INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, February 15. OAKLAND University, the winner of seven consecutive Mid-Continent Conference Swimming & Diving Championships on both the men's and women's side, began its quest for an eighth-straight title Thursday in impressive fashion as the Golden Grizzlies combined to break two Championship records en route to solid leads.
On the men's side, the Oakland finished the day with 350.0 points, nearly double second-place Centenary, which tallied 164.0. Western Illinois checked in at third place with 117.0 points, while Eastern Illinois and IUPUI fell in behind the Leathernecks with 112.0 and 104 points, respectively. Rounding out the standings were South Dakota State (96.0) and Valparaiso (44.0).
The women's race has OU in first with 285.0 points, while Western Illinois (151.0) holds an advantage over Centenary (122.0) for second place. Eastern Illinois is fourth with 94.0 points, while South Dakota State (80.0), Valparaiso (70.0) and IUPUI (67.0) round out the standings after day one.
Oakland's women's 200 free relay team kicked things off for the Golden Grizzlies with a record-breaking win. The time of 1:35.73 edged the previous Championship mark set by Oakland last season (1:36.29). OU's Zoltan Horvath had the other record-breaking performance by the Golden Grizzlies as he picked up the individual title in the 200 individual medley (1:50.15), surpassing the previous record of 1:50.60 set by Haitham Hassan of Oakland in 2000.
Centenary's Maggie Vaughan set a new record in the 500 free with a time of 4:48.75, eclipsing the previous record of 4:59.29 set by Angela Simetkosky of Oakland in 2002. Vaughan was the only non-Oakland winner, individual or relay, on the women's side.
Western Illinois' Anthony Holzhauer won the men's 1-meter diving competition with a score of 305.05. It was the only men's event not to be claimed by the Golden Grizzlies on the day.
Oakland got four more individual titles as Amanda Burwell won the200 individual medley with a time of 2:07.84 and Dawid Tatarczyk took the 500 free in a Mid-Con season-high time of 4:32.88. OU kept it going in the 50 free as Rachel Beardsley and Marcin Unold notched wins. Beardsley bested the competition with a time of 24.00, while Unold won with a time of 20.38. Both were new top times in the Mid-Con this season.
Oakland also claimed three other relays – the men's 200 free (1:22.56), the women's 400 medley (3:57.93) and the men's 400 medley (3:19.76). All three were top times in the events in the Mid-Con this season.
Men's Team Scores – Day 1
1. Oakland 285.0
2. Western Illinois 151.0
3. Centenary 122.0
4. Eastern Illinois 94.0
5. South Dakota State 80.0
6. Valparaiso 70.0
7. IUPUI 67.0
Women's Team Scores – Day 1
1. Oakland 350.0
2. Centenary 164.0
3. Western Illinois 117.0
4. Eastern Illinois 112.0
5. IUPUI 104.0
6. South Dakota State 96.0
7. Valparaiso 44.0