, college basketball and other sporting events; major headline entertainment, awards shows and special events.  The newest landmark, located on the Las Vegas Strip, will have a significant impact on the city’s entertainment landscape while providing Las Vegas visitors and the local community a guest experience second to none.

Dan Beckerman, president & CEO, AEG, said, “T-Mobile Arena, which is being created to present the most important sporting events, concerts, awards shows and special events will be the perfect setting to host the always exciting and newsworthy Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament.  When we first began to discuss events we wanted to bring to the arena with our joint venture partners MGM Resorts, the Pac-12 Tournament was at the top of our list.  Together with the Pac-12 and Las Vegas Events, we believe we can further raise the profile of the event to even greater heights in 2017 when we begin to call T-Mobile Arena the home of the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament.”  

In addition to the agreement with T-Mobile Arena, the Pac-12 re-upped its partnership with Las Vegas Events (LVE) for three years.  LVE has been a champion of bringing the best college basketball tournaments to Las Vegas and has been a valuable partner for the Pac-12 since its move to Las Vegas four years ago.

Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events, said, “Las Vegas is committed to hosting high-profile championship events each year, and the extension with the Pac-12 Conference through 2019 is representative of that vision.  The Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament brings great energy and enthusiastic fans to our destination.  Through this partnership, Las Vegas will continue to work with the Pac-12 to create a unique atmosphere for fans, while providing an outstanding venue for student-athletes to pursue excellence on the court.”

About the Pac-12 Conference
The Conference has a tradition as the “Conference of Champions,” leading the nation in NCAA Championships in 49 of the last 55 years, with 480 NCAA team titles overall. The Conference comprises 12 leading U.S. universities: The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Washington and Washington State University. 

About T-Mobile Arena
T-Mobile Arena is a privately funded indoor arena set to open in April 2016.  The 20,000 seat venue, located on the Las Vegas Strip between New York-New York and Monte Carlo, is expected to host more than 100 events annually, including UFC, boxing, hockey, basketball and other sporting events, major headline entertainment, awards shows, family shows and special events.  Las Vegas’ newest landmark will feature 50 luxury suites, more than two dozen private loge boxes, complete broadcast facilities, and other specially designed exclusive hospitality offerings and fan amenities destined to create a guest experience second to none.  The Arena has partnered with international iconic brands including Coca-Cola, Schneider Electric, Toshiba American Business Solutions Inc. and Cox Business, as the venue’s first “Founding Partners.” These Founding Partners will introduce and brand signature fan initiatives, displays and interactive spaces including Toshiba Plaza, an adjacent two-acre entertainment space which will feature a performance stage, a variety of video screens and other interactive content and display areas.  Industry-leading architect Populous designed the venue to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s standards for LEED® Gold Certification. T-Mobile Arena is a joint venture between AEG and MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM).  For more information visit the T-Mobile Arena website at http://www.t-mobilearena.com.

About Las Vegas Events
Las Vegas Events is a private, not-for-profit organization that serves as the exclusive major special events agency for the city.  Founded in 1983, LVE is funded by hotel room tax. Through its Signature Event initiative, LVE has created a model to integrate all elements of special events and formally improve communication between event producers and Las Vegas’ hotel properties and sponsors. Since 1991, Las Vegas Events has produced, presented or supported more than 700 events.

UNLV SWIMMING AND DIVING NEWS: Dixon, Szele Named Scholar All-America By CSCAA




Five more Rebels named to the Honorable Mention team

UNLV swimmers Rachel Dixon and David Szele were named Scholar All-America by the College Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA), it was announced by the organization on Monday. In addition, a total of five more student-athletes from UNLV were named as Scholar All-America Honorable Mention, two from the women’s squad, and three from the UNLV men. The CSCAA Scholar All-America program is supported by Nike Swim.

Dixon, a native of Las Cruces, N.M. that graduated this past May, swam at the NCAA championships for the second time in three years as an individual in the 50 free. The UNLV record holder in the event, she finished 43rd in the event this year after placing 15th as a sophomore. At the Mountain West Championships in February of this year, she posted two top-eight individual finishes, including runner-up in the 50 free

Szele, a Budapest, Hungary native who was also a senior for the Rebels this past season, earned a pair of Honorable Mention All-American Relay honors, while helping UNLV to tie for its highest-ever finish at the NCAA Championships at 19th. Szele swam the breast legs on both the 200 and 400 medley relays, each of which placed 15th overall. That gave him a total of four HM All-American honors in his career, after swimming on the Rebels’ 400 medley relay and placing 15th in the 100 breast as a junior at the national championships.

