Swimming and Diving places second in Atlantic 10 Classics


Jose Juarez, Oakland University Athletics

Christian Bart raises his fist in victory after winning a relay against Xavier.

The Oakland University Golden Grizzlies Combined Swim Team place second to Duquesne University Dukes at the Atlantic 10 Classics in Geneva, Ohio on Oct. 30-31 .

The four team meet featured Oakland, Duquesne, the George Mason University Patriots and the St. Bonaventure University Bonnies, a group that features last year’s runner up in the A-10 classics. Though Oakland was the only Horizon League Conference competitor in attendance, the eight-time champions held their own against the tough division in the invitational.

Led by Horizon League Swimmer of the Week senior Susan LaGrand, Oakland scored a total of 598 in competition play, falling just behind Duquesne’s 622.3 in a stacked race. Oakland took first place in a number of events, including squeaking past Duquesee in the Women’s 200-yard Freestyle Relay, winning with a time of 1:36.52 to the latter’s 1:36.53.

LaGrand built off of her performance from last week, winning first place in six different races including both individual and team relays. Her performance helped earn Oakland second place in scores to Duquesne, who won four first place finishes to go along with a plethora of second and third place finishes to edge out Oakland. Oakland’s women’s team finished with a total of first  place finishes, but was edged out by the sheer number of placements Duquesne finished with to go with their firsts.

Oakland’s men’s team took first  overall in their division behind current Horizon League Swimmer of the Week Marko Khotynetskyi. The Golden Grizzlies were dominant, winning 14 of their 17 races and dives in the meet and a team total of 593.5, with their closest competition coming from George Mason, who finished the competition with a score of 575.2.

In individual scores, Khotynetskyi, who won first  in five races, and finished second  in his other on their way to 675.3 in competition play was tied with teammate, Redshirt Junior Christian Bart, both of whom second only to fellow Golden Grizzly, Graduate Student Rodolfo Joseph Aguilar, who placed first in each event he competed in to the tune of 690.3 total points.

In diving, Oakland won their sole first  place from the women’s team’s Elleana Chalifoux, who took first  in the one meter event, scoring 280.90 points. St. Bonaventure’s Zyad Morsy swept the diving competition, as well as setting a team record in the threemeter, scoring a 315.25, beating the nearest competitor by nearly 40 points.

After placing first and second  in totals at the weekend event, Oakland returns to Rochester on Nov. 5-6 to face Grand Valley State University, followed by their first Horizon League matchup of the season against University of Illinois-Chicago respectively. The Oakland University Swimming Team has shown it’s capability against quality opponents to start the season, and is well on it’s way to defending their Horizon League Title for the ninth straight year.