Strides to Back-to-Back Mid-Con Titles
The Oakland University mens and womens swimming and diving teams finished the 2000-01 season with much success. Both squads won the 2000 Mid-Continent Conference Championship and the women finished second in the 2001 National Independent Conference Championships, while the men nabbed third place.
Oakland landed all-Mid-Con honors as coach Pete Hovland earned mens and womens coach of the year. Senior Haitham Hassan was named mens swimmer of the year and junior Tamara Swaby earned female swimmer of the year. Freshman Sean Broadbent and Shelley Aurit earned 2000 Mid-Con Newcomer of the Year honors.
The Golden Grizzlies started the year by participating in the Bowling Green Relays in Bowling Green, Ohio (10/20/00). This event was not scored it was an individual meet. The women's diving 'B' team finished third in the 1-meter diving with a score of 443.75 and the 'A' team finished eighth with a score of 399.00, both out of 10 teams. The 'A' team finished third in the 3-meter diving with 455.75 points and the 'B' team finished eighth with 368.00 points. The men's diving team finished fourth in the 1-meter diving with 364.60 points. They concluded the diving competition in the 3-meter diving where they tallied 383.80 points and finished second.
October 27, 2000 marked the mens second meet of the year as the women did not particpate in the Michigan Quadrangular hosted by Eastern Michigan. Michigan, Michigan State, Eastern Michigan and Oakland competed in the meet. Michigan finished first with a score of 781, Eastern Michigan scored 538 points, MSU had 500 and Oakland scored 330 points. OU's David Hartzel led the Golden Grizzly swimmers with a first place finish in the 200 back (1:49.93) and a fourth place finish in the 200 free (1:40.96). Hassan finished second in the 200 I.M. (1:54.53) and third in the 200 back (1:51.59). Hartzel was named Mid-Con Swimmer of the Week for his accomplishments in the Quadrangular.
The mens team hosted the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame November, 3. The Golden Grizzlies defeated the Irish 134.50-106.50. Hartzel and Hassan led the Golden Grizzly swimmers with two first-place finishes each. Hartzel finished first in the 200 free (1:42.74) and in the 200 back (1:51.60), while Hassan claimed first in the 200 IM (1:57.03) and in the 200 butterfly (1:52.33). The Golden Grizzly relay team of Hartzel, Hassan, Mark Quinn and Broadbent finsihed first in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:28.51. Broadbent, Drazin, Todd Duncan and Pat Foley finished first in the 400 free relay (3:11.39). Hassan was named Mid-Con Swimmer of the Week (11/7) for his performance in the win over Notre Dame.
November, 11 marked the first time in the 2000-01 season that both the mens and womens teams participated in a dual meet. Oakland split the outing with Toledo as the men won 124-119, while the women were defeated 143-100. The womens team was led by the 400 medley relay team of Lynn, Aurit, Swaby, and Ward who took a first place finish with the time of 3:56.88. Ward also added two other first place finishes for the Grizzlies in the 200 free (1:51.83) and 500 free (5:02.26) to pace OU. Lynn recorded a first-place finish in the 200 back with the time of 2:07.38. Swaby also helped the Grizzlies with two second place finishes in the 50 free (24.94) and the 200 fly (2:09.16). Ward received swimmer of the week accolades for her two first place finishes against the Rockets. For the men a number of Golden Grizzlies finished in the top two spots to carry OU to victory. Hassan and Marc Gray both had a first and second place finish. Hassan finished first in the 200 fly (1:56.54) and second in the 200 back (1:54.81) while Gray finished first in the 500 free (4:42.64) and finished second in the 1000 free (9:45.18).
The next day the Golden Grizzlies traveled home to host the Falcons of Bowling Green, November, 11. Both swimming and diving teams came away with the win, the men defeated BGSU 148-95 and the women won, 138-84. Notching two first place finishes for the Grizzlies were Chris Gawronski in one meter and three meter diving with 240.15 and 281.98 points, respectively, and Hassan in the 100 butterfly (50.67) and the 100 backstroke(52.37). For the women, collecting two first place finishes was Devon Cunningham in the one meter and three meter dives with 261.08 and 281.71 points respectively. Oakland's Ward collected three first place finishes in the 1000 freestyle (10:16.35) and the 200 freestyle (1:53.09) and in the 100 freestyle with a time of 52.75. Hartzel and Ward were named Mid-Con Swimmers of the Week for their performances against Toledo and Bowling Green.
