GVSU swim and dive splits season-opener in Wisconsin
Ferrero, Van Noort lead Laker men, women in first meet
The Grand Valley State swim and dive team went on the road against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee over the weekend and split the competition as the men's squad prevailed but the women came up just shy of a victory.
“We started off with really fast times. It is great to see how fast we can go as a team, we are already faster than last year’s times and it’s only the first meet of the year for us," said GVSU head coach Andy Boyce. "We just need to keep focused and take it day by day."
The men came away with a decisive win 180-120, while the Laker women lost a tight meet 146-154.
“This was a really solid meet for it being the first meet of the season. It was a long five-hour trip for us but we came out really strong. Meets like this push us to be better," Boyce said.
The GVSU men won 11 of 16 races, including both relay events.
Senior Gianni Ferrero led the way with individual victories in the 100 freestyle and the 100 backstroke. Ferraro's time of 49.38 in the backstroke event set a new pool record at the Klotsche Natatorium. The senior was also part of GVSU's first-place crew in the 200 medley relay.
Freshman Marius Mikalauskas was another key contributor, winning the 100 breaststroke with a time of 57.74. Mikalauskas touched in first in the 200 breaststroke (2:03.32), setting another pool record for the Lakers.
Mikalauskas joined Ferrero, Gabriel Souza and Danny Abbott in the winning 200 medley relay team.
“There were a lot of good swimmers competing today at the meet," Mikalauskas said. "It was a lot of fun, and a meet like this pushes me to do my best and see what I am able to do.”
Sophomore Jared Gregory won the 1-meter diving event, as freshman Brad Dalrymple and sophomore Ian Ellis finished in second and third place in men's 3-meter diving.
The Laker women nearly came away with a win, but UW-Milwaukee edged GVSU's top group by 1.72 seconds in the final relay of the day to deny the Lakers an event sweep.
Leonie Van Noort paced GVSU, flying through the pool in the 200 freestyle to set a GVSU record at 1:50.75. Van Noort also set UW-Milwaukee pool records in the 100 freestyle (52.83) and the 500 freestyle (4:56.30).
“We did really well today as a team. A few records fell and we are way ahead of expectations and everyone is faster than where they were at this time last year," said junior Emily Gallagher. "We also had a great team atmosphere today. Everyone was cheering when someone did great, and we were also cheering each other on when the races were going on. It will be really great to see what we can do as a team this year.”
Gallagher won the 100 breaststroke, while freshman Celia Hoag took first in the 200 breaststroke. Sam Postmus snagged first place in the 400 individual medley.
The Lakers are back in action Oct. 23 at Calvin College.