Phoenix, AZ , October 3rd, 2011
The Grand Canyon university swim teams began their 2011-12 campaign this weekend with a strong effort against Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference power, Incarnate Word, at the Dottie Boreyko/Brophy Sports Campus in Phoenix.
“We had a very good showing against Incarnate Word this weekend,” said head coach Steve Schaffer. “They are an excellent team and have been conference champions for the past three years and it was great to be able to swim against such tough competition for our first meet. We raced well and we got a glimpse of what it will take if we want to challenge for the conference championship this season.”
Newcomer Eetu Karvonen highlighted the opening weekend for the men, setting an NCAA B cut standard time in the 100 breast with a 55.75. Karvonen’s time was fast enough that it would have gained entry into last year’s NCAA Championships.
Ivan Nechunaev picked up where he left off last season, setting a B cut in the 100 fly (50.41). Offseason addition, Buddy Turner, recorded a pair of B cut times, clocking a 21.17 in the 50 free and 50.34 in the 100 fly. Kyle Shores entered his name into the GCU record book, posting a school-best 52.43 in the 100 IM.
The always strong men’s relay squads set a B cut standard with a 3:23.20 in the 400 medley relay. The relay was swam by Johan Ivarsson (back), Eetu Karvonen (breast), Ivan Nechunaev (fly) and Buddy Turner (free).
Mychala Lynch had a strong weekend on the women’s side, setting a B cut time in the 100 fly with a 56.35. She also set a school-record 1:00.28 in the 100 IM, breaking her previous record from October, 2010.
Catherine Polito produced a B cut time in the 200 free, touching the wall in 1:55.67.
“Everyone swam very well,” added Schaffer. “A couple of things stand out, however. First, the NCAA cuts. Last year we picked up two cuts in our first meet and this year we had six individual cuts and one relay cut. This bodes very well for the NCAA Championships the season. Also, it was really great to see Johan Ivarsson back in form after he had to sit out last season due to his heart surgery. Johan’s success says a lot about how hard he worked this summer to get back into shape.”
The GCU swim teams will next be in competition on Oct. 22, when they travel to Redlands, Calif. for the Redlands Invitational.