S&D teams split dual meet with Wayne State

GVL / Emily Frye

GVL / Emily Frye

GVL / Emily Frye

Nick DeMaagd

Rivalry is a term many use to describe a history of competition between two people or teams. For Grand Valley State’s swimming and diving team, the words ‘Wayne State University’ mean only one thing: all or nothing. 

Wayne State has claimed numerous victories over GVSU in recent history and has the track record of a nationally prominent program. But the past can only predict what the future might hold.

“We always look forward to competing against them,” said GVSU coach Andy Boyce. “They push us and we push them.”

Wayne State has won eight of the last nine GLIAC championships on the women’s side, while the Warrior men have won nine of the past 12 conference titles, including the last three.

“The competition helps bring out some of our best times,” Boyce said. “We’ll be looking to focusing on winning conference and qualifying as many as we can for nationals now.”

With a week of intense training and their meet against Nova Southeastern University last weekend, the Lakers were faced with more hardship prior to their meet against WSU. The team began lifting again in addition to race training while some fought off illness and injuries.

“This is the most tired we’ve been all year,” said senior Sarah Roeser. “But some of us raced events we hadn’t done before so it was fun and there wasn’t as much pressure.”

Roeser also said that the team is best when they’re together, getting rowdy and cheering on one another during every event. The Laker women came up short in the end against the Warriors, but claimed top finishes in the 500 free (Samantha Postmus) and the 1- and 3-meter diving events (Taylor Wierchinski).

While training, illness and injury hampered the Lakers, it didn’t keep them from putting up a fight. The women had a number of strong performances from the likes of Roeser, Emily Gallagher, Meghan Falconer, Olivia Schultz and many others.

On the men’s side, GVSU racked up seven first-place finishes. Focusing on the team and supporting each other during the meet helped the Lakers rally to win 160.5-137.5.

“We were really hurting going into this meet,” said junior Gianni Ferrero. “It was incredible to see everyone continue to push themselves and do as well as they did.”

Ferrero secured first in both the 200 free (1:43.47) and 500 free (4:40.76) while senior Sven Kardol touched first in the 200 fly (1:54.88). 

GVSU freshmen Metin Aydin and Gabriel Souza also picked up wins. Aydin claimed first in the 200 backstroke (1:50.44) and set a new GVSU pool record while Souza set a pool record in the 100 fly (1:23.64), finishing first.

The Lakers had other strong performances from Milan Medo, Tyler Keelean, Danny Abbot, Michael Hudson, Nathaniel Stoller and several others. It came down to the final event that determined just who would come out on top. 

Leading only by 14 points going into the 200 relay, the men had to claim at least third place to hold on. Nate Wagner, Nathaniel Stoller, John Eber and Nick Zacek claimed third place.

Abbot, Souza, and Medo finished the first three legs while Ferrero anchored. As the anchor leg came to a close, it was Ferrero that touched first, three-tenths of a second ahead of Wayne State, to dispel any chance of the Warriors making a comeback.

“That feeling when it comes down to the wire and being able to win was amazing,” Ferrero said. “But with Souza and Aydin on the team now, I’m really excited for the end of conference”.

Both the men and women will be back in the pool at home against the University of Indianapolis on Jan. 17.