Calvin Sports News
|Winter sports highlights|
The women's swimming and diving team under the direction of Dan Gelderloos captured its first-ever MIAA title as the Knights took second in the MIAA dual meet standings behind Hope but then passed the Flying Dutch in the final league standings by taking first place at the league championships with a school record 552 points. Hope had won the last nine MIAA titles including 18 of the last 22.
During the dual meet season, Calvin went 8-3 overall and 5-1 in the MIAA. Calvin opened the year by taking third at the Grand Valley Relays with 110 points and later took second at the Wabash Invitational with 501 points. Calvin suffered its only conference dual meet loss to Hope as the Flying Dutch edged the Knights 126-117.
Using a strong all-around team performance, Calvin then came back to finish more than 110 points ahead of Hope at the MIAA Championships. At the meet, Calvin established six new school records and crowned six league champions. Depth was also a key factor in Calvin's first place finish at the league meet as the Knights won seven (seventh place) consolation finals.
Calvin opened the meet with two league championship performances as its 200 freestyle relay team of sophomore Katie Nagelkirk (Zeeland, Mich.), junior Kate Conrad (Grandville, Mich.), sophomore Anne Kuiper (Houghton, Mich.) and junior Erin Kloostra (Grand Rapids) repeated as MIAA champions with a school record time of 1:34.73. Nagelkirk then led a 1-2-3 Calvin finish in the 50 freestyle as she blasted her way to a first place and school record time of 24.55 while Kloostra took second (24.68) and Conrad third (25.04). Calvin's 400 medley relay team of sophomore Ginni Baker (Portage, Mich.), freshman Brittney Stevens (Mankato, Minn.), Kuiper and Kloostra took second with a school-record time of 4:08.75, breaking a 13-year old mark by a quarter of a second.
On the second day of competition, Calvin's 200 medley relay team of Nagelkirk, Stevens, Kuiper and Kloostra took first place with a school-record time of 1:51.37, lopping more than a second off of the Calvin's previous school mark. It also marked the first time since 1989 that Calvin had captured first place in the event, snapping an 11-year run in the 200 medley relay by Hope. Seeded third heading into the finals, Baker then took first place in the 400 IM with a time of 4:49.61, becoming just the second Calvin female swimmer to win the event at the league championships. Sophomore teammate Mara McGuin (Oak Park, Ill.) was close behind, taking third in the 400 IM with a time of 4:50.28.
On the final day of competition, Nagelkirk led another 1-2-3 Calvin finish as she took first place in the 100 freestyle with a time of 53.62 with Conrad taking second (54.31) and Kloostra third (55.12). Nagelkirk, Conrad, Kloostra and Kuiper then combined to win the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:34.39. Nagelkirk was also third in the 100 backstroke with a school-record time of 1:01.30, taking nearly two seconds off her previous best in the event.
Senior Liesje Konyndyk (Grand Rapids) also had a strong showing in the league meet, taking third in the 200 freestyle (1:59.37); fourth in the 500 freestyle (5:17.41) and fourth in the 1,650 freestyle (18:31.64). Other top-three individual finishes for Calvin included Kuiper in the 200 IM (2nd in 2:13.41) and 200 butterfly (2nd in 1:00.70); McGuin in the 200 butterfly (3rd in 2:17.16) and freshman Sara TerHaar (Bradenton, Fla.) on the three-meter diving board (3rd with 379.50). Calvin's 800 freestyle relay team of Nagelkirk, Conrad, sophomore Jenny Los (Holland, Mich.) and Konyndyk also took second with a time of 7:57.98.
Calvin then placed a record seven individuals on the All-MIAA team with Konyndyk and Kloostra earning spots on the All-MIAA team for the third straight year; Conrad, Nagelkirk, Kuiper and Baker for the second straight season and McGuin earning an all-conference spot for the first time.
At the NCAA III Championships March 8-10 in Buffalo, N.Y., Calvin posted its first-ever top-20 team finish as the Knights finished 19th with 42 points. On the first day of competition, Calvin recorded the second All-America relay performance in school history as its 200 freestyle relay of Nagelkirk, Kuiper, Conrad and Kloostra took seventh with a time of 1:38.19. The same quartet then earned honorable mention All-America recognition in the 800 freestyle relay as it took 14th with a school record time of 7:52.33, shattering the previous school record by more than two seconds. The same group then earned a second honorable mention All-America certificate, taking 11th in the 400 freestyle relay.
