UNLV SWIMMING AND DIVING NEWS: Rebels Compete At WAC Championships This Week


Senior Tom Pac-Pedroni is a favorite to contend for several individual titles

The UNLV Rebel men are off to this week’s 2017 WAC Swimming and Diving Championships, which will run from Wednesday, Feb. 22-Saturday, Feb. 25 in Houston, Texas at the CRWC Natatorium on the campus of the University of Houston. Preliminaries will begin at 10:30 am (CT) all four days while the night finals will have a 6:00 pm (CT) start beginning on Wednesday.

The Rebels have their sights set on surpassing last year’s finish of fourth place. Looking to pace UNLV’s efforts this season are Tom Paco-Pedroni (France) and Or Sabatier (Israel), who redshirted last season to train for the Olympic trials. Paco-Pedroni brings the league’s top time in the 100 free (43.00) into the week and ranks 23rd in the nation. He also posts ‘B’ cut times in the 200 free (1:37.55, fourth) and 50 free (20.14, eighth). Sabatier earned the league’s fifth-fastest time in the 100 free (43.90, ‘B’ cut time) and is seventh in the 50 free (20.02).

Also looking to pace UNLV’s efforts this season is Kasey Foley, who’s slated sixth in the 50 free (20.01) into the week and is seventh in the 100 free (43.99), both ‘B’ cut times. Avi Cohen, slotted fourth in the 200 fly (1:48.69), and Francois Van Wynsberghe, who’s eighth in the 200 breast (2:02.41) are also expected to be a strong contenders in their events this weekend. Another event that has been a positive for UNLV this season has been the top 400 free relay squad featuring Paco-Pedroni, Sabatier, Forrest Beesley and Foley (2:54.06), who’s 20th in the nation.

Live video and results, team scores, event highlights and more from the meet is available on the WAC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championship Central page at www.wacsports.com/live. All live broadcasts are free of charge. Links will be available on UNLVRebels.com as well.

Fans also can follow the championships through the league’s social media channels on Twitter (@WACsports), Facebook (WesternAthleticConference) and Instagram (@WACsports) for updates on each day’s events.

UNLV SWIMMING NEWS: Paco-Pedroni, Hendrick Swept Weekly Swimming Awards


Rebel duo picks up conference honors from the WAC and the Mountain West


UNLV’s Tom Paco-Pedroni and Kristina Hendrick made it a sweep of their conference Swimmer of the Week awards on Tuesday, as Paco-Pedroni was honored by the WAC and Hendrick was selected as the week’s best from the Mountain West, both league offices announced on Tuesday morning. It’s the first career weekly conference honor for both Rebels.

Paco-Pedroni, a senior from Nice, France, returned to the pool for the Rebels this past weekend after redshirting the 2015-16 season while training for the Olympic Trials. He showed the same dominate form as always, winning a total of four out of five individual events he swam in while placing second in the fifth event. His win in the 50 free came in a time of 20.14, which currently ranks him 23rd in the nation, while he has a top-10 time in the 100 free in 43.41, ranking him sixth. He holds the top time in the WAC in the 50, 100 and 200 free events. He also helped the 400 free relay to a win in a time of 2:59.47 against BYU, the 21st-fastest time in the nation so far.

Hendrick, a senior from Santa Maria, Calif., was key in the Rebels’ first win of the season, a 160-120 home victory over BYU on Nov. 5. Over the two days against the Cougars and Utah on Nov. 4, she posted three individual wins while also swam on a pair of second-place relays. Hendrick swept the 100 breast on both days, and her time of 1:03.61 against Utah is the second-fastest in the MW this season. Also claimed the 200 IM against Utah in 2:04.80, third-fastest mark in the league.

The Rebels are back in action in two weeks when they take a select squad to the Mizzou Invite in Columbia, Mo., on Nov. 17-19.

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


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.

UNLV MEN’S SWIMMING AND DIVING NEWS: Rebels Send Seven To This Week’s NCAA Championships


Rebels have eyes set on possible top-25  finish

UNLV is sending a total of seven swimmers, one off the school record, to this week’s 2014 NCAA Men’s Swimming Championships that are being held in Austin, Texas on Thursday-Saturday. The three-day meet will take place at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center on the University of Texas campus, with preliminaries beginning at 9 am (PT) each day and the finals starting at 5 pm (PT). The night finals on the second and third days of both championships will be streamed live on ESPN3.com, while there will be live video provided of the prelims all three days as well as Thursday’s finals.

