Swimming and Diving wins 23 golds in route of Wayne State


Jose Juarez, Oakland University Athletics

Oakland dominated Wayne State on Saturday, headlined by 23 gold medals.

The Oakland University Golden Grizzlies men and women’s swim teams combined for 23 gold medals to beat the Wayne State University Warriors in a 350-205 blowout on the road in Detroit on Saturday. 

In their first meet back since the break, Oakland looked to build on their fall success. Oakland was originally booked to face Youngstown University on Jan. 15, but the meet was a late cancellation. The Golden Grizzlies, who are in their final weeks of the regular season, are looking to secure their place on the way to a ninth straight Horizon League Championship.

The men’s team faced a feisty Wayne State team, but were able to fend off the Warriors, beating them in totals on Gold medals 10-5, Silver medals 9-7 and Bronze medals 8-6 to win in scores 171-109. This matchup featured seven Oakland swimmers taking gold, including junior Marko Khotynetskyi, who earned two to lead the men. The Warriors were able to keep pressure on the defending Horizon League champions as Wayne State’s Luka Cvetko scored a pair of his own. Although the Warriors gave a good fight, Oakland’s experience and speed propelled them to a decisive victory.

The Golden Grizzlies women’s team showcased their talents to a dismantling of the Warriors in totals and scores, leading in Gold Medals 13-2, Silver medals 9-6 and though they fell behind in Bronze 10-5 , they won out in totals and took scores 179-96. Oakland dominated the meet, which saw seven women take gold, four of whom won multiple. Among the multiples, sophomore Mia Kernanen led the Golden Grizzlies with three golds. Wayne State responded with a strong showing from Barbara Munoz, who was the only solo gold medalist for her school. Oakland was able to control the meet and won in a dominant fashion.

The Oakland Golden Grizzlies are in the final stretch of the regular season, beginning with their final Horizon League matchup at Cleveland State University, and finishing the season with the Oakland Invitational on Feb. 11-13. After the regular season wraps up, Oakland will defend it’s Horizon League Championship in Indianapolis to go for their ninth consecutive title. Following this, Oakland will have a chance to compete for an NCAA championship.

In a season that has seen COVID-19 cancellations, stiff competition from Horizon League rivals and some of the toughest matchups in recent memory, Oakland looks to finish strong with one of the deepest teams in the conference. Receiving numerous swimmer and coach of the week honors, Oakland has the core and the mental toughness to earn another title.

Although the Oakland Golden Grizzlies think about their goal, all eyes are on their Sunday rematch with Wayne State.

No great champion was built by looking ahead, but one step at a time.