Men’s swimming & diving team looks to make a splash

Julie Goldberg

The Northern Michigan University men’s swimming & diving team will be traveling to Moorhead, Minn. to compete against the St. Cloud State University Huskies on Friday, Oct. 16 and Saturday, Oct. 17.

The Wildcats competed against Findlay University and Tiffin University at the PEIF Pool on Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3 and finished first.

School records were broken at the meet. Graduate Marc Perellό broke the 2000m breaststroke, posting a time of 2:06.45. Freshman Ryan Knox-Leonard broke the 200m backstroke with a time of 1:56.32.

Freshman Grantas Dapkus posted the top 1,000 freestyle time in school history, with a time of 9:38.67.

Joshua Cosgrove broke the school record in the 100m backstroke with a time of 51.87.

“The men are looking very strong coming off wins versus Tiffin and Findlay,” head coach Heidi Voigt said.

Perellό, freshman Renars Bundzis, freshman Kyle Christensen and freshman Benjamin Lindberg took first in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:31.18.

“Our first meet went well,” Christensen said. “I think we are going to rock this weekend.”

Voigt has been given the task of restarting the men’s swimming & diving program in its first season since 1980.

“The restart of the men’s team has been more fun than I thought,” Voigt said.  “They bring so much energy to the pool and the desire to be good resonates in them and spreads to the women and coaching staff and breathe new life into everything we do day in and day out.”

The Huskies competed against the University of North Dakota to open their season on Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3, losing the men’s dual meet 218-159. A first place finisher for the Huskies was sophomore Justin Winnett, who finished the 100m breaststroke with a time of 56.64.

Voigt said this meet will help the team train for the bigger competitions that are later in the season, such as the GLIAC Championships and the NCAAs.

Voigt added that St. Cloud State always has NCAA qualifiers so it will be good for the team to face them in preparation for the upcoming meets.

“It will be good to see how the team competes after traveling, especially after competing two days in a row,” Voigt said.

“The team is young and new to collegiate sports, so we as a coaching staff are trying to teach them how to recover and prepare their body and mind.”

Christensen and the rest of the men’s swimming and diving team are excited for this upcoming weekend’s meet.

“We are all training hard and getting better,” Christensen said. “I think we have a high possibility of winning this weekend.”