Nov. 30, 2015

Oakland swimming and diving head coach Pete Hovland announced Monday the addition of nine student-athletes during the fall signing period.

The men's squad will add one freshman for the 2016-17 campaign, while the women's team will have eight newcomers for next season.

“We are very excited to announce our latest list of Golden Grizzlies,” said Hovland. “After months of hard work by my staff, I feel good about the fall signees. Though we feel we have filled a number of needs, especially on the women’s side, we still have work to do. With only a few open spots on our roster for next year we felt we really had to do our due diligence with the prospective student athletes we were communicating with and I felt we did that.  Not only did we pick up some talented backstrokers, but we also deepened the women’s diving ranks, and picked up some much needed talent and depth in the freestyle events.  On the men’s side, we feel like we hit a home run with Micah and we’ll use the April signing period to fill-in a couple of spots that will hopefully round-out our team even further.”

Oakland Men's Swimming & Diving 2016-17 Recruiting Class
Previous School
Distance Free
Zeeland, Mich.
Zeeland West HS

Micah DeJonge
Zeeland, Mich.
Zeeland West HS West Michigan Swimmers
6-3 Distance free

• All-OK Green Conference and All-State from 2013-15

• Five-time finalist at Speedo sectionals
• Seven-time OK Green Conference champion
• Qualified for winner junior nationals
• All-OK Green Conference water polo in 2014 and 2015 and All-State in 2014

• 200-yard free: 1:40.05

• 500-yard free: 4:31.42
• 1650-yard free: 15:43.62

Why DeJonge chose Oakland:
• The top-notch engineering program

• Dedicated swim coaches and a team that aspires to improve themselves both athletically and academically
• Oakland's beautiful campus felt like home the first time I visited

Hovland on DeJonge: “Micah is an outstanding young man and he fits the Golden Grizzly profile perfectly.  Micah’s mom (Nancy Schermer) is a former National Champion and All American at Oakland as are both his aunt and uncle, so we know him well and have been following his progress for years.  He is also the latest swimmer from West Michigan Swimmers and the west side of the state to call Oakland home and we couldn’t be more excited.  Micah will definitely have an impact the moment he steps on campus and he will provide an immediate upgrade to our middle distance and distance programs. With continued growth and development, Micah could be competing for conference titles in the 200-500-1,650 freestyles next year.”

Oakland Women's Swimming & Diving 2016-17 Recruiting Class
Previous School
Lake Orion, Mich.
Lake Orion HS
New Canaan, Conn.
New Canaan HS
Hamilton, Mich.
Hamilton HS
Distance Free
Ortonville, Mich.
Brandon HS
Shelby Township, Mich.
Eisenhower HS
St. Clair, Mich.
St. Clair HS
Dewitt, Mich.
Dewitt HS
South Bend, Ind.
James W. Riley HS

Kirstyn Abbasse
Lake Orion, Mich.
Lake Orion HS • Liquid Lightning
5-4 • Freestyle

Named to the All-State team from 2013-2015
Finished in the top eight at all county meets
NISCA All-American Scholar Athlete
Four-time MHSAA state qualifier

200-yard freestyle: 1:53.39
500-yard freestyle: 5:06.36
100-yard freestyle: 53.12
50-yard freestyle: 24.97

Why Abbasse chose Oakland:
Great academic and swimming program
Everyone is very friendly
I believe that Oakland is a great fit and I am excited to be a Golden Grizzly

Hovland on Abbasse: “Like Micah, Kirstyn is following a legacy, as both her parents, Dana and Darin Abbasse, were All American swimmers at Oakland and we couldn’t be more excited to have her.  Like the other young ladies signing, Kirstyn is a need for us.  She will come in right away and help us in an area that my staff and I designated as one of our biggest needs going into next year and that is the sprint and middle freestyles.  She already has times that will position her to come in right off the bat and compete for spot in the League finals in a couple of events and that is what we expect from her.”

