AUSTIN - On the second day of the NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships, the Western Athletic Conference had one All-American performance. Mark Nikolaev from Grand Canyon received First-Team All-American recognition in the 100 backstroke event for the first time in his career.
Nikolaev, a senior from Seltso, Russia, went into the championship ranked second nationally. In the preliminaries, Nikolaev finished in fifth with a time of 44.91 to qualify for the championship final. He improved his time in the finals to 44.33 seconds to finish third. Nikolaev earned a spot on the First-Team All-American with his performance.
Nikolaev is the first GCU man to be named an All-American First-Team selection since the Lopes have been Division I.
The championship will conclude March 30 at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin. Nikolaev will have a chance to compete in the 200 backstroke with the preliminaries starting at 10 a.m. CT.