JENISON, Mich. -- The Wayne State University women and Grand Valley State University men captured 2018 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Swimming & Diving Championships following a four-day competition which took place February 14-17, 2018 at the Jenison Aquatics Center inside Jenison High School in Michigan.
The Grand Valley State men won its fourth consecutive conference title and seventh in program history with a team total of 968.5 points with Northern Michigan finish second with 854 points. The Wayne State women captured its 11th championship in 13 seasons with a score of 877 points to better Grand Valley State in second with 832.5 points. Northern Michigan finished second in the men's standings, while the Wildcat women placed third. Saginaw Valley, Ashland and Tiffin all finished in fourth, fifth and sixth positions respectively in both the men's and women's race.
2018 GLIAC SWIMMING & DIVING AWARDS
Co-Swimmers of the Year: Grantas Dapkus - Northern Michigan & Joao Ribeiro - Wayne State
Diver of the Year: Joe Gucwa - Grand Valley State
Freshman of the Year: Moritz Bartels - Grand Valley State
Coach of the Year: Heidi Voigt - Northern Michigan
Swimmer of the Year: Rachel Helm - Northern Michigan
Diver of the Year: Wilhelmina Francisco - Saginaw Valley
Freshman of the Year: Jia Yi Koh - Wayne State
Coach of the Year: Sean Peters - Wayne State
Grand Valley State's Melina Goebel took home the first medal of the championships with a top showing in the Women's 1000 Yard Freestyle. Goebel posted a time of 10:07.80 to outdistance NMU's Gabby Spajic by over nine seconds. On the men's side, NMU's Grantas Dapkus outdid his teammate Janne Roovers as the Wildcats took the top two spots in the 1000 freestyle as Dapkus touched the wall in 9:19.96. Wayne State's Leonardo de Oliveira finished third.
NMU's Rachel Helm captured the title in the Women's 200 IM with a pace of 2:02.21, while GVSU's Samantha Postmus finished second followed by WSU's Katherine Svisco in third. Northern's Ryan Leonard captured the crown in the Men's 200 IM stopping the clock in 1:47.81, while WSU's Joao Ribeiro claimed runner-up accolades ahead of GVSU's Harry Shalamon in third.
Saginaw Valley earned its first medal of the week with a victory in the Women's 50 Free by Melanie Soensksen who sprinted to the finish in 23.43 followed by a pair of WSU Warriors in Makayla Myers in second and Lezlie Bueno Estrada in third. In the men's race, Ryan Katulski clocked in at 20.28 to give WSU a first-place medal, while GVSU teammates Ben Walling and J.D. Ham finished second and third, respectively.
Saginaw Valley senior Wilhelmina Francisco posted a score of 419.75 in the Women's 3-Meter Dive to earn the GLIAC title by 4.25 points over WSU's Amanda Hurchalla and GVSU's Mikayla Karasek in third.
The final races of the day came in the exciting 200 medley relay competitions. Northern Michigan captured gold in the women's race with a time of 1:42.85 with Regan Kilburn, Rachel Helm, Maddy Irelan and Maggie Vaitkus earning the win for the Wildcats. In men's action, Wayne State earned top honors thanks to Dima Drobnych, Sasha Palazzo, Rasmus Olsen and Ryan Katulski's near-GLIAC record time of 1:27.48.
Wayne State was victorious in the Women's 200 Free Relay to kickoff the final session on Day 2 when the team of Lezlie Bueno Estrada, Haley Groteler, Aliza Durack and Makayla Myers touched the wall in 1:33.51 for the win. GVSU followed in the men's race with a victory of their own as the Lakers completed the swim in 1:20.31 as Jack Bruce, Ben Walling, Liam Little and J.D. Ham earned top billing.
Wayne State's Joao Ribeiro broke a GLIAC meet record in the Men's 400 IM by recording a time of 3:51.49 to earn the victory, edging out the old mark of 3:51.65 set by Ryan Leonard from NMU in 2016, who finished second behind Ribeiro. Saginaw Valley's Rebeca Martinez swam to the top of the Women's 400 Individual Medley (IM) as the senior posted a time of 4:25.74 to finish in front of her SVSU teammate Lydia Mattar, while GVSU's Sam Postmus earned the bronze.
Rachel Helm captured yet another title for the NMU Wildcats - this time in the Women's 100 Butterfly with a time of 55.20. WSU's Rasmus Olsen took top honors in the men's race with a time of 48.11, while NMU's Lajos Budai took second with GVSU's Harry Shalamon placing third.
