GVSU men’s and women’s swimming and diving win to conclude regular season

GVL / Matt Read

GVL / Matt Read

Kady Volmering

The Grand Valley State men and women’s swimming & diving team came to a close on their regular season, as their last meet took place on Saturday, Jan. 19, in Kentwood. The teams faced off with Indianapolis and Davenport, pulling through wins all around.

The No. 3 ranked men beat Indy 151-147, while the women won 200-105, also beating Davenport 237-60. This advances the Lakers’ record to 17-3 heading into postseason.

The men defeated No. 1 Indy with several swimmers earning first and second places. The 400-relay team of junior Harry Shalamon, freshman Keegan Hawkins, sophomore Oscar Saura Armengol and senior Ben Walling placed second with a time of 3:24.74, with the team of freshman Noah Ellis, senior Marius Mikalauskas, sophomore Joe Zlotnick and senior JD Ham following close behind, nabbing third with a time of 3:28.41. 

Shalamon grabbed first place in the 100 back with a time of 50.96, while Hawkins added another first-place win in the 100-breast stroke with a time of 57.32. The Lakers surged forward when they went 1-2-3 in the 50 free with Walling placing first at 21.33, Ham in second at 21.40 and Bruce in third at 21.66.

The No. 11 ranked women’s team dominated in their meets against Indy and Davenport, winning 11 events. The women came out strong, winning first and second place in the 200 relays. The team of freshman Meda Kulbaciauskaite, senior Celia Hoag, senior Mercedes Martinez and senior Lara Deibel hit first with a time of 3:56.11, with the team of freshman Melina de Cort, freshman Samantha Laurich, sophomore Freyja Garbaccio and senior Hannah Richard close behind in second at 3:7.08. 

Junior Melina Goebel came in first in the 1000 free at a time with 10:22.02 with senior Caroline Brereton in third at 10:41.72. The Lakers placed well in the 100-breast, with Hoag in first and Laurich in second.

For the divers, junior Mikayla Karasek earned two wins for the Lakers, first on the 1-meter board at 306.75 and then on the 3-meter board at 257.05. Overall, both the men and women ended the season strong, leaving on a high note as they head into preparation for the conference meet.

The Lakers compete in the GLIAC championships starting Feb. 20, in Cleveland. Head coach Andy Boyce says that they are going to continue to do what they’d be doing all season long to prepare for the post meets.

“We have a nice mix of freshman to seniors on the team, and they know what to expect,” Boyce said. “They’ve been working hard to get to this point. I believe that good things could come this weekend, and all the way to the national championships.”

After facing good competition over the weekend, continuing onto a six-win streak, the Lakers are set up to succeed in conference play in four weeks and national play afterwards. In order to get in the best racing conditions, Boyce says that the teams will cut back in yardage per day and increase speed intensity.

“We’ll have to rest a little bit more and put more speed in practice,” Boyce said. “Less yardage will have them fresh and ready to race.”

Boyce hopes that cutting down on yards swam in practice and focusing on speed will have the teams well rested and should result in better times. Having one common goal and mentality will also aid in both the men and women’s success in post play. 

Boyce says that one important aspect to the team’s success is looking at themselves as one big family and supporting each other and maintaining positivity throughout the entire meet.

“If you don’t have a great swim or dive, you’ve got pick it up again and do better on the next,” Boyce said. “The team is there to help support you. It’s really an individual sport but the team is there to help support you and having that support on the side of the pool makes a big difference.”