2016 Horizon League Day Four: Oakland Makes it Three In a Row

Horizon League – Men and Women

  • Wednesday, February 24 – Saturday, February 27
  • Oakland Aquatic Center, Rochester, MI (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Oakland men (2x); Oakland women (2x) (results)
  • Live results (will be here once meet starts)
  • Live video (if available)
  • Championship Central

The Oakland University Grizzlies won a third straight Horizon League title in both men’s and women’s swimming and diving. Philip Sikatzki of Cleveland State broke yet another record on his way to being recognized as Swimmer of the Meet. There were many more records falling on the final night of the competition

Women’s 1650 Freestyle

  1. Brie Hines, Illinois-Chicago 16:34.75
  2. Natalie Johnson, Milwaukee 16:53.83
  3. Krissy Harmon, Oakland 17:01.46

Brie Hines remains undefeated in her Horizon League career in this event. This time she was able to break a six year old conference record to win in 16:34.75. Natalie Johnson was also in second a year ago,  although she slipped further behind Hines’ pace.

Oakland continued to extend their lead with three swimmers in the top eight. However, the final night would feature a dogfight for third place between Illinois-Chicago and Green Bay.

Men’s 1650 Freestyle

  1. Tim Halverson, Milwaukee 15:43.03
  2. Nicholas Halverson, Milwaukee 15:46.47
  3. Tanner Alms, Illinois-Chicago 15:47.44

This event had a pair of twins, both seniors for Milwaukee, take 1-2 in a storybook final collegiate race for the pair. Nicholas had taken second as well the year before with Tim not swimming in this event.

Milwaukee’s distance crew cleaned up with a 5th place finish as well. They needed the points to inch ahead of Illinois-Chicago into 4th place.

Women’s 200 Back

  1. Patricia Aschan, Oakland 1:58.74
  2. Hannah Burgess, Oakland 2:00.70
  3. Viktoria Orosz, Youngstown St 2:00.90

Oakland’s Patricia Aschan won her third individual event of the competition. She was the only swimmer under 2:00 in 1:58.74. Her pace seemed to indicate she was aiming to go a bit faster (57.4 on the first 100) but couldn’t hold on.

In the fight for third, Illinois-Chicago gained a slight advantage with 5th and 10th to Green Bay’s 9th, 12th and 16th.

Men’s 200 Backstroke

  1. Mitchell Stover, Wright St 1:44.10
  2. Tommi Wolst, Cleveland St 1:46.75
  3. John Ferrara, Oakland 1:47.05

Wright State’s Mitchell Stover picked up his third event win after taking the 400 IM the day before and the 200 IM the day before that. Just as in the previous race, Stover stepped into the void left by Jordan Merrilees, the defending champion who was listed as a junior last year.

In the team race, Illinois-Chicago got three scoring swims to none for Milwaukee, staking them a 11.5 point lead with four events left.

Women’s 100 Freestyle

  1. Holly Morren, Oakland 49.71
  2. Amanda Siehs, Milwaukee, 50.12
  3. Nikki Flynn, Oakland 50.29

Holly Morren upset defending champion and teammate Nikki Flynn, becoming the first Horizon League woman under 50 seconds in this event. The sophomore was actually fourth halfway through but was the only swimmer under 26 on the backhalf, ripping a 25.33.

Illinois-Chicago lost a little bit of its lead to Green Bay, with Green Bay getting an extra consolation swim in the event.

Men’s 100 Freestyle

  1. Philip Sikatzki, Cleveland St 43.22
  2. Paul Huch, Oakland 44.09
  3. Andrew Binder

Sikatzki clinched his swimmer of the meet status with this third individual win and third league record, breaking the previous mark set by two swimmers from his school in 43.22.

The race was never in doubt with Sikatzki leading all the way. Oakland and Cleveland State dominated the final, setting up great matchup in the 400 freestyle relay. Only Lucas Osgood of Wright State prevented the two schools from entirely filling the top eight.

Women’s 200 Breaststroke

  1. Rachel Waite, Oakland 2:13.91
  2. Takara Martin, Oakland 2:15.41
  3. Melissa VanderMeulen, Oakland 2:15.62

Rachel Waite completed the breaststroke double in 2:13.62. In the process, Oakland took the entire podium in this race, along with sixth place for good measure. Much like the 100, Waite and Martin swapped places from a year ago.

Illinois-Chicago surged into third with two scorers in the race with Wright State also leapfrogging Green Bay.