Earning Honorable Mention status from the women’s squad was Elena Gavrilova and Jessica Heim. Batka Balint, Joe Riggert and Matt Roe represented the UNLV men in receiving Honorable Mention recognition.

The Scholar All-America award is presented to college and university swimmers and divers who have achieved a cumulative, or term grade point average of 3.5 or higher for the academic term coinciding with their respective NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships and have qualified for and competed at the Championship.
The Honorable Mention Scholar All-America award is presented to college and university swimmers and divers who have achieved a grade point average of 3.5 or higher for the semester, or cumulative average, and have achieved a “B” time standard but did not qualify or compete in their respective national championship.





Rebel women honored as a top-five academic team in the nation

The success for UNLV swimming and diving was not limited to just the pool this past season, as both the men’s and women’s teams were recognized by the College Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) as their 2014 Spring Scholar All-America Team Awards (sponsored by Nike Swim) were announced on Thursday.

The Rebel women’s team in fact posted a 3.59 GPA over the spring semester that tied it for fifth-highest in the nation. The Rebel men meanwhile were also honored thanks to their 3.0 overall GPA for the spring, and they were one of 12 teams to both earn team academic awards while also finishing in the top 20 at the 2014 NCAA Championships.

The Spring Team Scholar All-America award is presented to college and university swimming and diving teams who have achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or higher in the semester/quarter coinciding with the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.

UNLV MEN’S SWIMMING AND DIVING NEWS: Rebels Finish School-Record Tying 19th At NCAA Championships


Rebels scored in the meet’s final event to clinch a top-20 finish

Needing to score points on Saturday to have a chance at a top-20 finish, UNLV did exactly that in the final event with an 11th place relay performance, and the Rebels would finish in 19th place as the 2014 NCAA Men’s Swimming Championships concluded after three days at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center on the University of Texas campus. The Rebels finished the meet with 50 points, seven off the school record 57 scored by the 2010-11 squad, which also placed 19th at the national championships. The 2010-11 squad and this year’s team are the only two to post top-20 finishes in program history.
The Rebels entered the championships ranked 15th in the 400 free relay, and lived up to that seed in the morning preliminaries with a time of 2:53.07. That would qualify them for the night consolations. Starting in lane #1, the Rebels were a surprise outside lane leader for the majority of the consolation heat before fading out near the end. The end result was still an impressive move up to 11th place thanks to a 2:52.36, a new UNLV and WAC record mark. That move up four spots, and the additional eight points to go with it, was the difference in the Rebels finishing 19th, ahead of 20th place Virginia Tech (46).

Making up the relay squad, the fourth of the meet from UNLV to score points and the third to earn Relay Honorable Mention All-American honors, was sophomore Tom Paco-Pedroni, sophomore Samuel Lameynardie, sophomore Dillon Virva and senior Giacomo Gremizzi.

California stormed past Texas on the final day to win the team title with 468.5 points, while the host Longhorns placed second with 417.5 points, and Florida was third with 387. UNLV was the only school from a non-power conference in the top 27 of the team standings.

Paco-Pedroni nearly scored points in a second event for UNLV on the final day, after finishing as the first alternate in the 100 free in the morning prelims. His time of 42.58, which was 17th overall and just .05 seconds away from a spot in the night consolations, set a new UNLV standard and broke a 17-year old WAC record, that had been held by Lars Frolander of SMU.

2014 NCAA Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships
Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center
Austin, Texas

Saturday, March 29
Third Day Results

Team Scoring
19. UNLV – 50 points

Honorable Mention All-American status
400 Free Relay – Tom Paco-Pedroni, Samuel Lameynardie, Dillon Virva, Giacomo Gremizzi – 11th (2:52.36)

Other UNLV swims
100 Free – Tom Paco-Pedroni – 17th (42.58)

UNLV and WAC record swims
400 Free Relay – 2:52.36 (Tom Paco-Pedroni, Samuel Lameynardie, Dillon Virva, Giacomo Gremizzi)
100 Free – 42.58 (Tom Paco-Pedroni)

UNLV MEN’S SWIMMING AND DIVING NEWS: Rebels Named Collegeswimming.com’s Mid-Major Champion



Rebels finish atop the Mid-Major rankings for the first time in the 12-year history of the poll

Thanks to its WAC Championship in February, the ninth conference championship in the past 10 years, the UNLV men’s team was named the Collegeswimming.com/Endless Pools Mid-Major champion after placing first on the final poll of the season entering next week’s NCAA Championships. The design of the Mid-Major rankings is to provide an objective point system to compare non-BCS programs and those that provide fewer than one-half of the allowable scholarships under the NCAA rules.