Katie Colwell
New Canaan, Conn.
New Canaan HS New Canaan YMCA Caimans
5-7 • Freestyle

2015 Connecticut Class L State Champion in 200 free and runner up in the 100 free
2014 Connecticut Class L State Champion in the 100 and 200 free
Connecticut State Open Champion in the 100 free, 200 free relay, and 400 free relay
Placed eighth in the 100 free at the 2015 YMCA Long Course National Championship
Apart of the 200 and 400 medley relays that placed fourth and second respectively at the 2015 YMCA Long Course National Championship

50-yard free: 23.12
100-yard free: 51.11
100-yard backstroke: 58.44
200-yard free: 1:52.38

 Why Colwell chose Oakland:
I felt a connection at Oakland that I did not feel at any other school
The team and coaches were amazing and I could really see myself being a part of them  
The cinema program is fantastic and is something that is hard to find with a successful Division I swimming program

Hovland on Colwell: “As a staff we couldn’t be more excited when Katie called us to tell us she was going to be our next Golden Grizzly.  Not only is she a talented young lady both in the pool and the classroom but she comes from a championship program.  She has been competing at a high level for a number of years now and will fit in nicely the moment she arrives.  Katie’s signing was an important one for us because we are losing one of the greatest sprint and middle distance freestylers in school history in Nikki Flynn this year. With the addition of Katie the blow won’t be as palpable.  On top of that, Katie is a tremendous relay swimmer and will fit in nicely on all of our relays.”

Rileigh Eding
Hamilton, Mich.
Hamilton High SchoolWest Michigan Swimmers
5-8 Backstroke/Butterfly/Freestyle

2015 Michigan Division III 50-yard freestyle state champion
2015 & 2013 Michigan Division III 100 backstroke runner-up
2014 Michigan Division III 100-yard backstroke state champion
12-time first-team All-State
Three-time Holland Sentinel First-Team All-Area
Carried a 3.85 GPA

Top times:
100-yard backstroke: 56.26
50-yard freestyle: 24.04
100-yard butterfly: 59.92
100-yard freestyle: 52.90
200-yard freestyle: 1:57.02

Why Eding chose Oakland:
Oakland has a great swim and pre-med program.
When I came on my official visit, the team felt like a family.
Oakland's swim coaches have been in the program for a long time and really care about their student athletes.

Hovland on Eding: “Rileigh got the ball rolling for us this fall by being the first to verbally commit.  We felt really good about Rileigh throughout the entire process.  She showed a lot of interest in Oakland since her junior year when she won her first HS State Championship here in our pool.  She joins a lengthy list of highly successful swimmers that have come from the west side of the state and Hamilton High School in particular. Rileigh was recruited to fill a need in the backstroke events next year but she also started to show her versatility by winning a state title in the 50 free and by posting some very positive times in the 100 fly this year. Rileigh has a bright future here at Oakland and my staff and I can’t wait to start working with her.”

Sara Heines
Ortonville, Mich.
Brandon HS Liquid Lightning
5-7 Distance Freestyle 

Sectional qualifier
Three-time Michigan Long Course State Champion in 400 free relay (2015) and 800 free relay (2014, 2015)
Finished top eight at the Michigan Long Course State Meet seven times
National Honor Society Scholar Athlete

200-yard free: 1:55.39
500-yard free: 5:08.04
1000-yard free: 10:43.74
1650-yard free: 18:02.31

Why Heines chose Oakland:
I felt that it was the perfect fit for me
The team is very close-knit
The campus is continuously growing
Oakland has an amazing engineering program.

Hovland on Heines: “Sara is another former camper from our summer swim camp program that has been exposed to Oakland for a number of years.  She has also had a number of former Golden Grizzly swimmers coach her over the years that have all helped her get to this point.  With continued development and a lot of hard work, Sara has the ability and chance to become a key ingredient to our very talented group of female distance swimmers.”

