2019 GLIAC Championships: Grand Valley State Sweeps

2019 GLIAC Swimming & Diving Championships

The Grand Valley State Lakers (GVSU) swept the men’s and women’s titles at the 2019 GLIAC Championships. This is the 5th-consecutive win for the Laker men and the 3rd win in 10 years for the Laker women.

The Laker women maintained a slight edge over Wayne State throughout the course of the 4-day meet. Meanwhile, the Laker men had been edged by Northern Michigan until day 3, when the Lakers made ground and surpassed the Wildcats for the remaining days of the meet.

Final Team Scores


  1. Grand Valley State- 938.5
  2. Wayne State- 871
  3. Northern Michigan- 725
  4. Saginaw Valley State- 383
  5. Davenport- 259.5
  6. Ashland- 247


  1. Grand Valley State- 853.5
  2. Northern Michigan- 818
  3. Wayne State- 814.5
  4. St. Cloud State- 359
  5. Ashland- 283
  6. Saginaw Valley State- 220

Individual Recognition

For the men’s swimmer of the meet, GVSU’s Harry Shalamon received recognition for his record breaking swims when he swept the backstroke events. His 100 back (46.82) and 200 back (1:43.48) winning times both chipped the GLIAC meet/conference records.

On the women’s side, Rachel Helm of Northern Michigan achieved perfect 4-for-4 individual wins in her events. Helm broke GLIAC conference records in the 200 IM (2:01.83) and 200 back (1:56.21). At the same time, Helm won her 3rd-consecutive titles in the 200 IM, 100 back (54.35), and 100 fly (55.06).

Male freshman of the year was awarded to Keegan Hawkins of GVSU. Hawkins achieved a runner-up finish in the 400 IM (3:52.48) and was a member of the runner-up 800 free relay. Hawkins also placed 4th in the 200 IM (1:50.27), 100 breast (55.27), 200 breast (2:00.79), which are all NCAA D2 B cuts.

Another Laker, Samantha Laurich, was recognized for female freshman of the meet. Laurich slowly crept up the podium, making top 3 in all 4 of her individuals. She won 3rd in the 200 IM (2:03.18), followed by 2 runner-up placements in the 400 IM (4:23.21) and 100 breast (1:03.62). Laurich finished her freshman year conference meet on top of the podium with a win in the 200 breast (2:15.06).

Other recognition include:

  • Male Diver of the Year: Christopher Kelly, GVSU
  • Female Diver of the Year: Mikayla Karasek, GVSU
  • Coach of the Year: Andy Boyce, GVSU

More Meet Highlights

Along with Shalamon’s and Helm’s 2 records a piece, 9 more GLIAC meet and all-time conference records were broken. Among the record breakers was Melina Goebel of GVSU, who was another perfect 4-for-4 winner. She broke the GLIAC record in the 500 free with a 4:51.96. Goebel also won the 200 free (1:49.24), 1000 free (10:01.09), and 1650 free (16:49.08).

Taking double wins and a record as well was Leonardo de Oliveira of Wayne State, who broke the 1000 free record (9:14.62) and won the 1650 free (15:32.78). Sasha Palazzo of Wayne State rewrote the 100 breast record (52.26) and won the 200 breast (1:57.51). Also breaking records include:

  • Women’s 400 IM: Emily Marginean (Wayne State)- 4:17.35
  • Men’s 400 IM: Joao Martimbianco Ribeiro (Wayne State)- 3:50.16
  • Men’s 200 Medley Relay: Wayne State- 1:26.28
  • Men’s 400 Medley Relay: Wayne State- 3:11.26
    • (both relays) Dmytro Drobnych, Sasha Palazzo, Rasmus Olsen, Ryan Katulski
  • Women’s 400 Free Relay: Northern Michigan- 3:25.05
    • Rachel Helm, Margaret Vaitkus, Regan Kilburn, Lena Soulas

Taking home multiple wins include:

  • Oscar Saura Armengol (GVSU)- 100 fly (47.45), 200 fly (1:47.40)
  • Lena Soulas (Northern Michigan)- 50 free (23.94), 100 free (50.59)
  • Lajos Budai (Northern Michigan)- 100 free (44.12), 200 free (1:38.10)

Coming up next are the NCAA Division II Championships, held at the IUPUI Natatorium on March 13th-16th. In 2018, the scoring women’s GLIAC teams were GVSU (15th), Northern Michigan (16th), Wayne State (2oth), and Saginaw Valley State (42nd). On the men’s side, GVSU (11th), Wayne State (14th), and Northern Michigan (18th) also scored at the 2018 meet.

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3 years ago

actually laker men were edged by the wayne state men until day 3

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro started swimming at age 11, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing. After joining SwimSwam, the site has become an outlet for him to research and learn about competitive swimming and experience the sport through a new lenses. He graduated in …

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