‘Lopes gather All-America swim honors on first trip to NCAAs

Grand Canyon University established a couple of milestones for its young swim program last week.  Both will provide a huge boost to its recruiting efforts.

The Antelopes swim program is just in its third year, but decided this was the year to make its first trip to the NCAA Swimming Championships.  And that gave Artem Tretiakov the opportunity to qualify as the program’s first All-American by placing eighth in the 50 Freestyle.  Tretiakov, a junior from the Ukraine, swam the event in a time of 20.57.

Two days later, Ralph Herberg finished fifth in the 100 Breaststroke to add a second All-America honor for the Lopes.  His time of 56.26 for his fifth-place finish gave the import from Germany the high placing for a GCU swimmer at the meet.  He was seventh in the prelims and set a school record of 56.16.

Then, on the final race of the event on Saturday, the Lopes’ 400 Freestyle Relay team earned yet another All-America honor when they set a team-record time of 3:04.32 in the prelims and then clocked an identical final time to place eighth in the event.  A local product, Charlie Woodruff from Central HS in Phoenix, joined with teammates Tretiakov, Herberg, and Johan Ivarsson to form the relay team.

Another local swimmer, Richie Krzyzanowski from Pinnacle HS in Scottsdale, also set a new team record by swimming the 200 Butterfly in a time of 1:51.46. And Ivarsson, who is from Sweden, also added a new mark to the team record book in the 200 Backstroke, finishing in 1:49.80.

GCU scored a total of 99 points and placed 16th – a good place to begin it’s climb toward national recognition.