Oakland Swimming and Diving Sign 13 for 2015-16 Season

Oakland swimming and diving head coach Pete Hovland announced Tuesday the addition of 13 student-athletes during the fall signing period.

The men’s squad will add seven freshmen for the 2015-16 campaign, while the women’s team will have six newcomers for next season.

“As a staff, we feel very comfortable with our incoming group and we can’t wait for September to get here,” said head coach Pete Hovland. “All 13 are not only talented athletes but they are outstanding students as well, and all of them come from winning programs. In its totality, the staff and I feel that not only did we improve the depth and versatility of our team and our relays just got a lot stronger but we added some really outstanding people as well. We are also really excited to watch each of our newest Golden Grizzlies continued development as we approach the new year. My assistants feel that we really hit a home run with this early signing period.

Pete Hovland (courtesy of Oakland swimming and diving)

“Going into each year I tell my staff our top priority is talent first and foremost,” Hovland continued. “If we can fill some areas of need along the way, that’s even better. With this class we feel we were able to accomplish both. As happy as we are with our early commitments, we are still working relentlessly to add another piece or two come April in what might be one of our top recruiting classes since we moved to Division I.”

MEN

TONY ERIKSSON
Järvenpää, Finland
Mäkelänrinteen Lukio • Järvenpään Uintiklubi
6-0 • Fly/Free

Highlights
• 12-time gold medalist and 31-time medalist at Finish National level
Selected to represent Finland at the Nordic Swimming Championships
• Holds four age group records (100 free, 100 fly) in SCM and LCM
• CollegeSwimming.com Power Index: 3.28 (ranked 125th in 2015-16 recruiting class)

Top Times
• 100-meter Fly: 55.97 (L) / 54.05 (S)
• 200-meter Fly: 2:07.00 (L) / 2:01.99 (S)
• 100-meter Free: 51.94 (L) / 50.67 (S)
• 200-meter Free: 1:53.85 (L) / 1:50.16 (S)

Why Eriksson chose Oakland:
• Finnish swimmers currently with the program
• Excellent facilities
• Heard a lot of good things about the educational programs

Hovland on Eriksson:”We’re excited about his commitment to Oakland, we’ve heard many good things about him from one of his teammates that currently swims for us. Not only is Tony really talented, but he fills a need for us in the sprint free and butterfly events. He will have an immediate impact on our program when he steps on campus.”

PAUL HUCH
Ingolstadt, Germany
Apian-Gymnasium • SC Delphin Ingolstadt
6-4 • Backstroke/Freestyle/Butterfly

Highlights
• Captured two gold medals at 2014 German Championships
• Finished second in 2012 Youth Athlete of the Year
• CollegeSwimming.com Power Index: 5.87

Top Times
• 50-meter Back: 26.18 (L)
• 100-meter Back: 54.90 (S) / 57.77 (L)
• 200-meter Back: 2:00.80 (S) / 2:07.80 (L)
• 50-meter Free: 23.51 (S) / 23.60 (L)
• 100-meter Free: 52.40 (L)
• 50-meter Fly: 26.50 (L)
• 100-meter Fly: 56.40 (S) / 56.91 (L)

Why Huch chose Oakland:
• Academic strength
• Swimming program
• Good image

Hovland on Huch:”Paul will join our program in January. Another high value addition to our team. Like Tony, Paul really fits a need for our team. He swims multiple events (fly back free) . Great asset to our program and will really help on our sprint group and have an immediate impact on a majority of our relays.”

