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Winter sports recap: Calvin nets three top-ten national finishes

Picked to finish third in the pre-season MIAA coaches’ poll, the men’s basketball team finished third in the nation, reaching the NCAA III Final Four for the fourth time in school history and finishing with a final record of 27-7. During the regular season, Calvin finished second in the MIAA standings with an 11-3 record, one game behind league-champion Albion. Calvin then reached the NCAA III tournament for the second straight year and for the 15th time in school history by winning the MIAA tournament for an unprecedented sixth time. In the MIAA tournament, the Knights defeated Kalamazoo, Hope and Albion in a span of four days to gain the league’s automatic NCAA III tournament bid.

Dan Aultman
Dan Aultman

Calvin opened NCAA III tournament play with a thrilling 75-74 first round victory at non-conference rival Wheaton College in Illinois. Calvin used a basket by senior Dan Aultman (Ludington, Mich.) with 2.5 seconds left to play to pull out the win. The victory was also Calvin’s first-ever against the Thunder at Wheaton’s newly remodeled King Arena. Calvin continued on with a 71-59 victory at Aurora University, also in Illinois, in the second round to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA III tournament for the sixth time in school history.

Calvin did not have to travel far for its next two games as the sectional round was held at MIAA-member Albion College. Calvin put the familiar surroundings to good use as the Knights defeated Mississippi College 75-60 to advance to a national quarterfinal date with Albion. The national quarterfinal meeting between Calvin and Albion marked the fourth meeting of the year between the two conference rivals and the first time two MIAA teams had ever met in a national quarterfinal game. In the contest, Calvin trailed by two points with five minutes left to play, but the Knights would score 15 of the final 20 points of the game to secure a 60-52 victory and advance to the NCAA III Final Four in Salem, Va.

Aultman was named the sectional tournament MVP and was also joined on the all-sectional team by junior teammate Joel Hoekstra (Hudsonville, Mich.). In reaching the NCAA III Final Four, Calvin became the first team in NCAA III men’s basketball history to do so by winning four games either on the road or on a neutral floor.

At the NCAA III Final Four, Calvin suffered a heart-breaking 65-62 defeat to the University of Rochester (N.Y.) in the semifinals, with Rochester connecting on a game-winning three-point shot in the closing seconds. Calvin would rebound the following afternoon, however, to top York College (Pa.) 98-84 in the consolation final to grab the third-place national trophy. Hoekstra was named to the All-Final Four team after scoring 30 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in the two weekend games. The victory over York was also the 187th victory at Calvin for ninth-year head coach Kevin Vande Streek, who moved into a tie with Barney Steen for second place on the Calvin men’s basketball coaching list for victories at the helm of the Knights.

In the consolation final against York, Aultman scored 13 points, bringing his two-year career total to 1,005 points. Aultman is just the second two-year player in Calvin men’s basketball history to score more than 1,000 points. Junior Andy Draayer (Denver, Colo.) also achieved a milestone in the consolation final as he connected on a trio of three-point field goals to bring his season total to 102, making him the only Calvin men’s basketball player to connect on 100 or more three-pointers in a season. Earlier in the tournament run, Draayer broke Todd Hennink’s single-season record of 88 three-point field goals. In a regular season loss at Wheaton in overtime, Draayer was eight of 12 from beyond the arc and later connected on nine out of 14 three-point attempts in a regular season win over Alma. He finished the year with a 45.5 percent three-point field goal clip, ranking him among the NCAA III leaders in three-point field goal percentage. As a team, Calvin was also ranked among the nation’s top 10 in three-point field goal shooting; the Knights connected on 41.6 percent (297 of 714) of their triple tries.

Other team highlights included tournament titles at Calvin’s own Calvin Tipoff Tournament and at the Cenex Harvest States Tournament hosted by UW-River Falls over Christmas break.

