Northern Michigan University Wildcats win 3 of 4 away swim meets

Northern Michigan University's Renars Bundzis, shown here during a 2016 meet, set a Grand Valley State pool record and swam the second fastest time in the 200-yard backstroke at a meet at the Lakers’ pool on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Northern Michigan University)

MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams had a busy weekend, traveling around the Lower Peninsula for a pair of dual meets at GLIAC schools.

The trip was worth it as the women swept both, beating Grand Valley State 181-116 on Saturday and Saginaw Valley State 152-87 on Sunday.

The Northern men lost to GVSU 171-129 but bounced back with a 141-93 victory at SVSU on Sunday.

NMU returns to their PEIF Pool to take on Wisconsin-Stevens Point on Saturday, with divers competing at Wisconsin-Green Bay on Friday.


Rachel helm

NMU women 152, Saginaw Valley State 87

At University Center Sunday, the Wildcats are ranked No. 8 nationally on the latest website poll with their 10th straight dual meet victory.

Northern won 11 of 13 events, with four athletes doubling up.

Freshman Gabriella Spajic won the 1,000-yard freestyle in 10 minutes, 28.32 seconds and the 500 free in 5:05.04, the latter an NCAA national meet B-Cut qualification.

Freshman Lena Soulas won the 200 free in 1:52.79, another NCAA B-Cut qualifier, while adding a victory in the 100 free in 52.54.

Sophomore Rachel Helm made it an NMU sweep in the freestyle events when she won the 50 free in 24.16, while she added the win in the 100 backstroke in 55.70. Her backstroke time was the nation’s fastest this season, giving

her an NCAA provisional B-Cut qualification.

In diving, junior Angela Probstfeld won the three-meter event with 275.70 points and also took the one-meter with 270.45.

Cassandra Clark added a win in the 100 butterfly in 58.90.

The Wildcats also swept both relays. The 200 medley relay winners were junior Regan Kilburn, junior Dana Stroven, sophomore Madelyn Irelan and Margaret Vaitkus in 1:48.55, while the 400 free relay winners consisted of Helm, Soulas, Spajic and sophomore Victoria Reese in 3:33.43.


NMU men 141, SVSU 93

On Sunday at University Center, the NMU men won nine events.

Junior Janne Roovers and sophomore Lajos Budai were double winners. Roovers won the 1,000 free in 9:47.41 and 500 free in 4:44.20, while Budai took the 50 free in 21.10 and 100 fly in 50.73.

Budai is also ranked sixth in NCAA Division II in the 100 free after swimming the first leg of the 400 free relay in 45.33 seconds.

Other NMU wins were posted by junior Ryan Knox-Leonard in the 200 free in 1:44.17, sophomore Jonas Reinhold in the 100 free in 46.96, junior Grantas Dapkus in the 400 individual medley in 4:16.14 and junior Renars Bundzis in the 100 back in 50.65.

Northern won the 400 free relay in 3:05.06 with Budai, Leonard, Reinhold and junior Joshua Cosgrove.


NMU women 181, Grand Valley State 116

At Allendale on Saturday, the Wildcats captured a dozen events.

Helm accounted for four wins, three in individual events — the 100 back in 56.50, 200 back in 2:01.17 and 100 fly in 57.88.

She teamed with Soulas, Irelan and junior Becca Arakelian to win the 200 medley relay in 1:47.27.

Soulas also won the 50 free in 24.52 and 100 free in 52.34, while Stroven added two firsts in the breaststroke, taking the 100 in 1:07.11 and 200 in 2:26.18.

Spajic won the 500 free in 5:08.30 and 400 IM in 4:32.14, while junior Emily Bell won the 200 fly in 2:08.51.

NMU also won the 200 free relay in 1:38.59 with Soulas, Spajic, Reese and Kilburn.


GVSU 171, NMU men 129

At Allendale Saturday, Northern won six individual events and set a pool record despite taking the loss.

The record was set by Bundzis when he won the 200 back in 1:47.52, which is also the second-best time in NCAA Division II.

Wins were posted by Roovers in the 1,000 free in 9:45.92, Reinhold in 200 free in 42.38, Budai in 100 back in 49.31, Dapkus in 500 free in 4:42.50 and junior Charlie Pavlak in 1-meter diving with 297.15 points.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is