CMU freshman El Hazzaz nearly nabs honor
Mehdi El Hazzaz finished less than a quarter of second from making All-America.
The Colorado Mesa University freshman, though, had to settle for honorable mention All-America on Thursday at the NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving National Championships in Birmingham, Ala.
El Hazzaz, who is from Morocco, swam the 200-yard freestyle in 1 minute, 38.72 seconds to place 11th.
He swam the 200 freestyle preliminary in 1:38.93, 0.24 seconds off making the championship finals and All-America honors. El Hazzaz had a seed time of 1:37.9 entering nationals.
Meanwhile, CMU sophomore diver Amanda Jennings accomplished one of her goals, becoming an honorable mention All-American in the women’s 1-meter dive. She placed 14th with a score of 382.25 points.
The Mavericks’ Briana Purkapile didn’t make the finals cut in the women’s 100 butterfly. Her prelim time was 59.19 seconds.
Pfeiffer (N.C.) University took an early lead and held on to defeat Colorado Mesa 12-10 in Misenheimer, N.C.
The No. 10-ranked Falcons (5-1) broke a 2-2 tie with three consecutive goals early in the second period. Pfeiffer added three more late in the second period for an 8-3 halftime lead.
Mesa (1-2) outscored Pfeiffer 7-4 in the second half.
Michael Beimford led the Mavericks with two goals and two assists, and Josh Russell added two goals and one assist. Steven Bradenburg, Kade Robinson and Dylan Duresky each added two goals for the Mavericks.
Each team had two goals with a one-man advantage.
Colorado Mesa (6-8) swept the three doubles matches and won five singles matches to defeat Dixie State (Utah) College 8-1 in the Dixie State Invitational in St. George, Utah.
Mesa sophomore Kristyn Wykert rolled to a 6-0, 6-0 victory at No. 3 singles after teaming up with Skyler Nelson for an 8-3 win at No. 2 doubles. The Mavs’ Shannen McNamara (No. 2), Rachel McLaughlin (No. 4), Emily Dodson (No. 5) and Michelle Phillips (No. 6) won in straight sets.
Dixie No. 1 singles player Joy Naigeon defeated Kaylee Davis 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 for the Red Storm’s only victory.
■ Mesa senior Nicole Lessley was selected the RMAC women’s tennis player of the week earlier this week.
The No. 5 singles player was 1-1 last weekend and also finished 1-1 at No. 2 doubles.
Colorado Mesa freshman Spencer Weinberg was selected the RMAC men’s tennis player of the week.
The No. 2 singles player and Grand Junction High School graduate went 2-1 in his first collegiate singles matches last weekend for the Mavericks. He rallied from a set down to win his first collegiate match. Weinberg went 1-2 at No. 1 doubles with partner Jordan Lyden.
The Colorado Mesa women’s Nordic ski team placed third in Wednesday’s 8.5-kilometer classic race at the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association National Championships in Sun Valley, Idaho.
The Mavericks did it in tough conditions with new snowfall over ice.
Brooke Bosman placed sixth in 33:23.3. Mira Hopkin was ninth (34:55.6), Kacie McCleary 13th, Courtney Berg 18th and Tessa Grigsby 22nd.
Duncan Koehn led the men’s team with a 10th-place finish in 25:59. Dustin Wanstrath was 21st and Tre Anastasia placed 24th for the Mavericks.
The 15-kilometer freestyle race is today, and the 3x5-kilometer relay is Saturday.