At the conclusion of the MIAA season, Aultman was named to the All-MIAA first team for the second straight year while senior point guard Ricky Shilts (Kalamazoo, Mich.) was named to the All-MIAA second team. Aultman was then named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division III All-District first team, marking the second straight year that he has received all-district accolades. In addition, Aultman was named an honorable mention All-American by the publication DIII News. Calvin also had four players receive MIAA Player of the Week honors during the season as Aultman, Shilts, Draayer and junior Kyle Trewhella (Rockford, Mich.) were so honored. Aultman received the award twice.

Under the direction of second-year head coach John Ross, the women’s basketball team produced a landmark year, establishing a new single-season record for victories (25) and advancing further in the NCAA III tournament than any other previous Calvin women’s basketball team, as the Knights advanced all the way to the Elite Eight.

Calvin took third in the MIAA regular season with a 13-3 conference mark. After a February loss at Tri-State, Calvin regrouped and began to build what would turn into an 11-game win streak. Unranked in either the regional or national polls heading into the MIAA tournament, Calvin began to pick up steam, defeating St. Mary’s 78-42 in the first round. Two nights later, Calvin traveled to Holland and stunned a nationally ranked Hope team 74-68. One month earlier, Hope had handed Calvin a 67-50 defeat at the Calvin Fieldhouse. Calvin’s victory over the Flying Dutch in the MIAA tournament semifinals was sparked by senior Kristen McDonald who poured in a tournament-record 40 points; she was 11 of 16 from the field, five of nine from three-point range and 13 of 16 at the free-throw line. McDonald’s point total also matched the Calvin single-game scoring record originally established by Eileen Boonstra in 1980.

Lisa Winkle
Lisa Winkle

Two days later, McDonald established another MIAA tournament record with 11 assists, as the visiting Knights topped Albion 60-47. McDonald scored 19 points in the title tilt while sophomore teammate Lisa Winkle had a double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds.

The victory lifted Calvin into the NCAA III tournament for the ninth time in school history and for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. Calvin opened NCAA III tournament play with a 74-60 victory over Franklin College of Indiana. The Knights then traveled to 11th-ranked DePauw University and upset the Tigers 72-63. In the game Winkle had 22 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocked shots, while McDonald had 19 points and nine assists. The victory over DePauw set up a fourth meeting between Calvin and Albion in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA III tournament with Calvin serving as host. It also marked the third time that Calvin had advanced to the Sweet 16 round of the tournament. Calvin held off Albion 64-56 to advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA III tournament for the first time. The following night however, Calvin was defeated by eventual national champion Millikin University 63-56. Winkle had double-double efforts in both sectional games, scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 rebounds against Albion and adding 11 points and 13 boards against Millikin. Senior teammate Lisa Nanninga (Grand Rapids, Mich.) was close behind with 19 points and seven boards against Albion and 18 points and seven caroms against Millikin. For their efforts, Winkle and Nanninga were both named to the all-sectional tournament team.

Over the course of the year, Winkle established new Calvin single-season records for points (484) and field goal percentage (.599). She was named to the All-MIAA first team for the second straight year and landed a berth on the Great Lakes All-Region second team. Ranked among the nation’s top 10 leaders in assists-per-game average throughout much of the year, McDonald was also named to the All-MIAA first team for the second straight year and joined Winkle on the Great Lakes All-Region second team. During the year, she became Calvin’s career leader in assists (381) and three-point field goals made (187), while also establishing a Calvin single-season record for assists (185). She also passed the 1,000 point plateau during the season and finished in sixth place on the Calvin career scoring list (1,170).

Led by head coach Dan Gelderloos, the men’s swimming and diving team took fourth in the MIAA standings and posted an overall won-loss record of 3-8 in dual meets this winter. An early-season highlight was a 124-84 non-conference win over defending MIAA champion Kalamazoo.

At the MIAA championships at the Holland Aquatic Center in mid-February, Calvin took fourth with a team score of 333 points, finishing 65 points behind third-place Kalamazoo and 15 points ahead of fifth-place Albion.

