DENVER – Grand Canyon's Mark Nikolaev and Pietro Hufnagel Toscani have been named the Western Athletic Conference Men's Swimmer and Diver of the Week, respectively, for Nov. 13-Nov. 19.
Nikolaev, a senior from Seltso, Russia, finished first in four events at the Hawkeye Invitational. He won the 100 backstroke in 44.61 which ranks him first in the nation. The time earned him an NCAA A cut to automatically qualify him for the NCAA Championships. He also set a Grand Canyon record and broke the previous Hawkeye Invitational record. Nikolaev won the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:40.81 and the 200 individual medley touching at 1:43.43. He also competed in five relays with each recording the best time in the WAC so far this season. Nikolaev holds the best individual time in the WAC in the 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke, and the 200 individual medley. In the NCAA he ranks best in the 100 backstroke, seventh in the 100 freestyle, sixth in the 200 backstroke, and fifth in the 200 individual medley.
Hufnagel Toscani, a junior from Sao Paulo, Brazil, finished fifth, sixth, and seventh against tough competition at the Hawkeye Invitational. He recorded a personal best and WAC best in the 1-meter with 343.20 points. He tallied 306.90 points in the 3-meter for his top score of the season. In his first platform dive competition of the season, Hufnagel Toscani recorded 292.65 points.
Other swimmer nominees: Air Force's Zach Nelson finished fourth in three events recording two top-ten times in program history and qualified for NCAA B cut time in the 200 breaststroke… Brandon Schuster of California Baptist had seven top-eight finishes including a second-place finish in the 400 individual medley… Seattle U's Greg Raper won first in the 50 freestyle, 100 butterfly, and 400 freestyle relay… Seth Borgert of Wyoming snagged four first-place titles and recorded a season-best time in the 500 freestyle.
Other diver nominees: Air Force's Cole Armagost finished top three in all three diving events at the Lumberjack Diving Invite... Garret Chew of California Baptist finished 5th and 13th against top competition at the Mizzou Invite… Wyoming's Ryan Russi scored 44 of the team's 52 points at the Mizzou Diving Invite finishing second, fourth, and seventh.