The Rebels, coming off their ninth conference championship in the past 10 years after winning the WAC title in February, will be represented by four swimmers in individual events, while another three will compete in the relays. Leading the group are a pair of sophomores, Dillon Virva and Tom Paco-Pedroni, with three individual events each.

Virva, the highest seeded Rebel, is tied for sixth in the 50 free event, which will be held on the meet’s first day. Virva will also compete in the 100 fly (seeded 30th) and the 100 free (48th), which will be held on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Paco-Pedroni meanwhile will swim in the 50 free (37th), 100 free (18th) and the 200 free (52nd), which will be held on Friday.

In addition to Virva’s 100 fly and Paco-Pedroni’s 200 free swim on Friday, two more Rebels will be in action, with Henrique Machado competing in the 100 back (28th) and David Szele, an Honorable Mention in 2013, swimming in the 100 breast (26th). Machado will also swim on Saturday in the 200 back (42nd).

The three Rebels coming to swim on UNLV’s four relays in the meet are Samuel Lameynardie, Guilherme Passos and Giacomo Gremizzi. The final lineups are not set for the relays, but the expected quartet for the 200 free relay on Thursday is Virva, Paco-Pedroni, Passos and Lameynardie. UNLV will swim another relay on the first day of the meet, the 400 medley, which will consist of Machado, Szele, Virva and Paco-Pedroni.

Friday will be the 200 medley relay, made up of the same lineup as the 400 event (Machado, Szele, Virva, Paco-Pedroni). The meet will conclude on Saturday with the 400 free relay, with the lineup expected to comprise of Lameynardie, Paco-Pedroni, Virva and Gremizzo, though changes could be made to any relay at anytime prior to their swims. The rankings for the four relays coming into the championships are: 200 free (10th), 400 medley (19th), 200 medley (17th), and the 400 free (15th).

The Rebels’ best finish all-time at the NCAAs is 19th at the 2011 championships, while they tied for 29th at last year’s meet.

Links to live results and live video for the championship meet will be available at UNLVRebels.com.

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

UNLV Schedule

Thursday, March 27
200 Free Relay – (Dillon Virva, Tom Paco-Pedroni, Guilherme Passos, Samuel Lameynardie)
50 Free – Dillon Virva, Tom Paco-Pedroni
400 Medley Relay – (Henrique Machado, David Szele, Dillon Virva, Tom Paco-Pedroni)

Friday, March 28
200 Medley Relay – (Henrique Machado, David Szele, Dillon Virva, Tom Paco-Pedroni)
100 Fly – Dillon Virva
200 Free – Tom Paco-Pedroni
100 Breast – David Szele
100 Back – Henrique Machado

Saturday, March 29
200 Back – Henrique Machado
100 Free – Dillon Virva, Tom Paco-Pedroni
400 Free Relay – (Samuel Lameynardie, Tom Paco-Pedroni, Dillon Virva, Giacomo Gremizzi)

UNLV SWIMMING AND DIVING NEWS: Rebels Host Quad-Dual Meet Saturday



The UNLV men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will have its first home competition in two months on Saturday, as the Rebels will host a quad-dual meet with Air Force, Bakersfield, and Denver at Buchanan Natatorium. The diving portion takes place at 9 am, following by the swimming events at 11 am.

UNLV swimming and diving weekly release

Rebel Women Highlights

• Katelyne Herrington currently holds the top time in the Mountain West Conference in the 100 fly in 52.71, which also ranks 16th in the nation.

Rebel Men Highlights

• The Rebels hold the top time in the WAC in the 50 free (Dillon Virva), the 100 back (Henrique Machado), the 100 breast (David Szele), the 200 breast (Brandon Meier), the 200 fly (Balint Batka) and in the 400 IM (Giacomo Gremizzi)
• UNLV holds the top relay times in the WAC in four of five relays (excluding the 800 free)
• Dillon Virva currently ranks second in the nation in the 50 free in a school record time of 19.37

Next Time Out
The Rebels will have their Senior Day meet on Saturday, Feb. 1, when it hosts Wyoming and the Nevada, Reno women’s squad.