Under the guidance of head coach Dan Gelderloos, the men's swimming and diving team finished in third place in the final MIAA standings for the third straight year. In dual meet competition, Calvin came up with an overall record of 8-2 along with a 3-2 mark in the MIAA. Calvin kicked off the season by winning the Grand Valley Relays for the third consecutive year posting a first-place score of 132 points. A narrow three-point dual meet victory over non-conference rival Wheaton also proved to be an early-season highlight.
At the MIAA Championships, Calvin took third behind Kalamazoo and Hope with a score of 367 points, a 67.5 point improvement over its total the previous year. At the meet, Calvin established six school records. The highlight of the three-day competition for Calvin came in the 800 freestyle relay as the team of sophomore A.J. Penninga (Grand Rapids), junior Chris Veltman (Duarte, Calif.), sophomore Dan Hekman (Calimesa, Calif.) and freshman Brad White (Dayton, Ohio) took first place with a school-record time of 6:53.36. The finished marked the first time in Calvin men's swimming and diving history that a Calvin team had captured a relay event at the MIAA Championships. White also established a school record in the 200 freestyle with a third place time of 1:43.31, breaking the previous mark of 1:44.45 established by Mike VanderBaan in 1997. White was one of three Calvin swimmers to actually break the record as Veltman took fourth in 1:43.33 and Hekman was fifth in 1:44.35.
On the opening night of competition, Calvin's 200 freestyle relay team of Penninga, sophomore Ryan Johnson (Grand Haven, Mich.) and juniors Jordan Zacharia (Annondale, Va.) and White took second place with a school record time of 1:24.79. White then took third in the 50 freestyle with a time of 21.42 and later posted a school record time of 21.35 in a time trial. That same night, Penninga shattered a 15-year old Calvin record in the 200 IM with a fifth-place time of 1:57.66, breaking the previous record of 1:55.77 set by Steve Ruiter in 1986.
Calvin's 400 freestyle relay team of Penninga, Johnson, Zacharia and White also established a new school record at the MIAA Championships. Seeded fifth going into the race, Calvin came out with a second place time of 3:07.59, shattering the previous school mark by nearly five seconds. White would later take second in the 100 freestyle with Penninga taking fifth place. Sophomore diver Brian Koster (Grand Rapids) also had a pair of solid performances at the league meet, taking third on the three-meter board (356.80) and one-meter board (373.65). Veltman and Hekman also came up with strong efforts in the 500 freestyle as Veltman was fourth (4:46.63) and Hekman fifth (4:46.63).
Other top-six individual finishes for the Knights included Penninga in the 400 IM (4th in 4:15.55); Johnson in the 100 butterfly (2nd in 52.31); junior Kevin Katerberg (Dayton, Ohio) in the 100 breaststroke (5th in 1:02.23); sophomore Jake VanderPlas (Palo Alto, Calif.) in the 100 backstroke (6th in 55.07) and 200 backstroke (4th in 1:58.92); Veltman in the 200 butterfly (3rd in 1:56.59) and Hekman in the 1,650 freestyle (4th in 16:50.62). In addition, Calvin's 400 medley relay team took third in 3:36.04.
Penninga, Veltman and White were then named to the All-MIAA team. Calvin then sent six individuals to the NCAA III Championships March 15-17 in Buffalo, N.Y., where the Knights proceeded to record their first-ever top-20 team finish, taking 18th with a score of 52 points.
The highlight of the weekend for the Calvin men came in the 800 freestyle relay as Penninga, Hekman, Veltman and White became the first Calvin men's relay team to earn All-America honors by taking seventh place. White also came up with school record and honorable mention All-America performances in the 50 and 100 freestyle events as he took 11th in both events, clocking in with a time of 21.15 in the 50 freestyle and 46.34 in the 100 freestyle. Calvin's 200 freestyle relay team of White, Penninga, junior Kevin Hawkins (Oakdale, Calif.) and Zacharia earned honorable mention All-America recognition with a time of 1:26.08 while Calvin's 400 freestyle relay team of Penninga, Vetlkman, Zacharia and White placed 13th to garner honorable mention All-America accolades.
