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Oakland Carries Horizon Lead Into Final Day

Through three days of the Horizon League Swimming and Diving Championships, 17 League and Championships records have fallen. On Friday night at the Oakland Aquatics Center, seven more went by the wayside in the fastest finals of the competition.

Oakland opened and closed the third day of finals with League and Championship records, as the Golden Grizzlies now hold 587 points on the men’s side and 550.5 on the women’s. Cleveland State sits second, 139.5 behind on the men’s; Milwaukee trails by 136 on the women’s.

The Golden Grizzlies collected seven total wins, five of them in individual events.

Patricia Aschan opened the finals by lowering the women’s 400 IM record by over three seconds, hitting the NCAA B standard with a 4:13.46. Aschan was joined at the top of the podium by teammates Nikki Flynn, Tuomas Kiviluoma, Rachel Waite and Devon Nowicki, all of whom collected victories.

Flynn’s 1:47.54 in the 200 free matched the pool record and lowered Flynn’s mark from the 200 free relay set earlier in the meet. Kiviluoma hit the NCAA B standard in the 200 free, besting the competition in 1:37.64.

In the women’s 200 breast, it was Waite and teammate Takara Martin who went 1-2, both hitting the B standard with times of 1:01.85 and 1:02.05, respectively. On the men’s side, Nowicki was one of five finalists to hit the B standard, setting a League record in 52.48.

After setting a League record in the morning prelims with a 53.76 in the 100 fly, Wright State’s Emily Hawhow dropped a 53.15 in the final to reset the record in winning by nearly 1.5 seconds.

Philipp Sikatzki was a record-breaking machine for Cleveland State, setting marks in the 100 fly and 100 back. Sikatzki’s 45.90 in the 100 fly narrowly missed the NCAA A cut (45.85), while his 46.74 in the 100 was also a League mark. Not to be outdone, Sikatzki opened the 400 medley relay with a 46.41, resetting his record.

Wright State’s Mitchell Stover proved king of the IM, backing up his win in the 200 IM with one in the 400 IM, swimming in 3:50.24 to hit the B standard.

Sara Bentley brought home a win for Milwaukee in the 100 back, touching the wall in 55.12 to take the top spot.

The Golden Grizzlies closed the evening with two records, both coming in the 400 medley relay. Talia Sola-Galindo, Waite, Aschan and Holly Morren combined to go 3:41.04, setting a new pool record.

In the men’s 400 medley relay, Oakland and Cleveland State went toe-to-toe, trading the lead throughout. In the end, Jeremiah Morren closed in 43.09 to snag a victory and send Paul Huch, Nowicki and Kiviluoma into the record books in 3:10.42.

On the 1-meter board, Green Bay’s Michael Klemm used a 58.5 on his final dive of the evening to grab the title with a score of 325.55 and deny Oakland’s Stirling Fordham a clean sweep on the boards.

The final day of the championships will take place on Saturday, with preliminaries beginning at 10 a.m. ET. Day 4 finals will start at 5:30 p.m. ET. Both rounds will be carried live on ESPN3.

Women’s Standings (through Day 3):
1. Oakland – 550.50 points
2. Milwaukee – 414.50
3. Wright State – 278
4. Green Bay – 276.50
5. UIC – 275
6. Cleveland State – 231.50
7. Youngstown State – 223
8. Valparaiso – 68

Men’s Standings (through Day 3):
1. Oakland – 587 points
2. Cleveland State – 447.50
3. Wright State – 394
4. UIC – 303
5. Green Bay – 256
6. Milwaukee – 255.50
7. Valparaiso – 115

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