GV swim and dive secures their first conference win of the season


GVL / Tyler Morris

James Herrick, Staff Writer

The Grand Valley State University men’s and women’s swim and dive teams defeated Saginaw Valley State University at home on Friday, Oct. 22 in their first conference meet of the 2021-22 season. On the men’s side, the Lakers won 12 of the 13 events on the way to their 188 to 55 victory, while the women won 10 of the 13 events to leave with a score of 159 to 84. 

This dominating performance was a team effort on both sides as a plethora of Lakers won events. For the men, senior swimmer Oscar Saura-Armengol led the pack as he won the men’s 50-yard freestyle, 200-yard butterfly, and contributed to the 400-yard medley relay team that took first. The other three legs of this relay team were senior Keegan Hawkins, sophomore Eric Hieber, and freshman Aaron Dies. The highlight of the meet came in Saura-Armengol’s 200-yard butterfly swim as he set the pool record with a time of 1:48.45. 

“It’s a pool record that I’ve been trying to get since my freshman year,” Saura-Armengol said. “Getting it in my fifth year is a relief honestly because I really wanted it.”  

On the men’s team, their impressive victory also included individual with wins from freshmen Jon Kantzenbach in the 1000-yard freestyle, Hieber in the 200-yard freestyle,  Hawkins in the 200-yard IM and 200-yard breaststroke, freshmen Austin Millard in the 100-yard freestyle, junior Roger Miret Sala in the 200-yard backstroke, and sophomore George Peuhl in the one and three-meter dive. GVSU also swept the relays as a team consisting of Millard, Hieber, Miret Sala, and freshmen Travis Black won the 400-yd freestyle relay. 

The women also saw a night full of individual wins as sophomore Sarah Puscas won the 1000-yard freestyle, freshman Samantha Weigel won the 200-yard freestyle, freshmen Kiersten Harmon won the 50-yard freestyle, junior Delaney Wihebrink won the 200-yard IM and 200-yard breaststroke, junior Kelly Peasley won the 100-yard freestyle, senior Melina De Court won the 200-yard backstroke, and junior Dayna Borregard won the 500-yd freestyle. The women also swept the relays as De Court, Wihebrink, Peasley, and sophomore Alysa Wagner won the 400-yard medley while Harmon, Peasley, and juniors Claire Meeuwsen and Rebecca Farber, won the 400-yard freestyle relay. 

For the Lakers, these wins were impressive as they have been battling through tough training and sick athletes. 

“I thought we had a good meet,” said coach Andy Boyce. “Some of our kids are a bit tired; we’re missing a few because they’re out sick, thankfully it’s not COVID, but it’s that time of year. We are just trying to stay as healthy as we can.” 

To go with the tough conditions coming in, this win was important as it marked GVSU’s first conference dual of the season. 

“It’s always good to bet a win against a conference foe,” Boyce said. “I feel like we went out and performed well today.” 

This conference win is more than just another meet to compete in for the Lakers, who are a team comprised of student-athletes eager to win after the shortened and less exciting previous season. 

“We are just here to prove a point,” Saura-Armengol said. “We are the best in the conference and we want to show every team in the conference that we go against.” 

One of the most important aspects of this win was the attitude and team mentality that the Lakers had throughout the event. 

“The thing I loved the most was our attitude today,” Wihebrink said. “Boys and girls both had great attitudes the entire meet, even if they were in events they were not used to swimming. The energy was great, everybody was cheering for everybody. There was never not a person at the end of our lanes cheering on somebody else, divers included. It was amazing to see our team come together especially for a rival meet like this.” 

The GVSU swim and dive teams will be competing at home on Friday, Oct. 29 against the Northern Michigan University Wildcats for their fifth matchup of the season.