Under the direction of fifth-year head coach Kevin Vande Streek, the men's basketball team captured its third straight MIAA title and earned its second consecutive NCAA III Tournament berth as the Knights finished 23-5 overall and 10-2 in conference play. The MIAA title was the 25th in Calvin men's basketball history while the 23 victories marked the 12th 20-win season in Calvin men's basketball history.
Calvin opened the year by winning its first five games of the year capturing titles at the Wisconsin Lutheran Tip-Off Tournament and Old Kent Classic Tournament. With a thrilling 74-70 overtime victory over Wheaton, Calvin extended its win streak to 27 games, breaking a 40-year old Calvin record for consecutive victories.
In an 86-78 victory at Albion February 10, Vande Streek recorded his 100th victory at Calvin in just his 133rd game at the helm of the Knights, allowing him to reach the century mark in victories faster than any coach in Calvin men's basketball history.
Calvin clinched the MIAA regular season title with a memorable 84-82 overtime victory at Hope in the final week of the league season. The Knights then claimed their second straight MIAA Tournament title with victories over Olivet and Adrian. The following week, Calvin picked up an 89-78 first round NCAA III Tournament victory over Defiance (Ohio) before falling to eventual Final Four participant Ohio Northern 79-68 in the second round.
In the loss to Ohio Northern, Calvin sophomore Jeremy Veenstra (Kalamazoo, Mich.) scored 16 points to crack the 1,000 point barrier, becoming the 14th player in Calvin men's basketball history to achieve the feat and just the third player to do so in his sophomore year. Veenstra captured the MIAA scoring crown, averaging 22.5 points a game and was then named the MIAA's MVP as well as landing a spot on the All-MIAA first team for the second straight year. Veenstra was later named to the NABC Great Lakes All-District first team and also named a fourth team All-American by D3hoops.com.
Veenstra was one of two Calvin players named to the All-MIAA first team as senior Josh Tubergen (Zeeland, Mich.) was also so honored. Also a standout in the classroom, Tubergen was named to the Verizon Academic All-District IV second team. Senior Nate Burgess (Byron Center, Mich.) and sophomore Bryan Foltice (Grandville, Mich.) were named to the All-MIAA second team. During the year, Veenstra was named MIAA Player of the Week three times with Foltice receiving the honor twice and Tubergen and Burgess once each.
Led by second-year head coach Kim Gall, the women's basketball team posted a 13-13 overall record and finished fourth in the MIAA with a 7-7 conference mark. The Knights then advanced to the MIAA Tournament semifinals before falling to MIAA champion Hope 73-71 in overtime.
With just one returning starter from last year and with a roster that was without a senior for the first time since 1986, Calvin experienced some ups-and-downs throughout the year. An early season highlight came at the Wisconsin Lutheran Tip-Off Tournament as the Knights defeated Clarke (Iowa) and host Wisconsin Lutheran to capture the tournament title with sophomore Jennifer Plakmeyer (Grant, Mich.) earning tournament MVP honors. Over Christmas break, Calvin took third place in the rugged eight-team Clarke College Holiday Tournament with the Knights posting a 2-1 record over a four-day span.
A conference highlight included a convincing 80-45 victory over St. Mary's in front of a Homecoming crowd February 3. Calvin opened MIAA Tournament play with a 72-56 first round victory over Olivet. Calvin then nearly pulled off an upset of nationally-ranked Hope in the semifinals behind a career-high 27-point effort from sophomore point guard Tricia Dyk (Grand Haven, Mich.).
Dyk finished with an MIAA-leading 89 steals--just two steals short of matching the Calvin single-season record established by Jodi VanNoord in 1999. Plakmeyer finished among the MIAA's leaders in scoring average, three-point field goal percentage and assists and earned MIAA Player of the Week honors once during the year and was named to the All-MIAA second team. In addition, Dyk and junior Kendra Toonstra (Grandville, Mich.) received honorable mention recognition from the MIAA coaches.