Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Swimming and diving teams crowned Mid-Con champs
Oakland University’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams each captured team titles at the Mid-Continent Conference championships Feb. 15-18 at IUPUI in Indianapolis, Ind. The victories mark the seventh consecutive championship for the two teams.
The women’s team, with a total of 970 points, won every event of the competition and swept the individual awards. Junior Melissa Jaeger earned Swimmer of the Year honors; senior Linda Keskey was awarded Diver of the Year; freshman Sophia Gustafsson was recognized as Newcomer of the Year; and head coach Pete Hovland was named Coach of the Year.
The men’s team compiled a total of 1,013 points, and senior Chris Sullivan was named Mid-Con Swimmer of the Year after winning seven events individually and as part of relays.
OU’s women’s team started out the competition by breaking a league championship record that was more than a decade old. Sophomores Riley Rigoli, Elaine Shalla, Chrissy Hager and Carolyn Routh defeated the 200-yard freestyle relay mark set by Wright State in 1993, posting a time of 1:36.29 to best the previous record by nearly three-tenths of a second.
The Grizzlies also broke the record for the 400- and 200-yard medley relays. In the 400-yard relay, junior Amanda Burwell, senior Maria Musialczyk, Jaeger and Rigoli turned in a 3:49.05 time to beat the previous record by more than two seconds. In the 200-yard relay, Burwell, Musialczyk, Jaeger and Rigoli posted a time of 1:45.94, which bested the previous mark of 1:45.72.
In the individual events, Gustafsson set a Mid-Con championship record in the 1,650-yard freestyle, completing the race in 17:06.13, nearly half a minute faster than her competitors and more than a second faster than the previous conference mark. Burwell broke an Oakland record in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:24.61, beating the record previously set by OU’s Line Jensen in 2003. And, Jaeger picked up an individual title in the 100-yard butterfly race by posting a NCAA B-Standard time in the event. More than half a second faster than her preliminary time, she touched out at 55.01, 35 hundredths of a second faster than the minimal B-Standard time and more than two and a half seconds ahead of her competition.
On the first day of the men’s competition, the Golden Grizzlies broke three records in the 200-yard freestyle relay, 400-yard medley relay and 50-yard freestyle.
With an NCAA B-Standard time in the 200-yard freestyle relay, Sullivan, junior Bryon Tansel, senior Eric Lynn and sophomore Chris Tansel posted a time of 1:20.70, 12 hundredths of a second faster than the minimal B-Standard time, breaking the previous record set by OU in 2000 by nearly two and a half seconds. Oakland also crushed the previous record in the 400-yard medley relay when Lynn, Horvath, Sullivan and Bryon Tansel teamed up to post a time of 3:18.35, defeating their competition by more than 12 seconds and breaking the previous record by nearly four seconds.
In the 50-yard freestyle, Sullivan came just five hundredths of a second short of an NCAA A-Standard time en route to winning the event with a time of 19.79 and setting a new conference championship record. He later sealed his status as Swimmer of the Year in the second day of competition when he took first in the 100-yard freestyle, setting a new conference record, giving him another NCAA B-Standard mark and besting his competition by nearly a second with a time of 44.33.
Oakland turned in another record-setting performance in the second day of competition when Lynn, Horvath, Sullivan and Bryon Tansel teamed up to post a 1:30.90 mark in the 400-yard medley relay, besting the record previously set by Wright State in 1991 by more than 90 seconds.
The Golden Grizzlies wrapped up the meet with a NCAA B-Standard qualifying time in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Sullivan, Bryon Tansel, Ortego and Lynn demolished the previous Mid-Con record by more than three seconds, placing them in contention for an NCAA Championship berth, with a time of 2:59.18.
For more information on OU’s swimming and diving teams, visit the OU Athletics Web site.