JENISON, Mich. – Wayne State completed a tremendous comeback Saturday night at the GLIAC Championships, winning its second consecutive conference title and its seventh in the last decade.
After a sixth-place start Wednesday due in part to a disqualified relay, Wayne State battled back to move into second place. Still needing to overcome a 45-point deficit to Grand Valley State, the Warriors did so emphatically and ended the meet with a 71-point margin of victory.
Finishing with 872 points, Wayne State totaled 11 championships over the four-day meet including five on Saturday. Following GVSU (801 points) was Indianapolis in third (540.5) and Ashland in fourth (493.5).
With the victory also earned by the WSU women’s team, the Warriors swept both the women’s and men’s conference titles for the second year in a row and the fourth time since 2006.
Andrey Seryy was named GLIAC Swimmer of the Year for the second straight season, and freshman Dylan Szegedi received the GLIAC Diver of the Year award.
Seryy, who won all three sprint freestyle events last year, completed the trifecta again with a first-place finish in the 100 freestyle Saturday night. Joaquin Abascal Gallegos won the 200 breaststroke for the second time in three years.
Lucas Fernandez Vilanova won the 200 backstroke, and Jeff Grant earned the league’s three-meter diving title. Wayne State also finished first in the 400 freestyle relay for the fourth straight year.
In the second event of the evening, Fernandez Vilanova broke the pool record in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:47.91. He improved his NCAA “B” qualifying time, as did Nathan Hesche (Jackson, Mich.) who came in seventh (1:52.37). Jimmy Lee came in eighth (1:54.01).
Seryy not only bettered his “A” cut in the 100 freestyle, but he broke his own league and meet records as well as the pool record (43.38). Kyle Taylor (Holland, Mich.) finished in fifth place (46.34).
One of five Warriors competing in the 200 breaststroke, Abascal Gallegos lowered his “B” cut in the victory (2:00.80). Cameron Weaver finished eighth (2:06.70) and, swimming in the consolation final, Piotr Jachowicz came in 10th (2:04.73), Nick Victor placed 11th (2:06.93) and Fares Ksebati finished 16th (2:15.16). Jachowicz and Victor improved their national “B” cuts as well.
Wayne State swept the top four positions and five of the top six on the three-meter board. Following Grant (466.95), who won the GLIAC title in one-meter diving last year, was Szegedi (465.25) who earned the one-meter title on Thursday. Darrin Driesenga took third (402.40), Cody Narlock came in fourth (388.00) and Kevin White placed sixth (366.45).
Closing out the meet was the 400 freestyle relay, and WSU’s combination featured three of its four swimmers from last year’s championship relay. Seryy, Kristian Larsen, Hesche and Taylor made an “A” cut (2:59.33) and broke the meet and pool records.
Saturday’s finals began with the 1650 freestyle, and Wayne State was represented by six swimmers among the top 14 finishers. Weaver came in third (16:07.37; “B”) followed by Calvin Reder in fourth (16:12.76; “B”). Weaver (9:44.01) and Reder (9:43.95) also made “B” cuts in the 1000 free during their respective swims.
Jordan Papp placed fifth (16:19.73), Cameron Fryzel finished ninth (16:54.44), Ksebati came in 11th (17:17.13) and Justin Rauhoff posted a 14th-place time of 17:35.73.
Kevin Galerneau led three Warriors in the championship final of the 200 butterfly with a fourth-place time of 1:51.29. Reder improved his “B” cut and finished sixth (1:51.76), and Rauhoff placed eighth (1:55.36).