PATRIK LÖFGREN
Mölnlycke, Sweden
Hulebäcksgymnasiet • Mölndals Allmänna Simsällskap
5-11 • Backstroke/Butterfly/IM

Highlights
• Two-time gold medalist at Swedish Senior Championship
Will represent Sweden in upcoming Nordic Championships
• Member of Swedish Junior National Team
• CollegeSwimming.com Power Index: 6.35

Top Times
• 200-meter IM: 2:03.29 (S) / 2:06.84 (L)
• 400-meter IM: 4:24.33 (S) / 4:34.95 (L)
• 200-meter Back: 2:02.42 (S)
• 100-meter Fly: 56.72 (S)
• 200-meter Fly: 2:05.12 (S)

Why Löfgren chose Oakland:
• Excellent communication with the coaching staff made me feel confident that the team and training philosophy will be the best possible for me at Oakland University
• Great undergraduate programs
• I believe the Golden Grizzlies’s team will contribute to my development and growth as a person and swimmer, and I really want to become a team member of the Golden Grizzlies!

Hovland on Löfgren:”We like Patrik due to his versatility. his best looks to be 400 IM, and with those swimmers, they have the ability to swim a lot of different events at a variety of distances. We also like during the recruiting process the rate of improvement he has made during the past year. He will play a major role from day one.”

DEVON NOWICKI
Lake Orion, Mich.
Lake Orion HS • Lake Orion Liquid Lightning
6-5 • Breaststroke/Butterfly/Free

Highlights
• Four-year letter winner and captain of high school squad
• Posted Olympic Trial cut time of 1:03.65 in 100 breaststroke at Junior Nationals
• Finaled at sectionals in Indianapolis in 100 breaststroke
• CollegeSwimming.com Power Index: 4.88 (ranked 6th in Michigan, 212th in 2015-16 recruiting class)

Top Times
• 100-meter Breast: 1:03.65 (L)
• 100-yard Breast: 58.09
• 400-meter Free: 4:10.77 (L)
• 800-meter Free: 8:39.12 (L)
• 1500-meter Free: 16:18.91 (L)
• 500-yard Free: 4:37.81

Why Nowicki chose Oakland:
• Oakland University was close to home
• I love the atmosphere the school provides
• I enjoyed being around the team on my visit

Hovland on Nowicki:”His time in the 100 Breast this summer at Sectionals was Devon’s coming out party and the tip of the iceberg in my opinion. Since then he has already been 56 unshaved in the breast and 20.9 in the 50 free.He’s well coached at the club and high school level. He’s been on our radar for a long time and had many former Oakland swimmers as coaches. When his prep career is said and done, we think he has the highest ceiling among the top-ranked swimmers out of Michigan.”

ADAM POLOSKY
Rochester Hills, Mich.
Rochester Adams HS • Legacy Diving
6-1 • Diving

Highlights
• State qualifier as a junior in 2013
• Team captain as a junior
• Pre-qualifier for regionals in 2013, where he went on to take sixth place

Top Scores
• 1-meter: 251.0

Diving coach Larry Albright on Polosky:”We see Adam as a diamond in the rough, and he has a lot of potential. He has skills that are hard to teach. He’s also a high jumper, and that will be an asset in being able to perform more difficult dives.”

JOE SMITH
Chelsea, Mich.
Chelsea HS • Legacy Diving
5-7 • Diving

Highlights
• State runner-up as a junior
• Placed third at MISCA meet
• Three-time state qualifier including 9th place finish as a sophomore
• Four-year letter winner in diving, also academic letter winner

Top Scores
• 1-meter: 410.95

Why Smith chose Oakland:
• Swimming and diving program
• Pre-med program
• Location of campus

Diving coach Larry Albright on Smith:”Joe has a lot of talent, and he has good mechanics. He has a lot of potential to grow, and we think he will be capable of being a top scorer for us at the Horizon League Championships as a freshman.”

BEN VANDERWEIDE
Byron Center, Mich.
Byron Center HS • Grand Rapids Novi
5-10 • Distance Free

Highlights
• Two-time all-state swimmer (200 & 500 free)
• Three-time MHSAA state qualifier
• CollegeSwimming.com Power Index: 16.41 (ranked 16th in Michigan)

Top Times
• 800-meter Free: 8:39.12 (L)
• 400-meter Free: 4:10.77 (L)
• 1500-meter Free: 16:18.91 (L)
• 500-yard Free: 4:37.81
• 200-yard Free: 1:42.28
• 1000-yard Free: 9:36.00

Why VanderWeide chose Oakland:
• Strength of academics
• Strength of the Oakland swimming and diving program
• Team camaraderie

Hovland on VanderWeide:”We like Ben a lot – we’ve known him for a while, and he’s indicated an interest for quite a while now in Oakland University, not only from the swimming standpoint, but our academic programs. He’s coming off a great summer where he swam very well and showed a lot of improvement. And we think he’s going to fit in extremely well with the distance swimmers we have now. He’s an outstanding student, and he fits the Oakland University profile extremely well.”

