Swim some, lose some

On Senior Recognition day at the Oakland Aquatic Center, the men’s swimming and diving team squeaked by Michigan State, while the women dropped the meet to the Spartans.

The final home duel meet for the Golden Grizzlies took place in front of a packed house Saturday afternoon, as the men’s and women’s swimming and diving took on the Michigan State Spartans. In another close meet, the men held off the Spartans 148.5-145.5, despite losing the final relay. The women could never catch up to Michigan State, losing 186-108.

Since it was the final home meet for the season, the nine women and four men that are seniors for Oakland were recognized in a pre-game ceremony. Head coach Pete Hovland said that this group of seniors was really special and meant a lot to the program.

“They are really the heart and soul of our program,” Hovland said. “We are proud of them and we know they are going to go on and represent the Oakland University swimming program real well.”

Just as it has been for most of the meets this year, the men found themselves in another close meet. Thanks to an early 200 medley relay victory, three individual victories by Jorden Merrilees, and two victories from both John Schihl and Tuomas Kiviluoma, the men held the lead for most of the meet. The Golden Grizzlies had a 12 point advantage going into the final relay, and despite losing to the Spartans by only 00.09 seconds, Oakland was still able to escape with a three point victory

“The whole team was pumped up for this meet; they would not stop hyping it. Beginning on Monday all people would say is ‘Beat State’ and that’s all we wanted to do,” Kiviluoma said.

After cruising in the four-team Winter Invitational last week, the women Golden Grizzlies fell behind early against the Spartans and were never able to make up the ground. Individual victories for the women included Nikki Flynn (200 and 100 free) and Takara Martin (100 and 200 breast). The team also added a victory in the 200 free relay with a time of 3:29.15.

The Oakland men’s and women’s swimming and diving team will be back in action next week when they travel to Cleveland State next Saturday for their final meet before the Horizon League Championships. The league championships are scheduled for Feb 25-28 and will take place in Milwaukee.