Oakland swimming sweeps Michigan State on Senior Day



In the midst of Homecoming weekend, the present and future of Oakland swimming and diving came together for an important win.

The Golden Grizzly men beat Michigan State, 172-126, while the Oakland women defeated the Spartans, 199-99, Saturday at the OU Aquatics Center on Senior Day.

“I’ve been here 32 years and I can’t remember the atmosphere (being like this), with the tailgating and all of the events that are going on,” Oakland coach Pete Hovland said. “I think Oakland really did themselves proud so far this weekend. I’m really proud to be a part of it, of our kids’ performance and of the way they sent the seniors out.”

On a day that celebrated the accomplishments of the seniors, freshman Amr el Sayed shone as he won the men’s 1,000-yard freestyle with a school record time of 9:21.81.

El Sayed also helped the Grizzlies (6-2) complete a 1-2-3 sweep of the Spartans (5-3) in the 500 free, finishing first in 4:32.29. Nick Evans (4:35.34) came in second, followed by Tim Montague (4:37.21).

Making his last appearance for the Grizzlies in a dual meet, Marcin Unold wrapped up his record-setting Oakland career with four wins. He took first in the 200 medley relay with Scott Yarbrough, Alex Aceino and Matyas Keresztes, the 100 back, the 100 free and the 400 free relay with Keresztes, Grant Harding and Evans.

“I’m proud of what I did here, and I survived 4 1/2 years here,” Unold said. “This is a huge accomplishment. It ends next semester, so I got to let go and switch places. But here, I’m starting to feel like I am at home. It’s more like leaving home again.”

Marcella Barretta was instrumental in Oakland’s (8-1) win over Michigan State (3-8) as she won the women’s 3-meter diving with a school record of 315.75, breaking senior Chelsea Oates’ record of 310.05.

The Grizzly women took one relay victory as Alyssa Busch, Johanna Gustafsson, Sandra Czerska and Alyssa Vela won the 200 medley relay (1:44.91).

Before Oakland goes to The Summit League Championships, they will host the Michigan USA Open from Feb. 11-13.

“We still have 10-12 kids competing for a spot on our conference team,” Hovland said. “The Michigan Open is a big meet, but our focus now, starting on Monday, will be getting ourselves rested and winning our 12th conference championship.”