Oakland Finishes 2011-2012 with 13th Consecutive League Championships
The Golden Grizzlies won all but one swimming event at the league championship.
May 21, 2012
ROCHESTER, Mich.- The Oakland men's and women's swimming and diving teams capped off a successful 2011-2012 season by winning their 13th consecutive Summit League Championship in February at the OU Aquatic Center. The Golden Grizzlies won all but one swimming event at the league championships that they hosted for the first time since 2009.
The men's team captured their 13th league championship by totaling 1,040 points as they had nine individual champions while 15 Golden Grizzlies earned All-Summit League honors. Scott Yarbrough became a four-time champion in the 200-yard breaststroke, while Alex Aceino (100-yard butterfly), Anders Jensen (100- and 200-yard backstroke), Joe Rodgers (400-yard individual medley) and Yarbrough (100-breast) became three-time champions.
Amr el Sayed won the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyle as he was named the men's Swimmer of the Championships becoming one of three Golden Grizzlies to win multiple individual events at the league meet (Jensen, Yarbrough). El Sayed (1,650-free, 15:25.79) and Tobias Hansen (200-IM, 1:47.09) both set Summit League records at the league meet.
The women's team became 13-time Summit League champions after finishing with 1,041 points as they had six individual champions while 15 total Golden Grizzlies earned All-Summit League honors. Alyssa Vela became a four-time champion in the 100-free, while Sandra Czerska (100- and 200-fly), Johanna Gustafsson (100-breast) and Vela (50-free) all became three-time champions.
Balogh won the 500-free, 1,650-free, and the 400-IM as she won her first Women's Swimmer of the Championships and was one of four Oakland athletes to win multiple individual events at the league championship along with Alyssa Busch, Czerska, Gustafsson and Vela. Balogh also set new league records in the 500-free (4:48.24) and the 400-IM (4:16.34), while the 200-free relay team and 400-yard free relay team set league records (1:34.60, 3:23.89).
Mario Rusnak was named the Men's Newcomer of the championships after finishing with a pair of runner-up finishes in the 100- and 200fly events and a fourth place finish in the 200-IM. Head coach Pete Hovland was named Co-Men's Coach of the Year and Women's Coach of the Year, the first time he has ever won both awards in the same season. Hovland also added another milestone to his legendary career as he earned his 300th career dual meet victory in a meet against Cleveland State and Xavier at the OU Aquatic Center.
For their efforts, Oakland swept The Summit League's yearly awards for the 13th year in a row as Balogh became just the fourth women's swimmer in Oakland history to win the Women's Swimmer of the Year in back-to-back seasons, while Jensen became the first Men's swimmer in Summit League history to win Men's Swimmer of the Year three times.
The Golden Grizzlies placed 12 on the Mid-Major All-America Honorable Mentions list, the most since the award was created back in 2007. Honorable mention selections are swimmers who earned NCAA `B' standards, but were not selected for the 2012 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships from a conference designated as a mid-major. Jensen and Czerska earned their third honors of their careers, while Aceino, Balogh, Busch, Gustafsson, El Sayed, Nick Evans, Hansen, Harding, Rodgers and Yarbrough each earned their first career honors.
Oakland only loses three of the 12 athletes that were named Mid-Major All-Americans due to graduation and will look to continue its dominance of The Summit League in the 2012-2013 season and capture their 14th consecutive league titles.