Both GVSU S&D teams finish 10th in Geneva

Lakers splash into school history with seven GV records

By Lucas Rains | 3/16/14 6:59pm


GVL / Mohamed Azuz
Swimmers cheer on their team mates at a meet earlier this season.

For the fifth time in the last six years, the Grand Valley State University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams were among the 10 best in the country.

Both GVSU squads placed 10th at the NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving Championships at the SPIRE Institute on Saturday in Geneva, Ohio. The Laker men scored 146 points while the women tallied 132.

“It was a great finish to the season, capping it off for our seniors here on their way out,” head coach Andy Boyce said. “It’s great to see Grand Valley back in the top 10 once again.”

Drury University won both national titles.

GVSU, which broke three school records in the same pool at the GLIAC Championships (Feb. 15), added seven more program bests at nationals.

“It was a great competition all the way around with national records falling left and right, which was fun to see,” Boyce said.

For the Laker men, sophomore Gianni Ferrero claimed the GVSU record with his third-place finish in the 200 IM (1.46.03). He also placed third in the 200 freestyle (1.36.17).

Junior Sven Kardol finished fifth overall in the 400 IM after breaking the school record in prelims (3.53.99).

“I was hoping to get close, but never actually expected to break it,” Kardol said.

The 800-free relay team (Ferrero, senior Kyle Gunderson and sophomores Nate Wagner and Nick Zacek) also broke a school record with a time of 6.33.06, which was good enough to crush the previous mark by more than two seconds.

The 400-free relay team (Ferrero, senior Erik Aakesson, junior Milan Medo and freshman Danny Abbott) set a school-best time in the morning prelims with a time of 2:58.73, and it placed 10th in the finals.

The Laker women’s 200-medley relay (seniors Caitlyn Madsen and Danielle Vallier, junior Sarah Roeser and freshman Meghan Falconer) not only eclipsed the GVSU mark in prelims but also in the finals, with a seventh-place time of 1:42.45.

Vallier notched an individual school record in the 100-breaststroke prelims with a time of 1:01.99 and went on to finish fifth for the second straight year.

“We exceeded our goals by getting in the top 10,” she said. “We all contributed well to the relays and did what we needed to do to get there.”

Roeser’s finish in the morning prelims of the 50 free broke her school record with a time of 23.54.

Sophomore Taylor Wiercinski earned a pair of All-America honors with a third-place finish on the 1-meter board (466.10) and a fifth-place finish on the 3-meter board (472.50).

With GVSU’s season coming to an end, Boyce said he is proud of the way his team performed over the course of the year while swimming in a tough conference.

“Division II and our conference continue to get better and better,” Boyce said. “The team, as a whole, had a lot of school records and all-time top-10 list performances from freshmen all the way up to seniors.”

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