The Michigan State men's and women's swim and dive teams (4-5-1) hosted the Oakland Golden Grizzlies for an in-state competition at McCaffree Pool Saturday afternoon.
"I feel really good, because we improved off what we did last week, which is the primary thing," coach Matt Gianiodis said, referencing their loss at Purdue last week. "At Purdue, we were not focused and we were scattered all over the place ... I felt we did a better job and that's easier to do at home in a smaller facility."
In the first event of the day – the 200-meter Medley Relay – the Spartan women came up a few seconds short behind the Grizzlies with a time of 1:42.14. The Spartan men, however, collected their victory, clocking a first-place time of 1:30.36.
The MSU women dominated in the 1000-meter Freestyle, both first- and second-place belonging to green and white. Freshman Emma Inch held the lead with a time of 10:10.40 and freshman Sophia Balow backed up her teammate by securing second-place a whole 17 seconds later with a time of 10:27.75.
The women’s 200-meter Freestyle saw freshman Chloe Reed slip into the third-place spot with a time of 1:53.91, 0.81 behind first-place, which was taken by Oakland freshman Emily Aykock.
Junior Aidan Farley came through to collect the Spartan men’s 200-meter Freestyle victory, clocking in a first-place time of 1:37.55.
The women’s 50-meter free placed senior Allie Heineman in second for the Spartans with a time of 23.83, followed closely by Reed in third-place with a time of 24.20.
It was in the men’s 50-meter Free that a huge Spartan duo dominated the top marks of the scoreboard. Senior Payton Woods and sophomore Kevin Mills wiped out Oakland from the scoreboard, Woods taking first-place with a time of 20.60 and Mills following on his toes in second-place with a time of 20.63.
In the women’s 100-meter Free, Oakland senior Katie Colwell broke ahead of Michigan State junior Olivia Chick for the first-place time of 51.47. Chick finished for the Spartans in second with a time of 52.05.
The Spartan women slowed down as the meet started to come to an end. In the 200 Breaststroke, freshman Kasey Venn took second-place with a time of 2:18.91, her teammate junior Abbey Neveling backing her up in third-place with a time of 2:19.52.
Back-to-back, triple wins from both Inch and Farley were collected in the 500-meter Freestyle. Inch had a time of 5:00.85 for the women and Farley had a time of 4:31.19 for the men.
"Emma Inch was fantastic for us today and I'm really proud of her," Gianiodis said, when asked about star performances from the athletes. "Aidan Farley, he did a fantastic job. Michael Schwers was really good. Our divers really won the meet for us on the women's side."
Madeline Reilly lost her early lead to Oakland in the women’s 100-meter butterfly, finishing in third place with a time of 57.65.
The men’s 100-meter butterfly was an extremely tight finish, Oakland junior Mack Flowers taking the first-place title over Schwers with a 0.04-difference: 48.70 to 48.74.
The women’s 200-meter individual medley was a showdown. Neveling battled her way to the top spot and clocked the first-place time of 2:04.05. On the other hand, Piper was found just short for the men’s 200-meter individual medley win, coming out in second-place with a time of 1:52.66. He had been beat out by Oakland freshman Marko Khotynetskyi, who held a time of 1:51.19.
On the other side of the pool, the Spartans dominated in the dive competitions.
For the 1-meter dive, sophomore Ari Wolfson of Michigan State secured the first-place spot with a score of 287.93. The Spartan women swept Oakland off the board, junior Amanda Ling came in first with a score of 275.32; junior Erin Neely came in second with a score of 271.65; and redshirt senior Julia Oppedisano came in third with a score of 258.89.
For the 3-meter dive, sophomore Jakob Heberling of Michigan State secured the first-place spot with a score of 317.40. But it didn’t stop there, as Wolfson backed him up with the third-place spot, scoring 294.00-even. The Spartan women again cleaned the Grizzlies out, Ling securing another first-place mark with a score of 316.80 and Neely bumped herself a third-place mark with a score of 258.97.
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Gianiodis was highly confident that the day held really good performance. "I think we raced really well today and I think that's really the key. At this point, you just have to race, you have to get your hand to the wall first, and you got to get as many points as you can."
Both the Spartan men’s and women’s swim and dive teams took home the overall win for the meet. At 5 p.m. the board stood: Michigan State Women,151, Men, 152; Oakland Women, 149, Men, 131.
The Spartan men’s and women’s swim and dive teams are scheduled to host the Cleveland State Vikings next Friday at home at McCaffree Pool. It will be the last home meet for the Spartan teams, as well as the seniors' last meet at home.
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