Swimming Diving places in 3rd and 4th in Day 1 of Zippy Invitational


Photo Courtesy of Oakland University Athletics

The Oakland University Golden Grizzlies men’s and women’s swim team are set in 3rd and 4th place respectively at the Zippy Invitational at the University of Akron in Akron, Oh. on Dec. 3.

The Zippy Invitational, which consists of Oakland University, University of Akron, University of Pennsylvania, University at Buffalo, Cornell University, University of Toledo, Kaiser University, Niagra University, Clarion, and Bloomsberg University, is Oakland’s final swim meet before winter break, and looked to represent the Horizon League in a matchup that features Ivy League competition.

The Oakland men’s team took the first of two medals on the day with a gold medal in the 200 yard freestyle relay. Swimmers Christian Bart (Junior), Marko Khotynetskyiv (Junior), Rudy Aguilar-Fernandez (Grad), and Mack Flowers (Senior) led the way with a 1:20.27 time. The Golden Grizzlies would make waves in the B and C meets, but were ultimately out paced. Bart, Khotynetskyiv, Fernandez, and Flowers would later go on to win Oakalnd’s final medal of the day in the 400-yard medley relay.

Oakland’s women’s team deserves credit as well for showing out in a highly competitive division and coming close to placing in numerous events. Freshman Jordyn Shipps and junior Emily Aycock were making decent time in competition, with Shipps even posting a 2:00.85 time in the 200-yard IM event, but ultimately fell short of placing.

At the end of the 12-event day 1, Oakland’s Men’s team placed third  with 456 total points, trailing the University of Pennsylvania with 682 points and Cornell University with 514 to close the first day of events. Oakland’s women’s team ended the day at 4th with 320.5 points, trailing the University of Akron with 651, the University of Pennsylvania with 506, and being beaten out for Bronze by University of  Buffalo with 475.

As dominant as Oakland has been this season, the Golden Grizzlies find themselves in an uphill climb against some of the toughest opponents in NCAA swimming. The Ivy League is historically home to some of the top swimmers in the nation, which means Oakland’s battle, though not impossible, is one that will push the Golden Grizzlies to their limit. With 58 points and 154.5 points to make up respectively to reach the next placement, the Golden Grizzlies look to make up ground in Day 2 on Dec. 4th.

University of Pennsylvania and University of Akron lead both teams in gold medals for both the men and women’s meets respectively, though Cornell and Buffalo lead in Diving medals. Oakland University will look to improve their placement in the Zippy Invitational to close out their final appearance until 2022, where they will return to face Horizon League Rival Youngstown State University on Jan. 15 at the Oakland Aquatic Center.