WOMEN

BETHANY ABRAMCZYK
Lake Orion, Mich.
Lake Orion HS • Lake Orion Liquid Lightning
5-9 • Freestyle

Highlights
• Three-time all-state swimmer in 2014, four-time all-state in 2013
• Placed fifth in 500 free and sixth in the 200 free at 2014 MSHAA Division I state meet
• CollegeSwimming.com Power Index: 23.93 (ranked 32nd in Michigan)

Top Times
• 100-meter Free: 1:02.14 (L)
• 200-meter Free: 2:13.86 (L)
• 400-meter Free: 4:47.28 (L)
• 500-yard Free: 5:03.68
• 200-yard Back: 2:08.00

Why Abramzcyk chose Oakland:
• I chose Oakland because every individual on the team showed sportsmanship and pride in their team. The team seemed so much like a family.
• The coaches treated me with respect and like I was already on the team.
• I love Oakland’s success both in the pool and in the classroom. Oakland has an amazing swim team known for being fast. The pool is amazing and all of the facilities around campus are nice. Oakland has a great program for what I am looking to go into.

Hovland on Abramczyk:”Bethany is coached by one of our former swimmers, and being fairly local, we’ve had a chance to watch her develop. She’s coming off a great high school season where she’s shown a lot of improvement. She’s a young senior with a bright future. She’s wanted to be a Golden Grizzly for quite a while, and we’re happy to have her.”

HANNAH BURGESS
Oakville, Ontario
T.A. Blakelock HS • Oakville Aquatic
5-5 • Back/Fly/Distance Free

Highlights
• Ontario Provencial qualifier since 2007
• Three-time Speedo Canadian Eastern Championship qualifier
• CollegeSwimming.com Power Index: 15.41

Top Times
• 200-meter Back: 2:15.07 (S) / 2:20.94 (L)
• 200-meter Fly: 2:18.71 (S) / 2:23.63 (L)
• 800-meter Free: 9:00.98 (S) / 9:23.67 (L)
• 1500-meter Free: 17:22.12 (S) / 17:52.05 (L)

Why Burgess chose Oakland:
• The team atmosphere was incredible. I love how close the swimmers are to each other and that they are always encouraging the rest of the team to greater things in and out of the pool.
• The academics are stellar. The brand-new health science center is absolutely incredible and I cannot wait to take part in the advanced research that students are doing within the science programs.
• The campus was also a selling feature, as it is beautiful! I love how everything is within the campus, which is very convenient.
• I also cannot wait to be a part of an up-and-coming swimming program and to work with Pete Hovland and his 36+ years of experience.

Hovland on Burgess:”Hannah comes to us from one of the top age group swimming programs in Canada. We like Hannah’s versatility and that she comes from a championship program. The word on Hannah is that she’s an extremely hard worker, that she’s versatile, and that she’s only going to get better. With her times, she would score in the top 8 at the Horizon League championships in a number of events.”

KATLYNN EMAUS
Ada, Mich.
Forest Hills Central HS • RAYS
5-5 • Breaststroke

Highlights
• 10-time national finalist at club level
Three-time all-state swimmer
• High school record holder for 100 breaststroke and pole vault
• CollegeSwimming.com Power Index: 13.44 (ranked 19th in Michigan)

Top Times
• 100-yard Breast: 1:04.91
• 200-yard Breast: 2:19.80
• 200-yard IM: 2:13.95

Why Emaus chose Oakland:
• The people of Oakland University are the kindest people I have ever met, they welcomed me with open arms; I felt like I was home.
• The University offers a great program for my intended major.
• The location of the University. Not only does it offer a beautiful view, but it is also close enough to my hometown that I can go back during holidays to visit my family.

