The following is a press release courtesy of Oakland Swimming & Diving:
Jan. 23, 2015
ROCHESTER, Mich. – The Oakland swimming and diving team hosts its final home meet of the season Saturday, Jan. 24 when the Golden Grizzlies host instate foe Michigan State for a 1 p.m. meet at the Oakland Aquatics Center.
Live results will be available at the start of the meet and are available both through goldengrizzlies.com and the Meet Mobile app.
The meet will be Senior Day for Oakland’s four men’s seniors – Colby Haan, John Lubisco, Jake Quinnan and Mario Rusnak – and nine women’s seniors – Allison Bellford, Jill Carps, Nichole Contesti, Tricia Grant, Megan Hunter, Kyra Rietveld, Bronte Stewart, Grace Waller and Kathleen Zintsmaster. The group will be recognized prior to the start of the meet.
Oakland Notes: The Golden Grizzlies responded well from their six-week break from intercollegiate action as both the men’s and women’s teams finished in first out of four teams at their winter invitational Jan. 16-17 against Cincinnati, Kenyon College and Olivet Nazarene.
With strong individual efforts to lift both teams to the win, junior Jorden Merrilees and sophomore Patricia Aschan were named the Horizon League Swimmers of the Week Jan. 20. Both had four individual wins over the two-day event.
In the most recent top times report released by the Horizon League Jan. 5, the Golden Grizzlies are the lone team on the women’s team to have a top 10 swimmer time-wise in all 14 individual events. In fact, Oakland has a top five swimmer in every event, with seven Horizon League best times:
• Nikki Flynn, 100 free, 50.60 (12/5/14)
• Kyra Rietveld, 100 back, 55.27 (12/6/14)
• Kyra Rietveld, 200 back, 2:01.22 (12/5/14)
• Takara Martin, 100 breast, 1:02.46 (12/5/14) – NCAA “B”
• Patricia Aschan, 200 fly, 2:03.12 (12/5/14)
• Patricia Aschan, 200 IM, 2:04.51 (12/6/14)
• Patricia Aschan, 400 IM, 4:22.57 (12/6/14)
For the women’s 100 free, Holly Morren trails her teammate by a slim 0.01 seconds to rank second in the Horizon League. Rietveld and Aschan (2:01.84) are 1-2, respectively, in the league in the 200 back. In the 200 breast, Rachel Waite (2:19.12), Martin (2:19.20) and Melissa VanderMeulen (2:19.25) are second, third, and fourth, respectively in the league.
The Golden Grizzlies have proven depth in the 200 fly, where six of the Horizon League’s top 12 times are by Oakland swimmers this season.
On the men’s side, Oakland also has at least one swimmer in the top five in every individual event compared to their Horizon League competitors. Only Wright State joins Oakland in having a swimmer in the top 10 in each category. The Golden Grizzlies boast the top times in six individual events:
• Tuomas Kiviluoma, 100 free, 44.77 (12/5/14)
• Jorden Merrilees, 200 free, 1:37.96 (12/5/14) – NCAA “B”
• Jorden Merrilees, 500 free, 4:19.68 (12/4/14) – NCAA “B”
• Jorden Merrilees, 200 back, 1:44.08 (12/6/14) – NCAA “B”
• Mitch Alters, 200 fly, 1:49.06 (12/5/14)
• Jorden Merrilees, 400 IM, 3:48.81 (12/5/14) – NCAA “B”
Of note, in the men’s 100 back and 200 back, the Golden Grizzlies have times that are NCAA “B” marks, but rank second in the conference: Aleksander Danielewski in the 100 back (48.43) and 200 back (1:45.17). In seven team meets this season for the men, Oakland is unbeaten in the 100 and 200 backstroke.
In the 200 free, Oakland boasts three of the league’s top four times: Merrilees, Kiviluoma (3rd, 1:39.81) and Jacob Pearson (4th, 1:41.04).
Coming Up: Oakland will compete in its final regular season event Saturday, Jan. 31 when the Golden Grizzlies travel to Cleveland, Ohio, for a double dual with Cleveland State and Xavier at 1 p.m. Oakland will then prepare to defend their conference championship titles at the 2015 Horizon League Championship Feb. 25-28 hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.