GVSU swim and dive pleased with tune-up meet

GVL / Emily Frye
The Lakers get pumped up before the interclub meet on Oct. 10th.

GVL / Emily Frye The Lakers get pumped up before the interclub meet on Oct. 10th.

Brady McAtamney

On Saturday, the Grand Valley State University swimming and diving team took to the pool to face off in the yearly “Black vs Blue” swim meet.

The team of 52 was broken up into two separate squads – the Blue team and the Black team. Each team was made up of both men and women and each had two team captains.

In what head coach Andy Boyce called a “warm up for the season,” 24 unique events took place over the meet. Individual contests for women and men included the 1,000, 500, 200, 100, and 50 meter freestyles, the 200 meter individual medley, the 100 meter butterfly, the 100 meter backstroke and the 100 meter breaststroke.

Two mixed relay events – one for medley and one for freestyle — were also featured in the intersquad scrimmage. Diving events from three meters, one meter and synchronized diving from one meter were also used.

Leonie Van Noort, Gianni Ferrero, Marius Mikalauskus, Lara Deibel and Danny Abbott all won two individual events, while Sam Postmus, Mercedes Martinez, Meghan Falconer, Joseba Hidalgo-Viela, Grant Borregard and Emily Gallagher turned in winning performances of their own.

Afterward, the two captains from each team squared off in a friendly 50 meter individual medley relay, in which the Black team captured a victory.

However, in the end, the friendly captain’s relay would not matter. The Blue team captured more event wins than the Black team, and it finished with 232 points to the Black team’s 212.

Leonie Van Noort stood out on a day where a number of Lakers submitted strong performance. It was the first GVSU meet for Van Noort, a junior from the Netherlands, and she was able to propel herself onto the record board with a pool-best time in the women’s 500 meter freestyle at 5:00.18.

“I was really looking forward to the 500 because I saw the record and I thought I could break it and I did,” Van Noort said. “Back home, we are really competing with each other. If you do well, nobody is going to congratulate you because they want to be better. It’s not like that here. If you swim well then everybody is going to be happy because we’re a team and I love that about Grand Valley.”

Senior captain Gianni Ferrero also shined in the preseason meet. The Idstein, Germany native blew his opponents out of the water in the 200 meter freestyle and the 100 meter butterfly.

“Personally, what felt best was the 200 free. The time wasn’t what I expected, but I feel right and that’s what’s important today… The team was looking very strong in practice and we’ve been putting in the work when we have to and we’re all on the same page with that. I’m very proud of everybody,” Ferrero said.

Boyce, who is in his ninth season as GVSU head coach, was encouraged by what he saw as well.

“Each year we keep on building, and this year one of the best, if not the best, team we’ve had,” Boyce said.

GVSU’s first official meet of the season is on Oct. 17 at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.