Oakland Wins 7th-Straight Horizon League Titles, More Records Fall on Day 4

Horizon League – Men and Women



  1. Oakland – 927.5
  2. Cleveland State – 594
  3. IUPUI – 531
  4. UIC – 388
  5. Milwaukee – 336.5
  6. Green Bay – 288
  7. Youngstown State – 282


  1. Oakland – 858
  2. Cleveland State – 633
  3. UIC – 544
  4. IUPUI – 479.5
  5. Green Bay – 408
  6. Milwaukee – 351.5
  7. Youngstown State – 97

Horizon League Honors:

  • Coach of the Year: Pete Hovland (Oakland)
  • Women’s Athlete of the Year: Susan LaGrand (Oakland)
  • Men’s Athlete of the Year: Marko Khotynetskyi (Oakland)
  • Women’s Freshman of the Year: Emily Aycock (Oakland)
  • Men’s Freshman of the Year: Marko Khotynetskyi (Oakland)
  • Diver of the Meet: Felix LaFortune (UIC)

The Oakland Golden Grizzlies secured the men’s and women’s team titles at the 2020 Horizon League Championships tonight, marking the 7th straight title for both. The Oakland women were on the edge of sweeping the swimming events at these championships, but UIC’s Lilly Culp snapped the streak on the final individual swimming event of the meet, the 200 fly. Culp swam a lifetime best 2:00.58 to pick up the first non-Oakland swimming win in a women’s event. She got out to the early lead, swimming a 57.60 on the first 100, and expanded on her lead through the end of the race. 500 free champion Sohvi Nenonen (Oakland) came in 2nd with a 2:02.37.

It was all Oakland in the other women’s events of the day, with freshman Emily Aycock taking the women’s 1650 free. Aycock, the 200 free champion from yesterday, swam a 16:53.37 to finish the race as the only swimmer in the field to break 17:00.

Susan LaGrand, Women’s Swimmer of the Year, won the 200 back in a new Horizon League record tonight, swimming a 1:56.58. LaGrand was the defending champion in the event, who held the previous Horizon League record at 1:56.74. Senior teammate Grace Shinske came in 2nd, swimming a best time of 1:57.17. Shinske was also runner-up behind LaGrand last year, and was the conference champion in 2018.

LaGrand and Shinske teamed up with freshman Sohvi Nenonen and senior Katie Colwell to win the women’s 400 free in a new pool record time of 3:20.42. LaGrand led the Golden Grizzlies off in 50.76, with Shinske following in 50.25, then Nenonen in 50.19, and Colwell splitting 49.22 on the end. Oakland had the top 3 fastest splits out of the field. The squad broke the pool record of 3:21.03, which was set by Oakland the last time they hosted the Horizon League Championships, back in 2016.

Katie Colwell defended her title in the women’s 100 free earlier in the session, swimming a 49.99. Colwell won the event in 49.80 last year. Oakland junior Sydney McDowell completed a sweep of the breaststroke events, swiming a 2:12.77 to win the 200 breast. That marked a new lifetime best for McDowell, as she led a 1-2-3-4 charge for Oakland. Sophomore Taylor Bailey (2:13.59), freshman Kiera Brough (2:16.12), and sophomore Erin Donagan (2:17.88) were the next 3 swimmers in.

In the men’s events, Oakland freshman Marko Khotynetskyi won a broke the Horizon League record in the 200 back. Khotynetskyi clocked a 1:43.12 to narrowly touch out Cleveland State’s Dominik Niedzialek (1:43.19). Niedzialek slightly outsplit Khotynetskyi on the front half, 50.50 to 50.61 on the first 100, but Khotynetskyi came home faster.

Oakland freshman Christian Bart won the men’s 100 free, touching in 43.76 to finish as the only swimmer in the field under 44 seconds. With that time, Bart is now the 2nd fastest Golden Grizzly all-time. Bart also anchored the winning Oakland 400 free relay in a blistering 42.99. Khotynetskyi led the relay team off in 44.99, and was followed by junior Mack Flowers (43.86), junior Rudy Aguilar (44.45), and Bart, for a 2:56.29.

UIC had their biggest night of the meet, picking up 3 wins on the day. Hunter Crook (junior) won the men’s 1650 free, defending his title in 15:26.95. With that swim, Crook broke his own UIC record of 15:27.52. Teammate Luke Hutchinson (senior) took the men’s 200 fly with a 1:46.37, setting a new personal best and repeating as the Horizon League champion. UIC also picked up a win when Felix LaFortunate, later named the Diver of the Meet, took men’s 3 meter diving. He posted a final score of 358.10 to claim victory.

Maxwell Boehnlein, a Green Bay junior, won the men’s 200 breast with a 1:58.01, beating out 100 breast champ, Ryan Geheb of Oakland (1:58.77). Boehnlein used a quick 1:01.45 on the back half of the race to pull ahead and get his hands on the wall first.

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Coach Chackett
3 years ago

Oakland MSU Illinois
200 Med 1:38.75 1:38.88 1:41.39
800 FR 7:16.76 7:24.78 7:27.10

400 Med 3:38.59 3:39.54 3:43.34

200 FR 1:31.04 1:33.18 1:32.34

400 FR 3:20.42 3:26.44 3:24.49

Golden Grizzlies are Fast!

Congrats on the WIN.

3 years ago

Oakland doesn’t belong in the Horizon League. Great swimmers – they should compete with teams that swim as fast as they do. They should also learn to win with grace and humility.

It’s swimming and diving – right? Oakland didn’t win the diving events for women UIC and Milwaukee did.

Reply to  SwimMom1
3 years ago

So much wrong with this comment. From the critique of conference participants to the lack of understanding of how scoring works. Just ouch

Reply to  SwimMom1
3 years ago

Just an FYI — UIC divers scored the most points in both men’s and women’s diving

horizon dog
Reply to  divingfan
3 years ago

FYI Oakland Divers Men 6/10 3m. and 1m combined 2016-2020 (with a sweep in 17-18)
Women both boards 2014-2015.

Just saying