INDIANAPOLIS, Ind, December 6. OAKLAND’S men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams extended their leads on the second day of the 2003 Mid-Continent Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, held at the IU Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI. The Golden Grizzly men (576) pushed their lead out to 156 points over second-place IUPUI (420), while Western Illinois (388) and Valparaiso (297) follow in third and fourth place, respectively. Oakland’s women (605) gave themselves a larger lead – 205 points – over second-place IUPUI (400); Western Illinois (375) and Valparaiso (304) rank third and fourth, respectively, in the women’s meet as well.
Oakland’s men swept first-place honors in each swimming event for the second straight day, but it was IUPUI that swept the top three spots in the men’s 3-meter diving to start the second day’s finals. Bryce Cox took away first place with a score of 520.85, outdistancing second place by more than 100 points. His effort represented the highest point total since the record was set by Buffalo’s Justin Monin (540.50) in 1996.
Once the swimming finals started, Oakland took control in both the men’s and women’s meets. For the sixth straight season, the Golden Grizzlies swept the 200 freestyle relay events, with the men’s team of Chris Sullivan, Andy Munoz, Eric Gusa and Sean Broadbent winning in 1:24.61, and the women’s squad of Oksana Strelets, Jenna Dejonge, Karoline Freytag and Line Jensen touching the all in 1:36.74, just missing a league record.
Oakland took away wins in both the men’s and women’s 200 butterfly events. Blaine Dolcetti won the men’s in 1:55.45 after Tanya Korniyenko shattered her own championship record set one year ago by nearly four seconds, winning with a time of 1:59.41.
Broadbent repeated as the champion in the 200 free (1:43.53), while Jensen captured her first women’s title (1:57.38) at the same distance.
Western Illinois’ freshman Madeha Farrar put a stop to Oakland’s streak of wins in the 100 breaststroke, just edging her closest competitor with a time of 1:06.14. Not to be outdone, Oakland rookie Hunor Ma’te set a league championship mark with his time of 54.55 in the men’s race.
Oakland’s Tara Berringer captured her third straight title in the 100 backstroke with a winning time of 57.82. Sullivan won the men’s 100 back with a time of 50.49.
For the second straight season, Oakland’s Nick McCollum won the 400 individual medley, touching the wall in 4:04.51. Another Oakland freshman, Amanda Burwell, captured the women’s race in 4:40.71, winning by nearly nine seconds.
For the second straight season, Strelets won the 50 free (23.40), narrowly missing a championship record. On the men’s side, Edwards just won, capturing the event in 20.49.
After IUPUI swept the men’s 3-meter diving’s top three places, Oakland did the same in the women’s 1-meter event. Linda Keskey captured the title for the second straight season (248.30), beating out a teammate by fewer than two points.
The second day of competition closed on the women’s side with another record-setting effort by an Oakland relay squad. The team of Berringer, Lindsey Unrath, Korniyenko and Strelets completed the 400 medley relay in 3:51.55, bettering the 11-year old record set by Wright State (3:52.79) in 1992. The Oakland men’s team of Sullivan, Ma’te, Dolcetti and Broadbent finished in 3:23.84.
Saturday morning’s preliminaries begin at 10 a.m., with finals beginning at 5:15 p.m.