Courtesy: Matt Schill,
Swim teams each finish fifth at WAC Championships
Release: 02/26/2017
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HOUSTON, Texas-- The University of North Dakota swimming and diving teams each grabbed fifth-place finishes at the Western Athletic Conference Championships, wrapping up Saturday. UND had another outstanding day in the pool on the final day. 

"What ian amazing week of swimming for our program," UND associate head coach Anthony Harris said. "From the start, Coach Chris Maiello coined this the 'best season ever', and it was exactly that. The accolades awarded and the medals earned were outstanding, but the experience of being a part of something like this was remarkable. Every year sees its challenges, and this season was no different, but the way the team rallied together in those times allowed them to shine all the brighter this week.

"Finishing a place higher than we did in 2016 and only two points out of fourth place is another huge step for our women's program. Winning four out of the five relays and breaking all five school relay records in the process was amazing! Additionally, Katie Breault winning Freshman of the Year is a great indicator that we are getting better each year and will be a force in years to come.

"Our men held their fifth-place finish from 2016, on the leadership of Noah Lucas and captain Bruce Nerheim. Together they totaled five lifetime best performances, providing an electric atmosphere for their teammates. Sophomore Jake Wielinski also had an outstanding meet, highlighted by his mile championship on Saturday. Jake's time is a strong NCAA B cut, and there is a chance he could become our first ever NCAA Division I national meet participant." 

Saturday, the UND women would win their fourth relay at the meet, taking the 400 freestyle relay in 3:22.07. That time broke another school record as Anna Andersen, Steph Frey, Megan Wenman and Marlena Pigliacampi wrote their names into the school's record book. Maddie Derby was sixth in the 200 backstroke, clocking a 2:02.60 time. Four UND athletes qualified for the A-final in the 100 free as Megan Wenman led the way for the Fighting Hawks with a 50.82 time for third place, followed by Marlena Pigliacampi in fourth, Steph Frey fifth and Anna Andersen eighth. Pigliacampi would later etch a runner-up showing in the 200 butterfly with a 2:00.38 time, a personal best.

Jacob Wielinski won the 1650 freestyle with a 14:49.09 time, good for an NCAA B-cut time and breaking his own his own school record. The men's 400 free relay finished the meet with a sixth-place showing in 3:01.05.

Katie Breault was named the WAC Freshman of the Year following the meet after her spectacular performance during the championships. 

Men - Final
1. Air Force 794.5
2. Wyoming 754
3. Grand Canyon 563
4. UNLV 525.5
5. North Dakota 357
6. CSU Bakersfield 300
7. Seattle University 220

Women - Final
1. Northern Arizona 615.5
2. New Mexico State 551
3. Idaho 544
4. Grand Canyon 509
5. North Dakota 507
6. CSU Bakersfield 358
7. Northern Colorado 277.5
8. Seattle University 274

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