The Golden Grizzlies traveled to Dayton, Ohio to swim the Wright State Raiders, November 17-18. Both squads defeated the Raiders, as the women won 119-80 and the men narrowly won 100-99. Leading the way for the womens team with five first place finishes was Ward in the 1000 free (10:19.53), 200 free (1:55.05), 50 free (24.55), 500 free (4:43.79) and 100 free (53.72). Finishing with four first place finishers was Swaby in the 50 free (25.02), 200 fly (2:08.90), 200 free (1:57.07) and the 100 fly (59.26). The men won the meet as the combination of Sean Broadbent, Joel Wallace, Todd Duncan and Hartzel finished the last event (400 freestyle relay) 54 hundreds of a second faster than WSU to give OU the 100-99 win. Leading the men with three first place finishes were Hassan and Hartzel. Hassan claimed victories in the 200 IM (1:55.78), the 100 fly (51:88) and the 200 fly (1:54.29). Hartzel earned the first place honors in the 200 free (1:42.43), 200 back (1:56.54) and the 500 free (4:43.79). Wards five first place performance was good enough to be named Mid-Con Swimmer of the Week of 11/21. For the mens team Mark Quinn notched his first Mid-Con Swimmer of the Week honors(11/21)as the Grizzlies defeated the Raiders.
November 30-December 2 marked the Mid-Continent Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, hosted by Oakland University. The Golden Grizzlies mens and womens swimming and diving programs defended their titles as Mid-Continent Conference champions in 2000 in a resounding way. The Oakland mens team finished with a Mid-Con record 1042 points in front of Western Illinois (593), IUPUI (548) and Valparaiso (513). The OU women claimed first with a Mid-Con record 1093 points. Valparaiso (675) followed in second place, while Western Illinois (550) finished third and IUPUI (427) and Youngstown State (364) claimed fourth and fifth places, respectively. Hassan led the way for the Golden Grizzlies as he set Mid-Con records in the 100 fly (48.70), also a pool record, and 200 IM (1:50.60) on Saturday. He was also a part of the 200 medley relay team that claimed first place with Jim Kanak, Wallace and Drazin. Oaklands Ward set a Mid-Con record finishing first in the 500 free in 5:00.26.
January 6th marked the first meet of the new year as both squads participated in the Florida Atlantic University Invitational. The women took first place in the event with 660.50 points and the men finished in third place with a 596.50. This meet marked the appearance of Kazakhstan natives Oksana Strelets and Tanya Korniyenko for the womens program. Leading the way for the women was Ward, placing first in the 200 free(1:56.71) and the 500 free(5:00.23). Ward finished second in the 100 free with the time of 52.71, behind teammate Strelets who placed first with the time of 52.40. Strelets also took the 50 free with the time of 24.07. Korniyenko placed first in the 100 butterfly (58.74)and second in the 200 butterfly (2:07.21). For the men Hassan and Hartzel paced the Grizzlies with two top finishes. Hassan placed first in the 100 backstroke(51.47) and the 100 butterfly (50.31)and second in the 200 backstroke(1:51.61) behind teammate Hartzel. Hartzel finished first in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:50.39. Hartzel also claimed the 400 IM with a time of 4:05.18 and took second in the 200 free (1:42.09).
The Grizzlies came home to Rochester January 12 to host the Lords and Ladies of Kenyon College. Both OU mens and womens teams defeated the Division III powerhouse, 144-79 and 165-66 respectively. Pacing the womens team was Ward as she had three first places finishes. Ward finished the 1650 free in a time of 17:10.34 which was good for first place. Ward's second first place finish was in the 200 free as she finished with a time of 1:55.08. Ward ended her day by finishing first in the 500 free with a time of 5:02.41. Individually for the mens squad Hartzel tallied two first place finishes, while Schmit and Joe Lebovic each collected one first-place finish. Hartzel won the teams first top finish in the 200 free with a time of 1:41.38. The Middletown, Delware native received his second first-place finish in the 200 back with a time of 1:51.51. Schmit finished first in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:41.36, while freshman Lebovic finished first in the three-meter diving with 207.38. Strelets received Swimmer of the Week January 16.
