LaGrand puts on a show at NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships


Photo Courtesy of OU Athletics

Susan LaGrand competing in a past meet. LaGrand represented Oakland at the NCAA Championships from March 16-19.

Three-time Horizon Athlete of the Year and two-time Swimmer of the Meet winner, senior swimmer Susan LaGrand qualified for the NCAA Championships and competed this week and during the weekend in her trials and put in a great showing. 

LaGrand qualified for the NCAA Championships with her 200-yard backstroke time, where she broke her own school record with a time of 1 minute, 53.66 seconds [this time broke LaGrand’s previous school record and time that she qualified with last year, which was 1 minute, 53.9 seconds]. 

She opened up her second-straight NCAA championship with a showing in the 200 IM trials at the McAuley Aquatic Center on Georgia Tech’s campus, leaving with a trial time of 1:57.84 [good enough for a 43th placement overall]. 

In her second performance of the championships, LaGrand tied her own school record setting time in the 100-yard backstroke trials with a time of 53.08 seconds. Her time was good enough to place 46th overall in the trials, marking her second top-50 finish for the weekend. 

Her showing in both of these events paled in comparison to her performance on the last day of the championships, where LaGrand capped off her record-breaking day with her best performance of the week. In the 200 backstroke preliminaries, LaGrand posted a time of 1:53.87 . 

This time locked LaGrand into 26th place, her highest placed finish during the weekend, but this time was not even to allow her to qualify for the finals. Aside from that note, LaGrand still made history with her performance, as she became the first woman in the history of the Oakland University swimming program during the Division I era to qualify for the NCAA Championships in consecutive seasons. 

This NCAA championship performance is coming off the back of one of the best performances the Golden Grizzlies have shown after the Horizon League championships, where both the men’s and women’s teams picked up the 1st place finishes in every competition they competed in. 

For the women’s side of things, the race was not even close as they captured the top spot with 917 points [the next closest team was Milwaukee with a total of 598.5 points]. A big contributor to the continuation of this success that the Golden Grizzlies have enjoyed during this season of meets was Susan LaGrand. 

Even last year, during the NCAA Championships, LaGrand notched two first place finishes in her heat of swimmers before setting a new school record in the 200-yard backstroke and finishing 16th overall as both the reigning Horizon League Athlete of the Year and Swimmer of the Meet.

With her apparent penchant for setting and then breaking her own records [she set a meet record during her unstoppable championship performance at the Horizon League championships with a time of 1:53.93 in the 200-yard backstroke], LaGrand has shown that she has no issues performing at her best when the lights are the brightest and she did no different this year.