Lakers split showdown at Nova Southeastern

GVL/Kevin Sielaff
Meghan Falconer

GVL / Kevin Sielaff

GVL/Kevin Sielaff Meghan Falconer

Nick DeMaagd

Just as the weather heated up in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. over the weekend, so did the competition for Grand Valley State’s swimming and diving teams.

The GVSU men and women competed at Nova Southeastern on Saturday. The No. 5 Laker men claimed a 107-98 victory over No. 15 Nova Southeastern while the No. 10 Laker women fell to the No. 11 Sharks, 115-90.

In preparation for the meet, GVSU spent a week of intensive training in Fort Lauderdale to gear up for the second half of the season. This year marked GVSU’s fourth trip to Fort Lauderdale for training purposes. Head coach Andy Boyce said the experience has always been well worth their time.

“It’s a great team bonding experience and we get to practice and compete outdoors,” Boyce said. “It’s a lot of fun for the team but we do train four to five hours a day”.

The Lakers spent their time practicing twice a day and even had a short practice before their meet on Saturday.

In the meet against the Sharks, the Laker men were led by junior Gianni Ferrero who picked up first-place finishes in the 200 free (1:41.74) and 500 free (4:32:13) and a second-place finish in the 200 medley relay (1:32.62) with teammates Milan Medo, Nathaniel Stoller and Danny Abbott.

For the Laker women, freshman Samantha Postmus secured first place in the 1000 free (10:29.31) and 500 free (5:11.14) while picking up a second-place finish in the 200 free (1:54.37).

Despite the women falling to Nova Southeastern, there were many consistent top-five performances for the Lakers. Senior Sarah Roeser claimed second-place finishes in her three events while teammates Emily Eaton, Julia Suriano and many others followed right behind her. Eaton also helped snag a top finish in the 100 IM (1:01.10).

Looking back on the week and the competition, the Lakers were happy to have had the experience.

Ferrero, whose first collegiate meet was on the very same trip three years ago, said the team bonding during the trip and during practice was good for everyone.

“I think the trip helps a lot with team bonding,” Ferrero said. “We were strong before we went down but it was definitely awesome”.

Having bonded with one another in an already strong family-like atmosphere, the teams’ training proved fruitful both physically and mentally.

Freshman Samantha Postmus said the experience was really helpful in preparing for the meet and bonding with her team.

“It was tiring at some points but the team pushes you on and it was kind of an emotional booster,” Postmus said.

Pushing fellow teammates to keep moving forward has been a core aspect of the team dynamic. Boyce said Postmus and Ferrero have been great leaders for the team this season because of their work ethic and attitude in practice and at meets.

“I don’t really see myself as a leader,” Ferrero said. “I try to do my best in meets and practices and it motivates others”.

Ferrero also said leading by example works both ways and that when teammates push him in practice or at a meet it inspires him to do the same.

“’We’re looking forward to try and win the conference because we’ve worked for it all season,” Ferrero said. “With only four weeks left we want to finish the job.”

The Lakers will be back in the pool again at home in Allendale on Saturday against GLIAC rival Wayne State University.