Swimming and Diving teammates Christian Bart, Susan LaGrand named to U.S. roster for World University Games


Photo courtesy of Oakland University Athletics

The Oakland University swimming and diving team won their ninth consecutive Horizon League title last weekend.

Legendary Swimming and Diving head coach Pete Hovland’s 44-year career has now officially come to an end, and his successor, Mitch Alters, has taken over. Hovland coached countless swimmers and divers — including Alters — during his time at Oakland, but his legacy is far from over.

Alters will continue the greatness of the Oakland University Swimming and Diving programs beginning in September, but before that, Hovland’s legacy will have a chance to reach far beyond the horizons of the Horizon League.

Just recently, redshirt senior Christian Bart and graduate student Susan LaGrand were named to the initial United States roster for this year’s World University Games in Chengdu, China. The Games, which takes place every two years in varying locations across the world, is a 12-day competition that includes 15 compulsory sports.

This year, Bart and LaGrand performed well enough throughout their respective collegiate careers to be named to the United States’ initial 32-person roster. Other notable schools with student-athletes named to the initial roster include Michigan, Stanford, Notre Dame, Northwestern and Princeton.

Bart, a Grand Rapids, Michigan native, broke several school and meet records at this year’s Horizon League Championships as he placed first in the 50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 400 medley relay, 100 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay.

LaGrand, also a Grand Rapids, Michigan native, was just as dominant as Bart in this year’s Horizon League Championships. The graduate student raced in seven events at the conference championships and finished first in all seven races.

The initial 32-person roster — which is only expected to make additions, not subtractions — features swimmers and divers from 21 different universities across the country.

The Games are set to take place in Chengdu, China from July 28 to August 8. 

Other notable sports that will be featured include archery, badminton, basketball, volleyball, tennis, table tennis and water polo.