GVSU swimming and diving teams grab victories over Findlay

GVL / Matt Read. The GVSU Swim Team Participating in a meet on Saturday, January 13th @ the Recreation Center.

GVL / Matt Read. The GVSU Swim Team Participating in a meet on Saturday, January 13th @ the Recreation Center.

Louis Ricard

As the season is winding down for the Grand Valley State swimming and diving teams, the level of performance is increasing.

After a dominant performance against rival Wayne State last weekend, GVSU imposed its will on former GLIAC rival University of Findlay. This weekend had more implications than one, as 12 seniors competed for the last time in the Fieldhouse Arena on Saturday, Jan. 13, in Allendale.

The men’s team won 11 out of its 13 events, including the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 47.73 seconds for junior J.D. Ham. Although it is not his personal best this season, Ham knows it is encouraging with the conference championship on the horizon.

“It was all right; it was pretty good time for me, and it was a good personal time to see (on the board),” Ham said. “Just racing against your friends makes it a little more fun and makes you want to work a little harder.”

Findlay’s team did not have the depth GVSU displayed at the meet, making the competition more one-sided than anything. Most of the races finished with multiple Lakers on the podium, something that Ham enjoyed seeing along with his teammates.

On the diving side of the competition, first-year Nicole Taormina qualified for the national championship with a win on the 3-meter diving with a score of 250.95, while placing second on the 1-meter diving, scoring 260.02. Head coach Andy Boyce did not seem surprised by Taormina’s performance. 

“That was exciting for her,” Boyce said. “We have a large contingent of divers heading to the national championship in March, so it was nice to have another one make the cut.”

The Lakers have been working hard all season, and that work ethic and effort have enabled them to come out on top this past weekend, according to Boyce. 

“We did what we needed to do,” Boyce said. “We’ve been working hard. It was a good win for us.”

Ham shared that feeling, as he explained that although the performances displayed on Saturday may not have been incredible, they showed some potential heading into the conference championship. On a personal level, Ham hopes to show up and clock a new personal best. 

“I hope we can get down under 45,” Ham said. “My best time is 45.01, so hopefully we can see it go under 45.”

With the conference championship less than a month away, the Lakers have some time to work and improve their times, something Boyce is looking forward to. 

“We’re finishing up our heavy part of the training,” Boyce said. “I think the biggest thing for us is to stay healthy, stay focused and, you know, get ready to put our best foot forward for the conference championship.”

The first stop before the GLIAC championship will be at Indianapolis and Lindenwood this upcoming weekend, the opportunity for GVSU to finish strong heading into the championship on Wednesday, Feb. 14.