GVSU men’s and women’s swimming & diving sweep at Findlay

GVL / Emily Frye
GVSU Men's and Women's Swim and Dive team compete on the final day of competition during the GLIAC Championships on Saturday February 17, 2018.

GVL / Emily Frye GVSU Men's and Women's Swim and Dive team compete on the final day of competition during the GLIAC Championships on Saturday February 17, 2018.

Kady Volmering

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The Grand Valley State men and women’s swimming and diving team traveled to Findlay, Ohio on Friday, Jan. 11. Both teams pulled through, building upon an already impressive season with the men winning 171-62, and the women 143-97.

Though the teams faced a few challenges competing in tougher conditions and having a few members out sick, head coach Andy Boyce said that both teams performed well and got the outcome they aimed for. He attributes some of the team’s success to their training trip to Florida and the continuous work of coming together as a group.

“We like to be competitive, to go out and race in all of our meets, and that showed today,” Boyce said. “We have one more meet and then we reach the conference and nationals, so we’re getting to the end of our season.”

On the women’s side, several divers performed well enough to qualify for nationals. Freshman Nicole Carlson, sophomore Nicole Taormina and junior Mikayla Karasek outperformed their opponents on the one-meter board. For Carlson and Taormina, it’s the first time they have qualified for Nationals.

“It was really exciting to qualify,” Carlson said. “Both of my teammates did too, so it was fun.”

Some other top performers for the women include senior Hannah Richard, who earned the win in the 100 fly with a time of 58.85 and junior Melina Goebel who added another first-place win in the 500 free with a time of 5:09.04. Other women finished in the top three as well, including seniors Lara Deibel and Allison Wells coming in second and third 100 free.

The men also showed up to compete, earning several first and second places in their relay teams. The 200-medley trio of freshman Noah Ellis, junior Ahmed Nabih and sophomore Oscar Saura Armengol won first place with a time of 1:35.96. The relay team of senior Gabriel Souza, senior JD Ham, junior Harry Shalamon and freshman Keegan Hawkins followed close behind, coming in second at time with 1:36.90. 

Hawkins earned a first-place finish in the 500 free with a time of 4:41.95, followed by freshman Eric Klein with a time of 4:58.11 and junior Jonathan Loshinskie coming in third just over the five-minute mark. Overall, the men found great success at the meet, securing their place at second in the nation.

Even with snagging two wins in the night, there are still some aspects that Boyce says the team is working on.

“We’re always focusing on the finer points of our races, and fine-tuning the strokes and working on our turns and finishes,” Boyce said. “The smaller things in the race that can make a big difference. We’ll keep working on that.”

With only one meet left of the season before the teams’ head into conference and national completion, the Lakers have a tough matchup next weekend against Davenport and No. 1 ranked Indianapolis.

“We’ll do the practices the same as we normal do,” Boyce said. “We work hard throughout the entire season and then we rest before the conferences and national championships, so we can get our best times there.”

The men and women will face-off on Saturday, Jan. 19 in Kentwood against both Indianapolis and Davenport starting at 3 p.m.