Men’s 200 Breaststroke

  1. Devon Nowicki, Oakland 1:55.66
  2. Hrafn Traustason, Oakland 1:59.65
  3. Sebastian Koller, Wright St 1:59.80

Devon Nowicki of Oakland was likely the runner up for Swimmer of the Meet in this competition, as he took his third event win and set another league record. He smashed the old mark of 1:58.25 with a 1:55.66.

Milwaukee inched closer to Illinois-Chicago with just two events to go.

Women’s 200 Butterfly

  1. Emily Hayhow, Wright St 1:59.14
  2. Molly McNamara, Cleveland St 1:59.71
  3. Haley Lucas, Green Bay 2:02.59

Emily Hayhow secured the butterfly double, and also set her second league record of the meet in the process. It appeared as if Molly McNamara might catch her as she was just .3 back at the 150, but Hayhow had enough to close out the race.

With just two events to go, Wright State took charge of third on the back of Hayhow’s swim and two other scorers.

Men’s 200 Butterfly

  1. Szymon Golczyk, Cleveland State 1:45.41
  2. Mitchell Alters, Oakland 1:47.91
  3. Matthew Dassow 1:48.83

100 Butterfly runner up Golczyk took command of the longer butterfly from the beginning, turning two seconds ahead of his closest competitor and winning by a similar margin in 1:45.41. The time puts him within striking range of a league record that he will have several more years to break.

Although Milwaukee got three scorers in the race, Illinois-Chicago had the 4th place finisher and remained 10 points ahead going into the final relay.

Women’s 3M Diving

  1. Rachel Margis, Milwaukee 316.90
  2. Kyah Fleckner, Wright St 286.35
  3. Bec Stafford, Youngstown St 276.60

Rachel Margis improved her score seventy points from her 4th place showing a year ago to take the championship. That performance clinched Diver of the Meet status.

WSU was able to get two divers in the final, all but clinching 3rd place. However, just 2.5 points separated Green Bay and Illinois-Chicago, meaning that the final relay would decide 4th.

Women’s 400 Freestyle Relay

  1. Oakland 3:21.03
  2. Milwaukee 3:23.86
  3. Green Bay 3:23.97

Oakland’s foursome of Holly Morren, Amber Lefler, Patricia Aschan and Nikki Flynn won in a league record time of 3:21.03. Morren nearly broke her fresh league record leading off for the Grizzlies.

However, the real drama came down the line. Green Bay was able to secure third place, with Illinois-Chicago taking 5th. This meant that Green Bay squeezed into 4th place, just one point ahead of Illinois-Chicago in the final standings.

Men’s 400 Freestyle Relay

  1. Oakland 2:54.40
  2. Wright State 3:00.47
  3. Milwaukee 3:02.51

A potential great race between Cleveland State and Oakland never materialized, with Cleveland State swimming well back and ultimately being disqualified for a false start. Oakland set yet another league record in their victory.

Women’s Awards and Final Scores

Wright State’s Kyle Oaks was named Coach of the Year. As previously mentioned Rachel Margis of Milwaukee was Diver of the Meet. The Swimmer of the Meet was Patricia Aschan of Oakland, with Cleveland State’s Molly McNamara winning Freshmen of the Year.

  1. Oakland University 827.5
  2. Milwaukee Panthers 628.5
  3. Wsu Swimming and Diving 428
  4. Univ of Wisconsin Green Bay 401.5
  5. Illinois, University of, Chica 400
  6. Youngstown State University 353
  7. Cleveland State University 350.5
  8. Valparaiso University Swimming 94

Men’s Awards and Final Scores

Cleveland State’s Paul Graham was named Coach of the Year. Philip Sikatzki was the Swimmer of the Meet for Cleveland State. Oakland’s Devon Nowicki was the easy choice for freshmen of the year. Oakland’s Stirling Fordham was Diver of the Meet.

  1. Oakland University 840
  2. Cleveland State University 597.5
  3. Wsu Swimming and Diving 585
  4. Illinois, University of, Chica 399
  5. Milwaukee Panthers 382.5
  6. Univ of Wisconsin Green Bay 366
  7. Valparaiso University Swimming 153

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About Chris DeSantis

Chris DeSantis

Chris DeSantis is a swim coach, writer and swimming enthusiast. Chris does private consulting and coaching with teams and individuals. You can find him at www.facebook.com/cdswimcoach. Chris is a 2009 Graduate from the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania. He was the first professional athletic coach …

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