Men’s and women’s swim and dive overmatches Findlay at dual meet

GVL Archive / Eric Coulter
Members of the GVSU Swim and Dive team launch off the diving platforms and prepare to enter the water earlier this season

GVL Archive / Eric Coulter Members of the GVSU Swim and Dive team launch off the diving platforms and prepare to enter the water earlier this season

Zach Sepanik

The GVSU men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams traveled to Ohio this weekend to face the University of Findlay. The Lakers men won all 13 events, leading to a dominating 167-25 win, while the women notched a convincing 146-67 victory.

Patrick VanDommelen and Carly Bush led each of their respective sides with outstanding individual performances in the pool.

VanDommelen, a senior diver, qualified for nationals at the meet. He scored 293.03 points on his six dives on the one-meter board, a performance that topped the 285 points required to qualify for nationals.

“The main goal for me personally was to qualify for nationals,” VanDommelen said. “I ended up doing that today, and it’s just a big relief for me. It was a big goal of mine, and with the season winding down, it was one of the last opportunities to do so.”

In the previous meet against Wayne State University, a team who finished second nationally in both the men’s and women’s sides last year, the competition was much stronger and the teams’ goals were far different than those of Saturday against Findlay.

“Going into Wayne State, obviously it’s a huge rivalry for us. It was good to pull through against them as our meets have gone back and forth the last few years,” VanDommelen said. “This week, it was more expected to win because of the size of our team versus the size of (Findlay’s) team. It was more of a meet for personal goals today. We went in knowing personal goals are what we were trying to accomplish.”

For the men, Saturday’s meet against Findlay marked another solid performance for the team. For the women, it steered them in the right direction with the conference championships only a month away.

“We are going back to training mode here for the conference championships,” said GVSU head coach Andy Boyce. “We will allow their bodies to recoup and hope for some fast times. We have Indianapolis next weekend, and then conference is right around the corner.”

Junior Carly Bush won the 200-meter and 500 freestyle events for the Lakers. She also contributed to the Lakers’ first-place finish in the 400 medley relay. She said the meet will prepare the team well for the upcoming postseason.

“The highlight of the meet was spending the day with the team and working together to work toward the GLIAC championships,” Bush said. “Every swim meet is like a practice for us to train mentally and physically to prepare for conference. We all pulled together and made it really enjoyable.”

Bush said with the right mindset, the women will be ready to push for a GLIAC crown.

“A positive attitude and positive thinking always will take you a long way,” Bush said. “We need to focus on that and encourage each other, and that will help us win. We have to believe and know that the effort we put into our practices and training we go through. We have to apply it in the meets.”

The men and women finish out the regular season at home next weekend against Hope on Friday and Indianapolis on Saturday. With Findlay in the rear-view mirror, the men look strong and the women make strides heading toward the conference championship, and Boyce realizes what this time of year holds in store for his squad.

“Some of our freshmen had the opportunity to go out there today and show us what they could do before the conference meet,” Boyce said. “It’s going to be very competitive down the stretch here at the conference meet as it always comes down to the wire. We are hoping to have a top-10 finish again at the national championships for the third year in a row.”

[email protected]