GV Swim and Dive goes on the road to face Division I competition


GVL / Sydney Lim

James Herrick, Staff Writer

The Grand Valley State University men’s and women’s swim and dive teams went on the road to take on Oakland University on Friday, Nov. 5 and the University of Michigan on Saturday, Nov. 6. The Lakers were unable to secure a win against either team as the men fell to Oakland by a score of 159.5-140.5 and to Michigan 142-95. The women lost by scores of 230-70 at Oakland and 162-76 to Michigan. 

For the Lakers, not getting a victory on the road trip is nothing to hang their head for, since Oakland and Michigan are both Division I schools that are a step up in competition, compared to GVSU’s regular Division II opponents. 

On the men’s side, the Lakers were able to leave with victories in a handful of events. Against Oakland, GVSU won the 400-yard freestyle relay with a team of swimmers that included senior Oscar Saura-Armengol, junior Roger Miret Sala, sophomore Eric Hieber, and freshmen Austin Millard. Individually, freshman Jon Kantzenbach won the 1000 and 500-yard freestyle, while Saura Armengol won the 200-yard fly.

From the boards, GVSU swept Oakland as sophomore Cyrus Irwin won the one-meter dive and junior Wrigley Fields won the three-meter dive. This success rolled into Saturday’s meet against Michigan as GVSU picked up two more wins after Kantenbach won the 1000-yard freestyle and Fields won the one-meter dive. The women did not leave with any event victories despite finishing with strong times. 

For GVSU these two meets provided some positive experiences that should be beneficial later in the season. 

“I thought it went really well,” said coach Andy Boyce. “We didn’t come away with the wins but it’s good experience for everyone. Getting in two competitions back-to-back is good training too for our midseason and conference meet where we have to perform multiple days in a row.” 

One of the most important takeaways from this experience was that even though GVSU was facing difficult competition, they stayed united as a team, always providing maximum effort and support. 

“Our team energy and spirit (was positive) for sure,” said junior Bianca Licari. “We were all out there cheering for one another. Even though we had tough competition, like DI schools, we still gave it our all and we were all out there cheering for one another.”

The Lakers are now entering a period where they will be out of competition for several weeks. This time will be spent ensuring they are ready for the second half of the season through a period of hard training while spending some time to recover.

“We will get some good training in here over the next two weeks,” Boyce said. “The big thing is staying healthy, being consistent with our training, and really pushing each other in the pool and on the boards.”

After these two weeks of tough training, the Lakers will be starting to taper, where they will rest as they prepare to return to competition. This is done to help the student-athletes get into peak form and see positive results. 

“It should be fun to rest up a little bit and try to throw down some best-times,” Hieber said. 

The Lakers will try to produce these fast times in their next competition on Dec. 2-4 at the Calvin Invitational.