The Rebels, who edged out defending Mid-Major champion Harvard for the title, are also ranked 25th in the overall Collegeswimming.com/Endless Polls Top 25 poll. UNLV rose in both polls after claiming the 2014 WAC title by 65 points over runner-up Wyoming. In the process, the Rebels recorded four NCAA ‘A’ Automatic relay times. UNLV will be sending a total of seven swimmers to the national championships, with four swimming individual events, and three more going to participate in the relays.

This year’s NCAA meet will be held on March 27-29 on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin.

UNLV SWIMMING AND DIVING NEWS: Rebels Open Season This Weekend At Arizona, Arizona State




The UNLV men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams open the 2013-14 season with a pair of meets in the state of Arizona. First up is the University of Arizona on Friday at 2 pm in Tucson, and that’s followed by a Saturday afternoon meet at 12 pm against Arizona State in Tucson.

UNLV swimming and diving weekly release

Rebel Women Highlights

• The Rebels bring back a strong group from last year, highlighted by a senior class that has two All-Americans (Honorable Mention), Rachel Dixon (50 Free) and Katelyne Herrington (100 Fly)

• Herrington is also a returning MW individual champion, as she won the 100 fly title last year in a new league record time. Herrington and Dixon also made up half of the 400 free relay squad that won the MW title.

Rebel Men Highlights

• UNLV ended the 2012-13 season with an 8-1 record, ranked 25th in the nation, a MPSF Championship title, and a tie for 29th in the NCAA Championships
• UNLV is in its third conference in the past four years, as the Rebels have rejoined the WAC conference, along with several other teams that moved over from the MPSF
• Highlighting the Rebel swimmers are a pair that earned Honorable Mention All-American status last year in individual events, David Szele (100 breast) and Balint Batka (200 fly). In addition, Henrique Machado Samuel Lameynardie  teamed up with Szele and Cody Roberts (graduated) to place 12th in the 400 Medley Relay

Next Time Out
The Rebels will host Toronto on Friday, Nov. 1 at 7 pm in Las Vegas at Buchanan Natatorium.

UNLV ATHLETICS NEWS: Sportsman & Sportswoman Of The Year Announced



Kevin Penner and Aleksandra Josifoska earn school’s top athletics award for 2012-13

Men’s golf standout Kevin Penner has been named the UNLV Sportsman of the Year for 2012-13, while women’s tennis star Aleksandra Josifoska won the Sportswoman of the Year award, UNLV Athletics announced Thursday.

Penner was a senior this past school year and is a native of Sammamish, Wash. He was named honorable mention All-America for the second straight season after earning PING All-West Region honors, also for the second consecutive year.

He earned the individual title at the Mountain West Championship in May and led UNLV in scoring this season with an average of 72.11 over 35 rounds. In 12 tournaments played, he recorded seven top-10 individual finishes, including five in the top five. He finished the season with a tie for second individually at the NCAA Championship, helping the Rebels to an “Elite Eight” showing at the national finals.

Penner ranked fifth in the conference in scoring average this past year and recorded 11 rounds in the 60s, including all three of his stroke-play rounds at the NCAA Championship. He is the first golf student-athlete to earn UNLV Sportsman of the Year since Ryan Moore in 2005 and is the 10th overall.

Josifoska is a rising senior from Skopje, Macedonia. She finished the season ranked 43rd and reached the nation’s top 20 during the year after winning the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Mountain Regional singles crown in the fall.

The 2013 Mountain West Player of the Year, she went 7-0 vs. league opponents for the second straight season to improve her career record vs. MW foes to a stunning 21-1. As part of her 34-9 overall mark, Josifoska had seven wins over opponents that ended the year ranked in the top 100, including a victory over the nation’s seventh-ranked player.

Playing at the top of the lineup, Josifoska helped the Lady Rebels to a MW Tournament title and spot in the NCAA Championships and her thrilling three-set victory over 18th-ranked Samantha Vickers would clinch UNLV’s 4-3 upset of Tulsa in the first round of the national event. She also earned her first trip to the NCAA Singles Tournament this past spring and is the first tennis player to earn UNLV Sportswoman of the Year since 2010 and the seventh overall.

The UNLV Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards are presented annually to the athletics department’s top male and female athletes, taking only athletic performance during the past year into account.