The Oakland University Golden Grizzlies men’s and women’s swim teams collectively won 23 gold medals on Saturday to defeat the Wayne State University Warriors in a 350-205 road tire blowout in Detroit.
At their first meeting since the break, Oakland tried to build on their fall success. Oakland was originally booked for Youngstown University on January 15, but the meeting was a late cancellation. The Golden Grizzlies, who are in their final weeks of the regular season, are looking to secure their place on their way to a ninth straight Horizon League Championship.
The men’s team faced a spirited Wayne State team but was able to fend off the Warriors by beating them in total with gold medals 10-5, silver medals 9-7 and bronze medals 8-6 to win in scores 171-109. This matchup featured seven Oakland swimmers who took gold, including junior Marko Khotynetskyi, who earned two to lead the men. The Warriors were able to keep pressure on the defending Horizon League champions when Wayne State’s Luka Cvetko scored one himself. Although the Warriors put up a good fight, Oakland’s experience and speed propelled them to a decisive victory.
The Golden Grizzlies women’s team showed their talents by dismantling the Warriors in totals and scores, leading in gold medals 13-2, silver medals 9-6 and though they fell behind in bronze 10-5, they won in totals and took scores 179 -96. Oakland dominated the meet, where seven women took gold, four of whom won multiple. Among the multiples, sophomore Mia Kernanen led the Golden Grizzlies with three golds. Wayne State responded with a strong performance from Barbara Munoz, who was the only solo gold medalist for her school. Oakland was able to control the meet and won in a dominant fashion.
The Oakland Golden Grizzlies are into the latter part of the regular season, starting with their final Horizon League matchup at Cleveland State University and finishing the season with the Oakland Invitational on February 11-13. After the regular season ends, Oakland will defend its Horizon League Championship in Indianapolis to go for its ninth straight title. After this, Oakland will have a chance to compete for an NCAA championship.
In a season of cancellations from COVID-19, fierce competition from Horizon League rivals and some of the toughest matchups in recent history, Oakland looks set to finish strong with one of the deepest teams in the conference. Receiving numerous swimmer and coach of the week awards, Oakland has the core and mental toughness to earn another title.
While the Oakland Golden Grizzlies are pondering their goal, all eyes are on their Sunday rematch with Wayne State.
A great champion was not built by looking ahead, but step by step.