Cardinals splash at conference meet


The SVSU men’s and women’s swim and dive teams competed at the GLIAC Championships at Jenison Aquatics Center from Wednesday, Feb. 14, through Saturday, Feb. 17. Both teams had good outings at the meet, as both the men’s and women’s teams would notch a fourth-place finish in the conference.

The competition, the final days of GLIAC play for the season, ended with the men racking up 358 points, compared to first place Grand Valley’s 968.5. GVSU and Northern Michigan (854) battled it out for top honors, as the top two schools separated themselves from third place Wayne State (599) and the rest of the competition.

The women’s team wrapped up their GLIAC Championship competition with 536 points, falling behind first place Wayne State (877), which narrowly beat out Grand Valley (832.5) across the four-day meet.

The highlight of the final day may have been when senior diver Wilhelmina Francisco, who placed first in the 3-meter dive and second in the 1-meter dive, was named the 2018 GLIAC Women’s Diver of the Year.

All-GLIAC honors also included 11 other student-athletes from the Lady Cards.

Other notable, final-round performances include senior Rebecca Martinez’s runner-up finish in the 200-meter backstroke, senior Melanie Soenksen’s third place finish in the 100-meter freestyle and junior Lydia Mattar’s third place finish in the 200-meter breaststroke, among others.

“Both teams had stellar performances throughout the week,” Mattar said. “There were so many great finishes, and everyone fought all the way to the wall. The men did an awesome job of narrowly outscoring Ashland for fourth place overall, and that was really exciting.”

The men’s 400-meter freestyle relay, consisting of senior Shaun Yap, junior Michael Spears, sophomore Jayden Hutchinson, and freshman Kyle Amick, finished fourth with a time of 3:06.83.

To continue the season, SVSU will send several student-athletes to the 2018 NCAA Division II Championships from March 14 to March 17 in Greensboro, North Carolina.