Derek Starks has been named as diving coach for the UNLV men’s and women’s swimming and diving team, head coach Jim Reitz announced on Monday. Starks replaces Julie Weddle, who left for the head diving coach position at New Mexico in August.

Starks comes to Las Vegas from California, where he served as the national and international team director for Mission Viejo Nadadores Diving since 2007. He oversaw the coaching for the junior olympic and senior level divers, as well as at all national and international competitions for the team. While as the coach for the Nadadores, the team won a total of 14 medals at the age group national championships and 26 junior national championship medals. International meets that Starks has coached at include the UANA Junior Pan American Games in 2011 (two medals) and the 2012 CAMO International Invitational in 2012 (two medals).

He competed in college at the University of Miami, and was the ACC Diver of the Year in 2006. He earned three All-American honors (10-meters in 2004 and 2005, and on the 1-meter in 2006), and honorable mention in 2005 on the 1-meter. As a freshman, he earned Big East Most Outstanding Diver honors in 2004. He also competed at the US Olympic Trials and the US Diving Nationals during his collegiate career. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration while majoring in entrepreneurship in 2007.

“We are excited to have Derek join our Rebel family this season,” said Reitz. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as well as a passion for the sport that will take our divers to the next level.”

UNLV SWIMMING AND DIVING NEWS: Rebel Teams Split Up For Conference Championships Week



Rebel men and women swimming in MPSF and Mountain West championships


The UNLV men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will begin their challenge for their conference championships on Wednesday, though the teams will be doing it from different time zones, as the 25th-ranked Rebel men will be at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships on Feb. 20-23 in Monterey Park, Calif, as the conference meet is being held at East Los Angeles College. The UNLV women meanwhile will be in San Antonio, Texas, as the Mountain West Championships which will take place at the Palo Alto Aquatics Center on the same days. The UNLV men’s divers will also be at a third site, with the Air Force Academy hosting the diving events of the MPSF Championships.

The two conference championships will have both a live webstream video of the races and live official results, which can be accessed through links on the UNLVRebels.com site. In addition, the Mountain West women’s championships can be followed though the Meet Mobile on their handheld devices and tables, which can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play.

UNLV swimming and diving weekly release

All About The Rebel Men

• UNLV ended the regular season with eight straight wins to post an 8-1 dual meet record, and are ranked 25th in the latest CSCAA Top 25 poll.

• UNLV is looking to start a new conference championship streak after seeing its seven-year streak (all in the Mountain West) snapped in its first year in the MPSF after finishing second to BYU by just 11.5 points.

• UNLV comes into this week’s meet with the top seed in the following events: 100 free (Samuel Lameynardie) 100 fly (Cody Roberts), 200 fly (Balint Batka), 100 breast (David Szele), 100 back (Henrique Machado), 200 IM and 400 IM (Giacomo Gremizzi), 200 and 400 medley relays and the 200 and 800 free relays.

• Roberts currently ranks fourth in the nation in the 100 fly, Gremizzi is sixth in the 400 IM, and Szele is 12th in the nation in the 100 breast. The 400 medley relay ranks seventh, the 200 medley is eighth and the 800 free relay is 11th.

All About The Rebel Women

• The Rebels are looking to move up in the standings after placing fourth in 2011 and third in 2012. UNLV has won one MW team championship, in 2005.

• Junior Jessica Heim will be looking to defend two MW titles, as she was the 2012 champion in the 500 free and the 1650 free

• UNLV comes into this week’s championships as the top seed in six events: Rachel Dixon in the 50 free, Katelyne Herrington in the 100 fly, Carmen Robb in the 100 back, Jessica Heim in the 1650 free, and in both the 200 free and 200 medley relays. Robb is also currently 10th in the nation in the 100 back, while the 200 medley relay holds the nation’s 16th fastest time.

• UNLV was predicted to finish third in the Mountain West preseason poll, behind San Diego State (first) and Boise State (second).