Oakland University traveled south to Indianapolis to take on their former conference rival, the IUPUI Jaguars. The Golden Grizzlies joined the Horizon League for the 2013-2014 season, after dominating the Summit League for the past decade. The former Summit League rivals met on Saturday for the first time as members of separate conferences.
The meet featured a unique, 16 event format. The meet had both the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays. It also included the 50’s of the stroke events were swum in place of the 100’s of the strokes and 100’s were swum in place of the 200’s of each stroke. The freestyle events remained the same, and the 100 IM was swum instead of the 200 IM.
The Oakland men defeated IUPUI 192-106, winning all but three events. The real story, however, was the women’s meet. The IUPUI women defeated Oakland for the first time in program history with a score of 153-144. The Jaguars also honored their two graduating seniors, V Brown and Andrew Saunders. Click here to view the meet results.
The 200 medley had the Jaguars off to a strong start. The team of Lexi Laird, Jenny Oleksiak, Maranda Buha, and V Brown won the event with a time of 1:47.34, touching out Oakland’s A relay by .01.
The Oakland women responded with a 1-2 finish in the 1000 freestyle. Patricia Aschan won with a time of 10:25.02 followed by Nichole Contesti at 10:37.35. Natalie Trout finished third for the Jaguars.
The back-and-forth action continued as the swimmers dove into the 200 freestyle. Margret Barber and Maddie Bradford led IUPUI to a 1-2 finish, touching the wall at 1:55.95 and 1:56.46, respectively. Grace Waller was third for the Golden Grizzlies.
The Jaguars claimed the next two events, with wins from Lexi Laird in the 50 backstroke (26.59) and Jenny Oleksiak in the 50 breaststroke (30.33).
Julia Vela added a win in the 100 butterfly for Oakland, touching at 58.19. Maranda Buha was second for the Jags at 58.92, and then Lauren Wynalda was third for the Grizzlies at 59.63. Nikki Flynn then won the 50 freestyle (24.41) for the Grizzlies, and Madison Taylor finished second (24.66). As they went into the first break, the Jaguars led the Grizzlies 67 to 63.
Coming out of the break, the Jags extended their lead with a 1-2 finish from Madison Taylor (53.64) and Brittani Grove (54.25).
IUPUI juniors Lexi Laird, Jenny Oleksiak, and Margret Barber all won their second events of the meet. Laird took the 100 backstroke with a time of 57.37, Oleksiak won the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.14, and Barber won the 500 freestyle with a 5:08.44.
The Jaguars were holding on to a strong lead, but Oakland made a big leap after a 1-2-3 finish in the 50 butterfly, led by a 26.60 from Julia Vela with her second win of the meet. Oakland’s Tricia Grant also won both the 1m and 3m diving events.
Patricia Aschan (59.29) touched out IUPUI’s Jenny Oleksiak (59.43) to win the 100 IM. Leading into the final relay of the meet, IUPUI maintained a five point lead. The winner of the final 200 freestyle relay was going to win the meet.
IUPUI’s relay team of Lexi Laird, V Brown, Maranda Buha, and Madison Taylor touched out Oakland to win the meet with a time of 1:37.50. Oakland’s A relay finished second at 1:37.62.
Oakland was last year’s Summit League Champion on both the men’s and women’s side of the meet. The IUPUI women were runner-ups, and were selected to finish second at this year’s Summit League Championships. Denver was welcomed into the Summit League this season and is the favorite leading into the meet. The IUPUI women’s swim team is very strong this year, despite their small roster size of 13 women. The change of culture for the IUPUI men and women have helped the team improve dramatically over the last three seasons.
On the men’s side of the meet. The Oakland men had control of the meet from the first event.
200 Medley Relay – Oakland 1:33.66
1000 Freestyle – Steven Neill (OU) – 9:58.96
200 Freestyle – Rich Sunkel (IUPUI) – 1:42.71
50 Backstroke – John Ferrara (OU) – 24.66
50 Breaststroke – Hrafn Traustason (OU) – 26.93
100 Butterfly – Jorden Merrilees (OU) – 51.81
50 Freestyle – Lennart Kuester (IUPUI) – 21.61
1m Diving – Jordan Welling (OU) – 274.05
100 Freestyle – Amr El Sayed (OU) – 46.85
100 Backstroke – Jorden Merrilees (OU) – 51.52
100 Breaststroke – Adam Ferguson (IUPUI) – 58.09
500 Freestyle – Mitchell Alters (OU) – 4:45.19
50 Fly – Tuomas Kiviluoma (OU) – 22.96
3m Diving – Cody Watts (IUPUI) – 335.02
100 IM – Tuomas Kiviluoma (OU) – 52.99
200 Freestyle Relay – Oakland – 1:24.54
The IUPUI men were also predicted to be Summit League runner-ups this year behind Denver. With a majority of the individual event winners coming from Oakland last season, several teams are hoping to be able to sneak into those A and B finals at conference. Although IUPUI has seen a handful of injuries this season, they are still expected to be very competitive at the Championship Meet. One of the top scorers at last years conference meet, Tony Carroll, has been recovering from an illness for the past month and a half, and hasn’t been competing this semester. The IUPUI coaching staff told SwimSwam that they have a plan in place and expect him to be ready to race again at the Summit League Championships.