Men’s swim, dive speeds through MSU

GVL / Archive
Junior Milan Medo

GVL / Archive Junior Milan Medo

Autumn Burin

A pair of NCAA swimming and diving programs, a Division I team and a Division II team, waited expectantly for the final results when the meet came to an end in the pristine, Olympic-sized pools at Michigan State University.

The No. 5 Grand Valley State University men’s team came up big with a 166-134 victory in East Lansing on Friday while the No. 15 women’s team fell to the Spartans 162-138.

“Both teams did an incredible job,” head coach Andy Boyce said. “It was the fastest school meet that we have ever swum. We have a long road ahead of us, but this weekend we had a great win for the men and an excellent performance by our women.”

In spite of the loss, the women’s team seemed to keep pace with the Spartans. The Lakers were still able to make the most out of a competitive meet by supporting their teammates to see how much they could accomplish individually.

“I think the team had an amazing meet as a whole,” senior Caitlyn Madsen said. “We went into (the meet) not really expecting to win, but to get some awesome times and to see what we can do before our taper meet. Now we can get excited and ready for that.”

Madsen finished first in the 200 fly (2:05.17) and the 200 IM (2:09.02). “Being able to compete at that level is something that makes our team what it is,” she said. “It gets our team ready for conference meets and other meets later on.”

Freshman Meghan Falconer also boasted an impressive performance in the meet after setting a pair of personal records in the 100 back (58.09) and 200 back (2:05.07).

“I was really surprised,” Falconer said. “I wasn’t expecting to get my best time. The whole thing was definitely a team effort. For me especially, seeing all my teammates swim so fast made me want to swim faster.”

Facloner said the ability to perform well against a DI school made her teammates even more excited for the upcoming season. She said she expects big things from her team this year.

“Being on the team feels like one big family,” she said. “One family that works really hard and swims really fast.”

Madsen said the look on Falconer’s face was “priceless” after the first-year swimmer saw her score. “The loss wasn’t something that hurt us,” Madsen said. “We weren’t focused on that. We were focused on how well we did as a team. The enthusiasm that was on the pool deck was something most girls said they had never experienced before.”

Meanwhile, the men’s swim team found a way to defeat an MSU squad that was literally out of its league. The Lakers were breaking personal records left and right as the men took 12 out of 14 events.

As if breaking a school record last week against Lewis University wasn’t enough, sophomore Gianni Ferraro was victorious in a trio of individual events after touching first in the 200 free (1:38.96), 500 free (4:36.25) and 200 IM (1:50.16). Ferrero also swam a leg on the first-place 200 medley relay team along with seniors Aaron Marken, Michael Griffith and Erik Aakesson (1:30.73). Marken also finished first in the 100 breast (56.30) and 200 breast (2:05.76), while Griffith won the 50 free (20.83).