Swimming and Diving combine for seven golds and place third overall at Zippy Invitational


Mary Mitchell

Swimming and Diving finished in third place at the Zippy Invitational in Akron, Ohio.

The Oakland University Golden Grizzlies men’s and women’s swim teams combine for seven gold medals en route to a third place finish in the three-day Zippy Invitational at the University of Akron on Dec. 3-5.

The Golden Grizzlies were active over the three-day event, winning 16 total medals across 40 events. Oakland was one of five teams to win multiple gold medals, and was third in total gold medals with seven, placing behind the hosting University of Akron, who took home 11 golds, and the eventual winners University of Pennsylvania, who finished the event with 13 golds. Of the 10 teams, the other teams to take home golds were Cornell University with two, Keiser University with one, University of Buffalo with four, and Bloomsburg University with one. 

Oakland represented the Horizon League well in this outing, as the men’s team’s top performers— juniors Christian Bart and Marko Khotynetskyi— combined for three gold medals and a pair of relays to make up the five gold for the men’s team. The women’s team’s two gold medals were won by senior Susan Lagrand, who won the 200-yard backstroke and the 400-yard im. 

Over the three-day event, the Golden Grizzlies also won seven silver medals as well as a pair of bronze medals to work their way into third place with an event score of 2,500, just barely missing out on second place by six points to Cornell. Oakland’s performance was neck and neck with the Big Reds, and earned their points against the formidable opponent.

University of Pennsylvania was the big winner of the meet and put on a dominant performance. Pennsylvania led schools in total gold medals with 13, silver medals with 16, and tide for bronze with 11. Top performers Matthew Fallon and Williams Fallon alone combined for five  individual gold medals en route to an incredible performance for the Ivy League school. University of Pennsylvania closed the event with a 3,757 score

Oakland’s top three finish is a great moment for the defending eight-time Horizon League champion, as it shows the Golden Grizzlies are as dominant in other conferences as well. Earning 16 medals in competition play is no small feat for any team, and to showcase their ability across a multiple day tournament is a testament to the resolve of the Oakland swim team. 

With the Zippy Invitational in the books, Oakland will take a month break for the holiday before returning home to Rochester to compete against Horizon League rival Youngstown State University at the Oakland Aquatic Center on Jan. 15, 2022. This will be their last home meet until Oakland hosts the USA Michigan Open on Feb. 11-13. The Golden Grizzlies will take their finishes in Akron back to Oakland and are ready to sharpen their claws to face the Penguins.