Senior Grace Waller currently competes for Oakland University, a swim and dive team in their second year as members of the Horizon League. Pete Hovland is the head coach at Oakland University, assisted by Shawn Kornoelje, Katie Sullivan, Andre Latour, Blaine Dolcetti, and Larry Albright (Diving). Oakland Swimming and Diving is known for their long history of success in the pool, starting in the Division II days. In Division II, Oakland won 20 National Championships between the Men and Women’s teams. After Oakland moved up to Division I, the teams continued their winning tradition, being undefeated at the conference championships 16 years in a row. Oakland University athletes are also known as the Golden Grizzlies. (Oakland University Golden Grizzlies Athletics, 2015)
Grace was born in 1992 to parents Brad and Jacque Waller. She started swimming at the age of 7, because her brother and sister swam. It was a family affair!
Grace’s high school years were marked by many successes in the pool. She was an Illinois High School State Qualifier in 2007, swimming the 100-yard breaststroke (earned 8th place) and 200-yard IM. She also qualified in 2009 for the 200-yard IM (earned 9th place) and the 400-yard freestyle relay. In 2010, Grace was also a state qualifier for the 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle. Grace hold’s seven of her high schools Varsity Pool records, and was a two-time team captain. She earned All-State Honors four times, as well as 16 National YMCA All-American Honors. Grace was also Sectional Champion in the 200-yard freestyle.
2011-2012: In her freshman year, Grace competed in 3 exhibition events at the 2012 Summit League Championships. Earlier that year she qualified for two consolation finals at the USA Michigan Open. At the same meet, she went a career best 1650-yard freestyle finishing in 9th place. That year she also finished 8th in the 1650-yard freestyle and 10th in the 500-yard freestyle with a career best time at the Eastern Michigan Swim and Dive Invitational.
2013-2014: At the 2013 Summit League Championships, Grace earned All-League Honors by finishing runner-up in the 200-yard freestyle and touching 3rd in the 500-yard freestyle. She also earned 9th place in the 1650-yard freestyle.
2013-2014: At the 2014 Horizon League Championships, Grace swam the 500-yard freestyle (finished 10th), 1000-yard freestyle (finished 8th), and 1650-yard freestyle (finished 8th). Grace’s 1000-yard freestyle earned her a time of 10:19.93, which was the sixth fastest time in Oakland University history. Grace was also named to the Horizon League Fall 2013 Honor Roll.
Grace is majoring in Communications, and swims for Shawn Kornoelje in the Distance Group