Amanda Hudson
Shelby Township, Mich.
Eisenhower HS • Utica Shelby Swim Club
5-5 • Backstroke/Freestyle

Scholastic All-American
2015 Macomb County Swimmer of the Meet
Macomb County Swimmer of the year
2014 All-State in the 100 backstroke
2015 All-State in the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle
Member of National Honor Society
Captain of Eisenhower Swim and Dive team in 2015

200-yard backstroke: 2:03.77
100-yard backstroke: 57.34
200-yard freestyle: 1.53.65
100-yard freestyle: 53.21
200-yard IM: 2:10.86

Why Hudson chose Oakland:
Academically Oakland has my career path to be a special education teacher
I love the team environment
I like the strong coaching staff
I have dreamed of being a Golden Grizzly since I was a little girl

Hovland on Hudson: “Like Krissy Harmon last year, Amanda has been exposed to Oakland swimming for a number of years coming up through our summer swim camp program.  It’s been a lot of fun watching her growth and development knowing full well if she continued to develop her dream to become a Golden Grizzly would become real.  Now that it has, we think we will be the benefactors.  She is an extremely hard worker and she sets high, yet realistic goals and we fully expect her to achieve a number of them this spring and summer. As a freshman next year, we can go in a number of different ways with her and we think she will be able to final at the Horizon League Championship in a number of different events from the 200 & 500 freestyle, to the 400 IM, as well as both her specialties the 100 and 200 backstroke.”

Grace Shinske
St. Clair, Mich.
St. Clair HS • Blue Water Swim Club
5-7 • Backstroke/Butterfly/IM

2015 Michigan Division III State Champion in the 100-yard backstroke
Runner-up in the 100 backstroke at the 2014 Division III Michigan State Meet
Placed third in the 100 butterfly at the 2014 Division III Michigan State Meet
Three-time Macomb Area Conference MVP
NCSA Junior National qualifier 
Team captain

100-yard backstroke: 56.02
100-yard butterfly: 57.07
200-yard IM: 2.11.4

Why Shinske chose Oakland:
Oakland’s academic programs
An outstanding swimming program. I'm excited to be a part of the Golden Grizzly family.

Hovland on Shinske: “Grace appealed to us on many fronts but primarily because she too could fill a need in the 100/200 backstroke events.  What wasn’t as clear early in the process was that she was also turning into an outstanding butterflyer/IMer as well.  Her title in the 100 backstroke and runner-up finish in the 100 butterfly at the state championships showed us how tough of a competitor she is and the times she posted will definitely compete with the best swimmers in the Horizon League and with the top swimmers we currently have on the roster.  With a great spring and summer of work, Grace can play a huge role as a freshman next fall”.

Sarah Stine
Dewitt, Mich.
Dewitt HS • Spartan Diving
5-6 • Diving

Dewitt High School 6-dive (253.30) and 11-dive (402.95) varsity record holder.
Three-time Lansing State Journal Swim and Dive Dream Team member
Four-year letter winner and All-Academic winner
Four-time regional qualifier and three-time state qualifier
2015 MISCA meet qualifier
Team captain
2014 CAAC champion

Top scores
1-meter (6-dives): 253.30
1-meter (11-dives): 402.95

Why Stine chose Oakland:
The great academic programs available including a physical therapy program.
The pool and the facilities on campus are very nice which will help me achieve my academic and athletic goals.
I had a great time on my visit and the team atmosphere was very welcoming and positive. 

Diving coach Larry Albright on Stine: “Sarah is an athlete that is excited about diving at the collegiate level.  She is committed to working hard to accomplish her athletic and academic goals.  Sarah will be a great asset to our team.  She has the physical strength to learn and compete the big dives she will need to have at the NCAA level.”

Angelique Wise
South Bend, Ind.
James W Riley HS Double Dragon Diving Club
5-9 • Diving

Runner-up in sectionals and regionals as a junior in 2014
Three-time school-record holder
Four-year honor roll member
National Honors Society officer

Top scores
1-meter (6 dives): 286.00
1-meter (11 dives):  478.50

Why Wise chose Oakland:
Oakland feels like home.
The swimming and diving team is one big happy family and an amazing team.
The engineering program is wonderful and will open many doors for me and my education.

Albright on Wise: “Angelique is an energetic and hardworking athlete.  She has been working hard in her offseason to prepare herself to dive at the collegiate level.  She is very strong academically and physically.  She really has what it takes to dive at the highest level.   Angie will be an important asset to our program.”




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