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Several Northern Michigan University swimmers win events at GLIAC meet

Roberto Camera

HOLLAND — Northern Michigan University picked up an individual victory in each of the final three days of the four-day GLIAC Swimming & Diving Championships that finished Saturday.

All three were by sophomores on the Wildcats men’s team, two by Roberto Camera and the other by Erikas Kapocius.

That allowed the NMU men to finish third with 567 1/2 points as the Northern women were runners-up with 587, just edging out Wayne State with 579.

Grand Valley State swept to decisive victories in both meets, scoring 1,072 1/2 in the men’s meet as Wayne State was second with 728 1/2. St. Cloud State (Minnesota) was fourth with 402 1/2, Saginaw Valley State fifth with 319, Davenport sixth with 291 and Ashland seventh with 139.

In the women’s meet, GVSU had 1,200. SVSU was fourth with 397, followed by Davenport with 375 and Ashland 291.

Erikas Kapocius

Grand Valley also swept the major swimmers’ and divers’ awards, with Eric Hieber winning men’s Swimmer of the Year and Freshman of the Year. Coach of the Year honors weren’t announced.

Camera won the men’s 200-yard breaststroke on Saturday in 1:58.66, beating out runner-up Keegan Hawkins of GVSU by nearly half a second as he clocked 1:59.08.

On Friday, Camera won the 100 breaststroke in 54.31 seconds, good for an NCAA “B” cut time as it was the eighth-fastest time in NCAA Division II this season. He won by more than three-quarters of a second over Hawkins, who came in at 55.12.

NMU’s first win came Thursday by Kapocius in the 400 individual medley in 3:51.69, a pool record, meet record and also an NCAA “B” cut. He had a much closer race than either of Camera’s, winning by one-hundredth of a second as the runner-up was again Hawkins, this time in 3:51.70.

On Saturday, the Wildcats had three runner-up finishes.

Senior Ondrej Zach was second in the men’s 1,650 freestyle in 15:23.27, sophomore Mandy Baird second in the women’s 3-meter diving with 430.75 points, and the team of Maggie Vaitkus, Pilar Perello-Ferrer, Emilia Morris and Michaela Nelson was second in the women’s 400 free relay in 3:41.89.

Northern had several more second-place finishes on Friday.

Felipe Lemos had his second NCAA “B” cut time in the men’s 200 butterfly in 1:47.42, good for eighth in Division II this season, while the team of Nelson, Jenna Joerger, Frann Gastro and Perello-Ferrer was runner-up in the women’s 800 free relay in 7:39.38.

Northern’s lone second place on Thursday came when Mertixell Font Cantarero was runner-up in the women’s 100 fly in 56.21.

And on Wednesday’s first day, three more runner-up finishes were recorded.

Zach was second in the 1,000 free in an NMU-record 9:09.98 — he also had the previous school record — and it was an NCAA “B” time. Ryan Leach was second in men’s 3-meter diving with 427.30 points, while the women’s 200 medley relay was runner-up in 1:45.74 with Joerger, Katharina Springhetti, Font Cantarero and Vaitkus.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

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