Australian Taylor Ritenburg, a University of Hawaii sophomore, was invited to compete in the NCAA national swimming championships in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and 200 individual medley.
The Rainbow Wahine finished second at last week’s Western Athletic Conference championship, while the men won their first Conference USA title.
Ritenburg’s times in the two breaststroke events at the WAC championship broke the program’s longest-standing records. Ritenburg took second in the 100 with a time of 1:01.70 and won the 200 in 2:11.27. Jeanne Childs had held the records since she won national championships in both events in 1983, finishing the 100 in 1:01.97 and 200 in 2:11.90.
The women’s nationals are March 17-19 in Austin, Texas. Men’s NCAA swimming selections will be announced Tuesday. The UH men’s and women’s diving teams travel to Minneapolis for their zone qualifying meets, March 10-12.
Top individual performers there qualify for the national championships in Austin.
Tennis’ Lajola honored
UH senior Dennis Lajola is the Verizon Wireless Western Athletic Conference men’s tennis player of the Week. This is Lajola’s first honor this season and the fifth of his career.
Lajola, from Aiea, went 2-1 in both singles and doubles last week as the Rainbows went 1-2 against three teams in the top 65. Against No. 52 San Diego State, Lajola defeated Giovanni Vaglietti 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1. He was pushed against Benjamin Recknagle of No. 65 UC Santa Barbara, winning after dropping the first set, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Lajola’s only loss was a 7-6 (10-8), 7-5 setback against No. 34 Dean Jackson, who plays for 42nd-ranked San Diego. Lajola and Jonathan Brooklyn won doubles matches against SDSU and UCSB. The 1-5 Rainbows dropped from 43rd to 74th in the current rankings.
They are home this week and play eighth-ranked Michigan (6-3) today at 3 p.m. at the UH courts. The Wolverines have two top-50 singles players in Evan King (27) and Jason Jung (45). Those two are ranked 11th in doubles. UH will be providing free Papa John’s Pizza (while supplies last) to fans at today’s match.