200 Breaststroke Features Good Counsell at NCAA III Championships - Calvin Finishes 13th as Team
Saturday, March 23, 2013
SHENANDOAH, TX - Calvin College senior Elizabeth Counsell capped off her stellar four-year collegiate career with yet another All-America performance and a school record Saturday night at the NCAA III Championships.
Competing in her final collegiate event, Counsell took fifth in the 200 breaststroke with a school record time of 2:16.45. Seeded 17th heading into Saturday’s prelims, Counsell ripped off the sixth-fastest time of the morning, recording a school record time of 2:17.81. The time was nearly two seconds faster than her previous school record of 2:19.56.
Counsell then found another gear in Saturday’s final to move up one more place and drop another second from her school record set just a few hours earlier.
Counsell concludes her Calvin swimming career as a four-time NCAA III All-American, having finished seventh in the 200 breaststroke at the 2010 national meet and then placing second in the 100 breast and fifth in the 200 breast at this week’s national meet while also swimming on Calvin’s eighth place 200 medley relay team this past Wednesday.
“What a great way for Libby (Counsell) to finish her career,” said Calvin head swim coach Dan Gelderloos. “She’s had a very busy academic load of classes and several physical setbacks as an athlete but she’s found a way to persevere despite having doubts. She deserves a lot of credit for sticking with things. It’s a wonderful feeling as a coach to see a senior swim their best at a national meet.”
Counsell’s All-America performance Saturday helped Calvin finish 13th in the final team standings with 82 points.
Earlier on Saturday, Calvin’s 400 freestyle relay team of senior Kristy Kinzer (Fort Wayne, IN/Homestead HS), senior Rachel Colasurdo (Chesapeake, VA/Home Schooled), freshman Michaela Rookus (Hudsonville/Hudsonville HS) and Counsell made a bid for a spot in the consolation finals but missed a spot by just over a second. Seeded 25th heading into the prelims, Calvin took 19th with a season-best time of 3:31.99, dropping more than a second off the relay’s entry time.
“We had a very successful week,” said Gelderloos. “We were hoping to score a few points and maybe come up with an All-America performance or two. Overall we did better than we expected and our athletes have much to be proud of.”