Hovland on Emaus:”Katlynn will be a great addition to the great breaststrokers we already have. We weren’t sure we were going to recruit a breaststroker this year, but we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring in someone of Katlynn’s ability. She comes highly recommended and is not only an outstanding student, but an extremely hard-working, well-rounded and talented athlete.”

KRISSY HARMON
Caro, Mich.
Bay City Western HS • Kronos Aquatics
5-6 • Distance Free

Highlights
• Owns six BCWHS swimming records
• Two-time winner of the 500 free at Division II MHSAA State meet and state record holder
• Four time Dream Team selection and three-time Swimmer of the Year
• Won the 2014 Motor City Mile 5K open water race
• CollegeSwimming.com Power Index: 13.41 (ranked 18th in Michigan)

Top Times
• 500-yard Free: 4:55.38
• 1000-yard Free: 10:22.76
• 1650-yard Free: 17:12.13

Why Harmon chose Oakland:
• Amazing swim team
• The medical school
• Beautiful and familiar campus

Hovland on Harmon:”We’re real excited about Krissy. We’ve known her for a very long time; she got her first exposure to Oakland University from coming to our swimming camps and we’ve gotten to know her over the years. We’ve felt she’s been a Golden Grizzly since the age of 10. Her coaches have said repeatedly that they’ve never coached anyone more competitive or anyone with a better work ethic as Krissy.”

AMBER LEFLER
Windsor, Ontario
Holy Names HS • Windsor Essex
6-0 • Sprint Free/Breaststroke/IM

Highlights
• Named to the Junior National Short Course team
• Earned club’s Outstanding Performance Award four times
• CollegeSwimming.com Power Index: 7.88

Top Times
• 50-meter Free: 26.11 (S)
• 100-meter Free: 57.09 (S) / 59.20 (L)
• 100-meter Breast: 1:11.49 (S)
• 200-meter IM: 2:20.43 (S)

Why Lefler chose Oakland:
• The coaches were very nice people and they make sure you succeed in and out of the pool.
• The team atmosphere is great. They are always having fun and doing activities together. Plus, after my official visit, I could see myself going to Oakland and being a Golden Grizzly.
• The campus was beautiful and felt like home.

Hovland on Lefler:”Amber has a competitive spirit and she’s extremely talented. In my estimation, She has all of the attributes to be a top-level swimmer. Amber fills the need on the sprint side of things. we were hoping to find another top-notch women’s sprint freestyle swimmer, and the fact that she swims the breast and IM as well is a huge bonus. She’ll come in and she’ll have a major impact in any of the three events that we settle on for her to compete in at the Horizon League Championship.”

OLIVIA STREVETT
Hamilton, Ontario
Westmount Secondary • Oakville Aquatic Club
5-5 • IM/Distance Free

Highlights
• Earned team’s Perseverance Award in 2013
• Two-time member of national championship program with Oakville Aquatic Club
• CollegeSwimming.com Power Index: 26.94

Top Times
• 800-meter Free: 9:19.96 (L)
• 1500-meter Free: 17:39.92 (L)
• 400-meter IM: 5:02.77 (L)

Why Strevett chose Oakland:
• The coaches are extremely knowledgeable and have proven to produce results. I believe they will help me reach my goals.
• The people and teammates. When I went on my visit to Oakland University the team was filled with great, kind people who support each other and are very dedicated to what they do.
• The school offers a great education program and many placement opportunities which will allow me to gain experience in the classroom.

Hovland on Strevett:”Olivia comes from one of the best club programs in Canada. Olivia strengths lie in the distance free events as well as both the 200 and 400 IM events. Her versatility is definitely an asset and it will add to the talent level and depth that we currently have in her specialties.”

College Swimming News is courtesy of Oakland swimming and diving.

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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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