The Oakland womens team hosted the Red Hawks of Miami University January 19. The women collected their fourth win with a 176-98 victory over the MU. Leading the Grizzlies was Mid-Con Swimmer of the Week (1/8/01) Strelets with a team-high three first-place finishes. Strelets finished the 200 freestyle (1:55.75), the 50 freestyle (23.67) and the 100 free (51.62) ahead of the field. The 23.67 in the 50 free is a new season record. In the 1000 freestyle OU's Ward shattered the season's top time of 10:16.35 with her 10:12.99 to claim first against Miami. In diving, Devon Cunningham finished first in the 1-meter with 274.05 points and Laura Sorley finished first in the 3-meter with 280.05 points
January 20 marked the first time in the 2000-01 season that OU traveled north of Rochester as they ventured to East Lansing to face Michigan State University. The Spartans handed the OU mens team its first loss of the year, 140-98, and handed the womens team its second loss of the year, 137-106. Top performances against the Spartans for the women came from Ward who finished first in the 1,000 free (10:15.42), 200 free (1:52.36) and 500 free (4:58.28) and Strelets who finished first in the 50 free (23.99) and 100 free (51.84). The men were led by Hartzel, Schmit and Quinn. Hartzell claimed first place honors in the 200 back (1:53.60), Schmit finished first in the 500 free (4:44.94) and Quinn was first in the 200 breast (2:07.12). Despite the loss Ward received Mid-Con Swimmer of the Week honors for the week of January 23.
February 3 the womens team traveled to Columbus, Ohio to battle their second Big Ten opponent, Ohio State. Individually, Strelets collected three first-place finishes to lead the Golden Grizzlies. The Kazakhstan native started her evening finishing first in the 50 free in a time of 23.81. Her second top finish came in the 100 yard freestyle (51.91) and her final victory was in the 200 IM (2:09.80). Sophomore Ward claimed two first-place finishes against the Buckeyes of Ohio State. The Brighton, Michigan product swam a 10:15.72 in the 1000 freestyle and a 4:59.40 in the 500 free. Rounding out OU's top finishers were Aurit, Korniyenko and Veronika Frolova as they each collected one win apiece in the dual match. Aurit finished first in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:24.04, while Korniyenko tallied a first-place finish in the 100 yard butterfly (57.88) and Frolova collected a top finish in the 100 breast (1:07.54).
January 27 saw the mens swimming and diving team take on Eastern Michigan at the OU Aquatics Center. The Golden Grizzlies fell to the Eagles by the score of 141-88. Individually for the Golden Grizzlies, Hartzel tallied two first place finishes, while Schmit and Lebovic each collected one first-place finish. Hartzel won the teams first top finish in the 200 free with a time of 1:41.38. The Middletown, Delware native received his second first-place finish in the 200 back with a time of 1:51.51. Schmit finished first in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:41.36, while freshman Lebovic finished first in the three-meter diving with 207.38.
February 9 the Eastern Michigan womens swimming and diving team came to town to battle OU. Oakland edged the Eagles 159-141 in a record setting day for the Grizzlies. Leading OU were Ward and Strelets, each with three first-place finishes. Ward started her day by breaking a school record in the 1000 free with a record time of 10:11.32, good for first place. The Brighton native finished first in the 200 and 500 free with times of 1:52.54 and 4:58.49, respectively. Freshman Strelets also had three top finishes and broke the school record in the 100 free with a time of 51.53, good for first place. The Kazakhstan native finished first in the 100 back with a time of 57.57 and the 50 free with a tme of 23.56. Korniyenko set two new school records against the Eagles. Korniyenko broke the record in the 100 and 200 butterfly with times of 57.25 and 2:04.84, respectively.
