Tuesday, April 1, 2003
Men’s swim team among top 30 in country
Oakland University's men's swimming and diving team captured 17 points at the NCAA Championships to place 27th in the country, the highest finish ever for the Golden Grizzlies.
The school-record finish met a goal set at the beginning of the year by head coach Pete Hovland to become a top-30 program in the country. And with all the youth and talent on the team, Oakland is bound to keep moving up the national scale.
Five members of the team represented Oakland at the three-day NCAA meet March 27-29 in Austin, Texas, including junior Sean Broadbent (Windsor, Ontario), freshman Scott Dickens (Ancaster, Ontario), senior Doug Drazin (West Bloomfield, Mich.), freshman Eric Lynn (Plymouth, Mich.) and sophomore Chris Sullivan (Rockford, Mich.).
Sullivan, Lynn, Drazin and Broadbent teamed up in the 400-medley relay and placed 16th in the prelims with a time of 3:18.74. In the finals, the quad improved on their morning's performance and finished with a time of 3:17.76 and again in 16th place. The finish gave Oakland two points – the Golden Grizzlies’ first ever points in NCAA competition.
The same relay team competed in the 200-freestyle relay and kicked out a time of 1:19.47 in the prelims to finish 11th, qualifying for the consolation final. The time broke the school record that was set earlier in the year by the same team. However, during the finals, the team disqualified.
Day two of the championships saw Oakland receive more points and move higher up the national hierarchy. The 200-medley relay team of Lynn, Dickens, Sullivan and Broadbent finished 15th both in the preliminaries and finals with times of 1:29.69 and 1:29.85, respectively.
Dickens scored points for the Grizzlies in the 100 breaststroke. He swam a time of 53.95 in the prelims, breaking his old school record by more than two-tenths of a second and finishing in ninth place – eight-hundredths of a second out of the final top eight. In the consolation final, he again set new standards for the 100 breast, hitting the wall at 53.79 in 10th place.
Dickens continued to break records as he smashed a 16-year-old school record set in the 200 breaststroke. He broke the previous record (1:58.77) by more than a second during the preliminaries with a time of 1:57.62 and came in 16th place. During the consolation final, he moved up to 15th place with a time of 1:58.18.
Dickens also competed in the 200 individual medley, finishing in a time of 1:50.71 during the preliminaries, which placed him 40th in the heat.
Sullivan swam the 100 freestyle in 43.64 seconds during the consolidation finals, placing 14th. In the finals, he moved down one notch to 15th place with a time of 43.96.
In the 50 freestyle preliminaries, Sullivan had a rough start on the blocks, hitting the wall at 19.81. His time placed him 18th and only .02 seconds out of further competition.
Sullivan also competed in the 100 butterfly, which saw more than 40 swimmers vying for a spot in the finals, and cranked out a season best time of 48.41 tying him for 30th and out of finals competition by 1.2 seconds.
In day three of the meet, the relay team of Sullivan, Broadbent, Dickens and Drazin was again in action, competing in the 400-freestyle relay, placing 19th in preliminaries with a time of 3:02.16.