Senior Peter Boumgarden (Naperville, Ill.) picked up three individual titles at the conference meet, winning the 100-meter butterfly (49.87), 200 butterfly (1:55.19) and 200 IM (1:55.04). The 100 and 200 butterfly titles were the fourth straight in both events for Boumgarden making him the only swimmer in Calvin men’s swimming history to win two events in four straight years. Boumgarden also became just the second four-time 100 butterfly champion in MIAA men’s swimming history. He is also the fourth four-time MIAA champion in the 200 butterfly. Boumgarden closed out his career with nine individual MIAA titles.

Boumgarden also swam legs on Calvin’s 200 medley- (1:34.92) and 800 freestyle- (6:59.47) relay teams that captured first-place crowns. Filling out the 200 medley-relay team were sophomore Andrew Resseguie (Holland, Mich.), junior Luke Bagnall (Marshalltown, Iowa) and freshman John Boumgarden (Naperville, Ill.). The remainder of Calvin’s 800 freestyle-relay team was comprised of sophomore Peter Tuuk (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Bagnall and Resseguie.

Individually, Resseguie reached the finals in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events, placing fourth in all three events as he clocked a time of 21.70 in the 50 freestyle, a time of 47.81 in the 100 freestyle and a time of 1:46.60 in the 200 freestyle.

John Boumgarden added third-place finishes in the 100 freestyle (47.51) and 100 butterfly (52.05) while Bagnall was third in the 400 IM (4:14.35), fourth in the 200 IM (1:57.49) and fifth in the 200 backstroke (2:02.06). In addition, freshman Joe Gluvers (Rocklin, Calif.) was fourth in the 200 backstroke (1:59.98) and fifth in the 400 IM (4:22.12). Tuuk also sizzled in the 200 freestyle, taking second with a career-best time of 1:44.36.

Named to the All-MIAA team from Calvin were Peter Boumgarden, Resseguie and Bagnall, with Boumgarden receiving the award for the fourth straight year and Bagnall for the second straight season.

Peter Boumgarden also qualified for the NCAA III Championships for the fourth straight year and earned All-America honors in the 100 butterfly for a fourth straight year taking seventh with a time of 50.26, which helped Calvin finish tied for 41st with a score of 12 points.

The Calvin women’s swimming and diving team was also led by Gelderloos and under his direction, the Knights captured their third MIAA title in the last five years and posted their first-ever top-10 national finish.

During the dual meet season, Calvin compiled an 8-4 record. At the MIAA championships held at the Holland Aquatic Center in mid-February, Calvin posted a first-place score of 562 points, 97 points ahead of second-place Hope. The point total was the highest in Calvin women’s swimming and diving history and brought the MIAA title back to Grand Rapids after a two-year absence. Calvin had captured league titles in 2001 and 2002 with Hope winning in 2003 and 2004.

Megan Diekema
Megan Diekema

Over the course of the year, Calvin established an unprecedented 12 new school-record performances with six coming at the MIAA championships. At the conference meet, Calvin took first place in 11 out of a possible 20 events.

Sophomore Becky Weima (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and junior Abby Johnson (Grand Haven, Mich.) were both triple winners at the meet for the Knights with Weima winning the 100-meter freestyle (51.47), 200 freestyle (1:50.57) and 500 freestyle (5:00.94), repeating as league champion in both the 100 and 200 freestyle events.

Johnson took home league titles in the 400-meter IM (4:38.67), 200 IM (2:09.71) and 200 backstroke (2:08.85).

Freshman Megan Diekema (Zeeland, Mich.) was Calvin’s other individual winner as she won a first-place medal in the 1,650 freestyle (17:48.83).

In addition, Calvin took first place in four relay events, winning the 200-meter freestyle relay (1:36.93), 400 freestyle relay (3:31.48), 800 freestyle relay (7:41.58) and 400 medley relay (3:58.77). Calvin’s 200 freestyle relay team was comprised of Weima, freshman Stephanie Duncan (Long Grove, Ill.), sophomore Liz Ingebrigtsen (Bensenville, Ill.) and freshman Kat Vinson (Kaneohe, Hawaii). Calvin’s 400 freestyle relay team was made up of Vinson, Johnson, Duncan and Weima while its 800 freestyle relay team consisted of Duncan, Weima, Diekema and Johnson. The 400 medley relay team included Johnson, sophomore Alex Wilson (Ellsworth, Ohio), Weima and Vinson. Calvin’s winning times in the 400 and 800 freestyle relays were both school- and MIAA-record performances.