February 10 marked the last dual meet of the season as OU hosted the Bearcats of Cincinnati. The mens team fell to the Bearcats by the score of 166-127 to end OU dual meet season at 5-3. Cincinnatis womens team held a single-digit lead going into the 400 freestyle relay. The Golden Grizzlies fell in the final race by a matter of seconds as the anchors were neck-in-neck into the finish. OU lost 159-141, dropping to 5-4 on the dual meet season. Individually for the Grizzlies was Ward in the 100 free (10:25.59) and the 200 IM (2:10.24), Lynn in the 100 back (57.87), Korniyenko in the 200 fly (2:06.13) and Strelets in the 200 back (2:07.23). In diving Cunningham was the winner in both the 1-Meter and the 3-Meter diving. She scored 270.82 on the one-meter board and 285.00 on the three-meter. Sorley followed her teammate with second place finishes on both the one-meter (242.17) and three-meter (278.32) as well.
For the second straight year Oakland University was the site of the National Independent Conference Swimming and Diving Championship, February 22-24, 2001. The Oakland University men's and women's swimming and diving teams finished the 2001 NIC swimming and Diving Championship where the women finished second (622) and the men finished third with 499 points Saturday night. Winning the women's championship was Cincinnati with 696 points, Oakland (622) and Northern Arizona University with 564 points. Winning the men's title was Southern Methodist University with 892.50 points. Finishing in second was Cincinnati with 581 points and third was OU (499). OU had three first-place finishes in day two of the championship.
Senior tri-captain Lynn took home the 100 back with the time of 55.94. Korniyenko took home another medal as she finished on top in the 100 fly with the time of 55.56. The 200 medley relay team of Lynn, Korniyenko, Frolova, and Danielle Ward started the fourth session with a gold medal with the time of 1:44.51. The Golden Grizzlies also had three second place finishes led by Ward who picked up a silver medal in the women's 200 free (1:48.56) edged out by defending NIC champion Maria Oberg who won with the time of 1:48.38. Dave Hartzel brought home a second place finish in the 200 free with the time of 1:38.43. Rounding out the second place finishes is the women's 800 free relay team of Ward, Tamara Swaby, Kelly Carlin, and Strelets (7:33.31). Oakland also had two three place finishes as the men's 800 free relay team consisting of Broadbent, Gray, Schmidt and Hartzel (6:43.67) bringing home a bronze. Frolova rounded out the top finishes for Oakland as she came in third in the women's 100 breast (1:05.73). First place finishers for the Golden Grizzlies in day three were Strelets and Korniyenko. Strelets finished first in the 100 free with a NIC record time of 50.43. Korniyenko finished first in the 200 fly with the time of 2:02.75 which was also a NIC record time. The relay team consisting of Strelets, Swaby, Yvonne Lynn, and Ward brought home the gold in the women's 400 free relay with the time of 3:24.55
Second place finishes for the Golden Grizzlies were Ward in the women's 1650 free with the finishing time of 16:47.28. The men's relay team of Broadbent, Wallace, Drazin, and Hartzel brought home a silver with the time of 2:56.06. OU had three individuals place third in their respective events. Lynn finished the 200 back with the time of 2:02.92. For the men's team Broadbent recieved his second medal on the night in the 100 free finishing with the time of 44.80. In platform diving Cunningham was given the bronze as she scored 298.75 points in her performance. OU had three first-place finishes in day two of the championship. Senior tri-captain Yvonne Lynn took home the 100 back with the time of 55.94. Korniyenko took home another medal as she finished on top in the 100 fly with the time of 55.56. The 200 medley relay team of Lynn, Korniyenko, Frolova, and Danielle Ward started the fourth session with a gold medal with the time of 1:44.51. The Golden Grizzlies also had three second place finishes led by Ward who picked up a silver medal in the women's 200 free (1:48.56) edged out by defending NIC champion Maria Oberg who won with the time of 1:48.38.
Dave Hartzel brought home a second place finish in the 200 free with the time of 1:38.43. Rounding out the second place finishes is the women's 800 free relay team of Ward, Tamara Swaby, Kelly Carlin, and Strelets (7:33.31). Oakland also had two three place finishes as the men's 800 free relay team consisting of Broadbent, Gray, Schmit and Hartzel (6:43.67) bringing home a bronze. Frolova rounds out the top finishes for Oakland as she came in third in the women's 100 breast (1:05.73). Korniyenko was the last Oakland swimmer of the year to receive the Mid-Con Swimmer of the Week for February 27.