GVSU swimming & diving sweeps 2019 GLIAC Championships

<p>Grand Valley State Swim and Dive team compete against teammates at October 7, 2017 swimmeet.  GVL/ Archive</p>

Grand Valley State Swim and Dive team compete against teammates at October 7, 2017 swimmeet.  GVL/ Archive

Kellen Voss

There are few certainties in life outside of death, taxes and the Grand Valley State swimming & diving program being dominant. GVSU continued their winning ways this weekend, as both the men’s and women’s teams took team titles Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Busbey Natatorium at Cleveland State University.

The men’s team earned their fifth consecutive team title with a 853.5 point performance on Saturday, which is a string of team titles that is longest in GLIAC Swimming & Diving since 1997. The women’s team also claimed the team title, earning 944.5 points on their way to winning their second team crown in three years.

GVSU also cleaned up on the individual awards handed out following the team races. Head coach Andy Boyce was named the GLIAC men’s and women’s Coach of the Year, while Harry Shalamon was named the Men’s Swimmer of the Year.

Other individual awards for the Lakers included Mikayla Karasek being named the Women’s Diver of the Year, Chris Kelly being named the Men’s Diver of the Year and Samantha Laurich and Keegan Hawkins winning the Women’s and Men’s Freshman of the Year, respectively. 

The men’s swimming team definitely ate their Wheaties Saturday morning, as more than a few swimmers posted some of their best times of the year.

Jesse Goodyear and Moritz Bartels earned second and third place in the 1650 freestyle, as both hit the NCAA qualifying mark, extending their season by a week. Ben Walling finished second in the 100 free, as himself and fellow GVSU swimmers J.D. Ham, Oscar Saura Armengol and Gabriel Souza all hit their NCAA qualifying mark as well.

Shalamon set a GLAC overall record, the GLIAC Championship meet record, the GVSU varsity record and hit the NCAA A cut with his first-place finish in the 200 back, hitting the wall at 1:43.38.

Marius Mikalaukas and Hawkins both hit NCAA qualifying marks in the 200 breast, finishing second and fourth in the event. 

In the women’s events, Melina Goebel continued her reign atop the GLIAC, winning the 1650 free and capturing her eighth freestyle individual championship in the past two years. Goebel has swept the 200, 500, 1000, and 1650 at the 2018 and 2019 GLIAC Championships.

NCAA Qualifying marks were also hit by Mercedes Martinez and Lara Diebel in the 100 free, Melina De Cort in the 200 back and Samantha Laurich and Celia Hoag in the 200 breast. De Cort and Laurich both also set GVSU freshmen records in their respective events.

The 400 free relay of Hannah Richard, Martinez, Goebel and Deibel hit the NCAA qualifying mark with their second place finish in the event, while Karasek also claimed the 3-meter GLIAC title with a championship score of 469.95.

While the 2018-19 season may be over for some of GVSU’s swimmers and divers, several of the athletes in the program qualified to compete in the NCAA DII National Championships. The diving qualification meet is Tuesday, March 12 at 9 a.m., with the NCAA National Championships taking place from Wednesday, March 13 to Saturday, March 16 in Indianapolis. Championships will start each day at 10:30 a.m.