Wilson established a Calvin record of her own in the 100-meter breaststroke as she cranked out a school-record time of 1:06.70 in a time trial held at the conclusion of day two at the MIAA championships. Wilson’s time not only qualified her for the NCAA III Championships a month later, but also broke one of the oldest records in the Calvin books, eclipsing the previous mark of 1:08.63 set by Stephanie Rhind in 1989.

At the MIAA championships, Wilson finished second in the 200 IM (2:12.51), third in the 400 IM (4:40.66) and fourth in the 200 breaststroke (2:30.42). Diekema added a runner-up berth in the 500 freestyle (5:13.61) and a fifth-place swim in the 200 freestyle (1:59.41). Vinson was second in the 50 freestyle (24.46) and fourth in the 100 backstroke (1:01.76) and 200 backstroke (2:14.68). Sophomore Barbara Frazier (Placerville, Calif.) was sixth in the 200 IM (4:58.36) and in the 200 breaststroke (2:33.60) while Duncan was fifth in the 100 freestyle (54.87) and junior Lynn Visser (Jenison, Mich.) fourth in the 400 IM (4:54.42). Freshman Sarah Abbott (East Grand Rapids, Mich.) was in the top six in two events as she placed fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.13) and fifth in the 200 breaststroke (2:30.53). Calvin, in fact, went 3-4-5-6 in the 200 breaststroke as junior Laura Miersma was third (2:29.90) to go with Wilson, Abbott and Frazier who were fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

Ingebrigtsen was also in the top six in two events, placing fifth in the 100 backstroke (1:02.62) and 200 backstroke (2:20.50). Calvin also scored big points in the diving competition as senior Anna Battoclette (Cincinnati, Ohio) was third on the three-meter board (385.70) and fourth on the one-meter board (322.65). Junior Julie Erickson (Libertyville, Ill.) added a fourth-place finish on the three-meter board (367.70) and a sixth-place finish on the one-meter board (312.75).

Calvin then placed six individuals on the All-MIAA team with Weima headlining the group as she was named the league’s Most Valuable Swimmer for the second straight year. Weima was joined on the All-MIAA team by Johnson, Wilson, Vinson, Duncan and Diekema. Johnson received All-MIAA honors for the third straight year and Wilson for the second straight year.

Johnson, Diekema, Wilson, Ingebrigtsen, Duncan, Weima and Vinson then advanced to the NCAA III Championships in March — also held at the Holland Aquatics Center.

At the national meet, Calvin posted its first-ever top 10 national finish as it placed 10th with 139 points. Weima put together a sensational national meet as she captured the national title in the 200 freestyle with a school record time of 1:50.29, becoming the first-ever national champion in Calvin swimming history. Weima added a second place finish in the 500 freestyle (4:59.27) and a fourth-place finish in the 100 freestyle (51.69). All three finishes by Weima were NCAA III All-America performances, bringing her career total to six in individual events. Wilson would also score individually with a 14th-place finish in the 200 breaststroke with a school-record time of 2:24.35 that was good for an honorable mention All-America finish.

Calvin also posted a pair of All-America efforts in the relays as the 800-meter freestyle-relay team of Duncan, Weima, Diekema and Johnson took fourth (7:41.58) while the 400 freestyle-relay team of Vinson, Duncan, Johnson and Weima took fourth with a time of 3:31.48. In addition, Calvin’s 200 freestyle-relay team of Weima, Duncan, Ingebrigtsen and Vinson took 11th (1:37.35), as did its 400 medley-relay team of Johnson, Wilson, Weima and Vinson (3:58.37), establishing a new school record in the process.