Samuel McKenzie to Leave Grand Canyon, Take Fifth Year at Oakland University

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After spending the first four years of his collegiate career at Grand Canyon University, CSCAA National Invitational Championships finalist Samuel McKenzie has announced that he will be transferring this fall to compete at Oakland University. McKenzie is originally from New Zealand.

“I look forward to furthering my academic and athletic journey at Oakland University as a Golden Grizzlie. I’m excited to get to work under Coach Hovland & Coach Alters and their staff, as well as joining a team environment which creates success! OU PRIDE!”

McKenzie is a specializes in the sprint events across multiple strokes. At the 2022 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Swimming and Diving Championships, he was a finalist in the 100 and 200 freestyles, as well as the 200 IM. His highest finish at the meet came in the 200 free, with his time of 1:35.87 narrowly missing the podium to take 4th. He also finished in the A-final of the 200 IM, securing 6th in a lifetime best time of 1:47.79. He rounded out the meet by winning the B-final of the 100 free in 43.60.

He finished out his career at a Lope by competing at the CSCAA National Invitation Championships in March. One of the few meets during the NCAA season that hosts 50s of the strokes and the 100 IM, McKenzie was an A-finalist in both the 50 fly and 100 IM. His top finish came in the IM, where he took second to Ohio State’s Pete Krusinski in a time of 48.75. That race also featured a pair of Oakland swimmers, with senior Danylo Hrebelnyi taking 4th and sophomore Jake Wike finishing in 10th.

Top SCY Times

  • 50 free – 20.15
  • 100 free – 43.60
  • 200 free – 1:35.87
  • 200 IM – 1:47.28

McKenzie will be bolstering an Oakland squad that has dominated the Horizon League, winning the past nine conference titles. His addition will have an immediete impact in the spring freesytle events, with his times all ranking in the program’s top-2 from last season. In the 50 and 100 freestyles, he will battle with senior Christian Bart for the top spot on the team. Last season, Bart took 2nd in the 50 (19.80) and 1st in the 100 (43.32) at the Horizon League Championships. In the 200 free, the top four spots all went to Oakland swimmers, although none managed to dip below 1:36.0.

Oakland is set to have a large group of incoming athletes this fall, including Britain’s fastest 18-year-old backstroker Harry Nicholson. McKenzie will also be joined by James Hart, Charles Brown, Micah Scheffer, Sofus Balladone, and Kieron Bezuidenhout as new faces on the Oakland team.

He is one of a few key contributors from GCU’s team last season that has wound up in the transfer portal. That includes Jack Armstrong, who almost qualified for the NCAA Championships.

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