GVSU's Melina Goebel outdid her competition to earn the top spot in the Women's 200 Freestyle after she touched the wall in 1:50.36. Tiffin's Jonah Sumfleth captured gold for the Dragons in the Men's 200 Free as he notched a time of 1:38.90. The GVSU men swept the 1-Meter Dive as Jared Gregory led the pack with 472.45 points, while Joe Gucwa finished second and Jared Berger in third for the Lakers.
Thursday was capped by a pair of exciting 400 medley relay races with the Wayne State women posting a time of 3:45.75 thanks to Ashlen Michalski, Jia Yi Koh, Haley Groteler and Lezlie Bueno Estrada. The Warrior men made it a WSU sweep in the 400 medley relay with a victory of their own as Dima Drobnych, Sasha Palazzo, Rasmus Olsen and Tyler Roshak put together a time of 3:14.57.
GVSU's Melina Goebel started things off in the finals on Day 3 with a victory in the Women's 500 Freestyle as she touched the wall in 4:54.48 to earn top billing over her teammate Sam Postmus, while NMU's Becca Arakelian placed third. The Wildcats went 1-2 in the Men's 500 Free competition with Grantas Dapkus taking the crown with a 4:29.80 showing to out-do his teammate Janne Roovers. WSU's Leonardo de Oliveira finished with the bronze medal.
NMU's Rachel Helm captured her third individual gold of the week with a triumph in the Women's 100 Backstroke and a time of 53.91. Wayne State's Emily Marginean finished runner-up with NMU's Regan Kilburn placing third. Lajos Budai snagged the Men's 100 Back title with a speed of 47.55 seconds to outduel Dima Drobnych from Wayne State as NMU's Renars Bundzis earned the bronze.
In the 100 Breaststroke, Wayne State freshman Jia Yi Koh swam to the top with a time of 1:02.87 to defeat GVSU's Celia Hoag and SVSU's Lydia Mattar for the win. For the men, Marius Mikalauskas posted a first-place finish for the Lakers after stopping the clock in 53.97 ahead of Sasha Palazzo from WSU and Arnoldo Herrera from NMU.
WSU's Haley Groteler dominated the Women's 200 Butterfly by more than two seconds (2:02.85) to finish in front of Catie Gorton from Tiffin and Rebeca Martinez from Saginaw Valley. David Miranda from Northern Michigan captured the Men's 200 Fly title (1:48.40) as he edged WSU's Rasmus Olsen in second and NMU's Ryan Leonard in third.
Mikayla Karasek posted the top score in the Women's 1-Meter Dive with a score of 421.45 well ahead of her nearest competitor. The GVSU women kicked off the relays with a victory in the 800 Free Relay when Postmus, Deibel, Culver and Goebel posting the winning time of 7:28.61. Northern Michigan closed out the evening with a victory in the Men's 800 Free Relay thanks to efforts from Reinhold, Gutierrez, Leonard and Dapkus who recorded a time of 6:39.44.
Northern Michigan showed they know how to swim the 200 Backstroke as both Rachel Helm and Renars Bundzis set all-time GLIAC records in the event. Helm set her own women's record from a year ago once again with a time of 1:56.38, while Bundzis recorded the historic mark on the men's side as he clocked in at 1:44.00.
GVSU's Melina Goebel posted a dominant victory in the Women's 1650 Free with a pace of 16:52.79, while Wayne State's Leonardo de Oliveira recorded the top time (15:43.43) in the men's race. NMU's Lena Soulas captured the crown in the Women's 100 Freestyle as she touched the wall in 50.94 seconds before her teammate Lajos Budai raced to the top of the men's competition in 44.38 seconds.
In the 200 Breaststroke, Northern Michigan's Katharina Springhetti and Grand Valley State's Celia Hoag finished with identical times of 2:17.80 to share top honors in women's action. GVSU's Marius Mikalauskas added another gold to his resume as he completed the Men's 200 Breast in 1:56.63 for the win. In the Men's 3-Meter Dive, GVSU's Joe Gucwa captured the title with a score of 485.15 to outduel his teammate Jared Gregory.
The final races of the week saw the Wayne State team of Jia Yi Koh, Emily Marginean, Makayla Myers and Lezlie Bueno Estrada posted the winning time of 3:26.10 to capture the Women's 400 Free Relay. GVSU claimed the men's title thanks to the efforts of Harry Shalamon, J.D. Ham, Liam Little and Ben Walling who swam the race in 2:58.32 for the victory.