Women’s swim and dive win 9th straight MIAA Title

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On Feb. 13-16, 2013, the men’s and women’s swim and dive teams travelled to Jenison Aquatics Center to compete in the 2013 MIAA Swimming and Diving Championships.

DAY TWO

The second day of Championships ended well for Calvin with the women holding a small lead of over Hope (283.5-272) and the men in second place behind Kalamazoo (219-299).

The women started off the meet well with a second place finish in the 200 yard freestyle relay, which consisted of freshman Michaela Rookus, sophomore Kathryn Wrobel and seniors Stephie Fox and Kristy Kinzer, earning an NCAA B-Cut time with a time of 1:36.47.

The second women’s event saw Wrobel finish in a first place tie with Lauren Seroka from Kalamazoo in the 500 yard freestyle with a time of 5:00.07, good enough to earn an NCAA B-Cut. In the next women’s event, the 200 yard IM, Rookus finished in first place with a time of 2:06.6 and made another NCAA B-Cut.

Calvin’s women’s team continued leading the way with several strong performances in the 3 meter diving. Senior Samantha Klaasen took first with a personal best score of 458.35. Sarah Sheridan from Hope came in second with 416.55. Calvin also took third and fourth place with sophomore Rebecca Mumby scoring 344.70 and freshman Lizz Roth scoring 340.00.

The Knights continued to do well in swimming with another first place finish and NCAA B-Cut as Kinzer, Rookus, senior Libby Counsell, and senior Rachel Colasurdo took the 400 yard medley relay with a time of 3:54.61.

The Calvin men also performed well, taking fourth in 200 yard freestyle relay and 500 yard freestyle. Senior Stephen Kraft then took second in the 200 yard IM with a time of 1:56.76 while sophomore Travis Vincent came in a close third with a time of 1:57.01

Calvin then took first in the 400 yard medley relay, junior Andrew Mitchell, freshman Johnson Cochran, senior Mark Rushlow, and freshman Mitchell Schroder finished with an NCAA B-Cut time of 3:22.77. While it was the men’s only first place finish thus far, their solid all-around performance had them in second.

DAY THREE

After the third day of the Championships, the women’s team remained in first, leading Hope 531.5-489.5, while the men continued to hold strong in second, trailing Kalamazoo 623-466.

Mitchell, Cochran, Rushlow, and Schroder took third in the 200 yard medley relay with a time of 1:34.21. Then in the 400 yard IM, Caleb Meindertsma took second with a 4:10.33 time while Vincent took third with a 4:13.03 time.

In the 100 yard butterfly, Rushlow continued his strong showing by taking first with an NCAA B-Cut worthy time of 49.96. Junior Peter Johnson came in fourth in that race with a time of 51.67. Calvin also took fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth in the 200 yard freestyle.

Cochran earned an NCAA B-Cut with a 56.83 time while coming in third in the 100 yard breaststroke. Mitchell took second in the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 51.96, narrowly missing the NCAA B-Cut. These numerous strong performances continued to keep the Knights ahead of rival Hope and remain solidly in second.

“Tonight was probably our highest scoring night in all of our MIAA history,” said head coach Dan Gelderloos. “We had bucket-loads of guys out there swimming fast, starting with the 400 IM all the way to Mark [Rushlow] in the 100 fly. Johnson [Cochran] crushed a school record twice today, so he has been on a roll as well.”

Meanwhile the women continued their pace setting performance, taking first place in the first event of the day. Kinzer, Counsell, Colasurdo, and Rookus earned a NCAA B-Cut in the 200 yard medley relay with a time of 1:45.84. This time also broke the MIAA and Calvin record for the event.

The Knights then took third (senior Shelby Cloyd), fourth (Colasurdo), and fifth (Kinzer) in the 100 yard butterfly as well as second (Wrobel) and third (Fox) in the 200 yard freestyle with Wrobel making the B-Cut with a time of 1:53.78.

Counsell took first in the 100 yard breaststroke for the third straight year with a strong B-Cut time of 1:04.37. Rookus followed close behind her, taking second with a time of 1:05.05 and also earning a B-Cut. Kinzer followed up this brilliant performance with a strong showing in the 100 yard backstroke, coming in second with a time of 58.79.

“We knew this was an important night for our team,” said Gelderloos. “We had to build a little bit more of a cushion because tomorrow will be close between us and Hope. We still have work to do but we took a good step forward tonight. I thought our medley relay really got us going and Libby (Counsell) came up huge out of lane one in the breaststroke. She swam with a lot of heart but so did our entire team.

DAY FOUR

Starting the final day with a lead over second-place Hope, the Calvin women needed to close out strongly to secure first place. The 800 yard freestyle relay team started the day off well as Fox, Rookus, Counsell and Wrobel took first place and earned a B-Cut with a time of 7:41.97.

Hope took first in the 200 yard freestyle relay, but Calvin was not far behind, taking second as Rookus, Wrobel, Fox and Kinzer earned yet another B-Cut for the Knights and recorded a time of 1:36.47. Wrobel then took an individual first in the 500 yard freestyle and earned a B-Cut with a time of 5:00.07. Calvin also took sixth (Fox) and seventh (Cloyd) in that race.

Rookus then captured another individual first with a 2:06.60 time in the 200 yard IM which was good enough to make the B-Cut. Counsell came in fifth with a 2:11.98 time. Then Counsell, along with Kinzer, Colasurdo, and Rookus captured another first place finish in the 400 yard medley relay with a B-Cut worthy time of 3:54.61. However Hope was not far behind coming in second. The same Knight relay team also took first in the 200 yard medley relay, again fending off Hope who came in second.

With Calvin and Hope continuing to go back in forth in multiple races, Klaasen came up big again by winning the one-meter diving with a season best score of 451.15 points. Roth also took third on the one-meter with 395.85 points. Klaasen won the award for MIAA’s Most Valuable Diver for the third straight year.

However in the end, Calvin managed to stave off Hope and hold on to first place outscoring Hope 802.5 to 764.5.

“We’ve had some championships come relatively easy but this weekend was not one of them,” said Gelderloos. “Hope made us sweat right to the end. We just had to keep trading punches with them from race-to-race and we found a way to get it done. It was a total team effort. To win nine championships in a row is pretty special.”

Meanwhile the men fought hard and held on to second place with a score of 666 points, behind Kalamazoo who finished with 895.5 points. Freshman Caleb Meindertsma started off the night for the men by finishing first in the 1650 yard freestyle and breaking Calvin’s school record. He also qualified for a B-Cut.

The Knights continued their strong all-around performances with Mitchell finishing third in the 200 yard backstroke, Rushlow finishing fourth in the 100 yard freestyle, Cochran and Vincent finishing third and fourth in the 200 yard breaststroke, and the 400 yard freestyle team of Mitchell, Schroder, Rushlow and sophomore Alex Baumann finishing in second.

With these performances the men secured their second place finish and earned the school’s best result in over twenty years.

“I loved watching our guys compete in numbers this weekend,” said Gelderloos. “It almost brought tears to my eyes to see the progress we have made over the past several years.”

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