Swimming sweeps Lewis

Autumn Burin

It’s a good thing the Grand Valley State University swim and dive team spends most of its time in the water, because it’s been on fire in the 2013-14 season.

Competing in their own pool this weekend, the Lakers went up against the Lewis University Flyers in a non-conference dual. The Flyers’ hopes of winning were sunk with a 191-90 win for the Laker women and a 186-100 win for the Laker men.

Not only did the Lakers celebrate a victory over the Flyers, but they also took pride in the five pool records set by the Laker women and the three pool records set by the Laker men.

Senior Caitlyn Madsen set three of the five records and assisted in another one. She set individual records in the 100 fly (57.01 seconds), 200 fly (2:05.37) and 400 IM (4:34.38).

Senior Danielle Vallier and juniors Olivia Schultz, Sarah Roeser and Madsen made up the 400-medley relay team and set a new pool record of 3:51.40. The last record was set by the 400-free relay team. Roeser, Schultz, Vallier and junior Emily Eaton finished with a time of 3:31.07.

Madsen said she didn’t expect to break any records today, especially with the cold she had been battling for a week and a half. She went into the meet just hoping to do well and swim fast.

“I am just going to take it day by day,” Madsen said. “I just want to get healthy and keep training hard.”

Madsen said she is looking forward to the mid-season taper meet at Calvin next month because that is when the fastest times are usually swum.

“I want to swim fast in my relays and swim fast for the team and keep pushing them to do great things, because I really believe these girls have a chance to win conferences,” she said.

Two of the three pool records set by the Laker men were relays. The 400-medley relay, which is composed of sophomore Gianni Ferrero, seniors Aaron Marken and Michael Griffith, and junior Milan Medo, marked a time of 3:22.78, and the 400-free relay team of Ferrero, freshman Danny Abbott, Griffith and Medo finished at 3:05.79. Ferrero set not only a new pool record, but also a new varsity record in the 500 free in a time of 4:28.98.

“My times have improved from our first meet at Milwaukee until now, so I’m really happy,” Ferrero said. “During these competitions, these next few weeks I hope to cut off more time.”

Victory was sweet, but Ferrero is just getting started. Being only his first full season swimming for GVSU, he said he is excited to see what he is capable of in these upcoming competitions.

“It’s unheard of to break a school record at this time in the season,” GVSU head coach Andy Boyce said. “It is at the end of the year with rest when people get the records, but he got the record today and that was incredible.”

The 500 free has always been Ferrero’s favorite event, and now he considers it his best, as well. With a fast start and endurance that held on until the end of his race, Ferrero said he felt as great physically as he did emotionally.

“I decided to go for it today, and I am very happy I did,” he said.

Boyce said he couldn’t be prouder of his team and the quick start it has been able to get off to.

“They’ve been training really hard, and they have been getting better each week,” he said. “We are hoping for even better things next week against Michigan State.”

The Lakers traditionally get faster as the season continues, especially when the team begins to taper.

“This team is one of the best teams we have ever had,” Boyce said, adding that the home-team advantage really helped out. “The nice thing about this meet is that they didn’t have a meet the night before or five hours of travel. It’s nice to have the luxury of having a home meet every once and a while.”

The Lakers only have one more shot at a pool record, because they only have one home meet left in the season.

“We had our eyes set on that meet for record setting, especially the seniors,” Boyce said.

Although they have a lot to look forward to, the Lakers have some serious competition in just shy of a week. Michigan State University has been a major rival for the Lakers for a few years now, with the Spartans always sneaking by with the win, but the Lakers welcome the competition and look forward to seeing what they can do.

“We have high goals for the end of the year,” Boyce said. “We are right on mark for where we should be.”