Women’s swim team rolls past Toledo


Amelia Osadchuk

Taylor Bailey comes up for air in the women’s swim and dive team’s match against Toledo on Oct. 22.

Oakland University’s Golden Grizzlies beat the University of Toledo Rockets 186.5 to 113.5 in swimming on Oct. 22. The meet, which was held at the O’rena., featured 16 events, both for swimming and diving.

Oakland walks away with a dominant performance, winning 13 gold medals to Toledo’s three, six silver medals to the latter’s 10, and winning nine bronze to 8. Oakland, who ranks first in the Horizon League, looks to defend their Horizon League championship for their ninth straight season as eight Golden Grizzlies won gold medals, including four who won multiple. 

The reigning Horizon League Champions started off strong, taking first and second place in the 200-yard freestyle relay race. Junior Emily Aycock took first place in the 1000 yard freestyle, posting a 10:24.55 time.

Toledo stayed in the competition thanks to Kennedy Lovell, who won the first of her two golds in the 200 yard Butterfly. Oakland immediately answered with three straight gold medals from Jewel Huang, Sydney Mcdowell, and Jordynn Shipps before Lovell took her second medal. Oakland would go on to win every remaining gold until the final 200 yard relay, where Oakland earned the silver and bronze in the event.

Oakland also took back to back gold medals in three meter and one meter diving, with Sophomore Ellie Chalifoux routing competitors in both events, scoring 270.98 and 269.62 respectively. Oakland diving relied on Chalifoux’s dominant performance, with senior Katelynn Cummins taking bronze with Oakland’s only other diving medal.

Oakland, who swept all but two single events, continue to show their dominance in inner conference play. The Golden Grizzlies, who are currently the top ranked Horizon team, looked to bounce back after dropping two straight sets to the University of Michigan to start the season. 

Toledo, who lost in medals but stayed close in total scores, where Oakland won 609 to 582.5, deserves credit for challenging Oakland on the way to every medal. Outside of a few events, Toledo pushed Oakland to the limit and kept scores close, but Oakland was able to pull ahead in each event on their way to a dominating victory. 

Susan Lagrand led all players in individual scoring, taking two gold medals and a silver on her way to an event high 699.7 points. Four of the top five individual performers of the day went to Oakland University, with Lovell being the lone Toledo swimmer in the top five.

Looking to go nine straight years as Horizon League champions, Oakland is led by the reigning Horizon League Athlete of the Year Lagrand and reigning Swimming Coach of the Year Pete Hovland.

This is the first of a two event homestand before going on the road to compete in the A-10 Classic at Geneva, Ohio. Oakland hosted the Xavier Musketeers on Oct. 23, where both the men’s and women’s teams competed.