2013-14 Calvin Women’s Swimming and Diving Preview
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
By Mark DeHaan
The Calvin women’s swim and dive team enters the 2013-14 season coming off its ninth-straight MIAA title. Despite the recent success of the Knights in conference competition, this year’s swim team realizes they have yet to accomplish anything themselves.
“We’ve begun to talk about how this team has done nothing,” said head coach Dan Gelderloos. “We’ve had individuals on this team that have won MIAA championships, but this team, as it stands now, hasn’t done anything. This team isn’t trying to win (a tenth straight title), they’re just trying to win one.”
Calvin looks to replace the production of some important graduated seniors, including All-American Libby Counsel and MIAA diving MVP Sam Klaasen. Rachel Colasurdo, Stephanie Fox, and Shelby Cloyd are other key swimmers Calvin will be without this year.
Despite losing some top performers from last season, the Knights return a strong senior class, including All-MIAA selection Kristy Kinzer.
“Going forward, we still have a pretty big senior class,” said Gelderloos. “We were missing several swimmers that were traveling last year that would have scored some points at the conference meet. So we got those swimmers back, and all-in-all, we have 16 new swimmers or returning swimmers that weren’t at MIAAs last year, so that is a good thing.”
Along with Kinzer, Calvin will look to leadership from a few swimmers looking to make the national cut. Sophomore Michaela Rookus made it to the NCAA meet last season while junior Kathryn Wrobel was just shy of the qualifying time.
“Leadership on the women’s side is very strong this year; at this point they’re doing all the right things and saying everything and we’re learning who we are,” said Gelderloos. “(We’re looking to) Kristy Kinzer, who is a fifth-year senior; she really came on strong at the end and is a phenomenal leader. Michaela Rookus also went to the NCAA meet last year. She is very motivated to return there, and Kathryn Wrobel, who just missed out on getting to the NCAAs in the 500 and the 200 free, (will also be a leader).”
Kinzer holds the Calvin record for the 100 backstroke and is also a strong freestyle swimmer. Rookus swam the fastest freestyle times last season for the Knights, while Wrobel is the best long-distance freestyle swimmer on the team and set the school record for the 1650 freestyle last season. All-MIAA swimmer Erika Waugh, a junior, and All-MIAA diver Sarah Roth, a sophomore, will also be key for the Knights this season.
In fact, Gelderloos cited the depth of the diving team as something that will be important to the team’s success: “Another strength of ours will be our diving squad; we have six divers this year, and that will be a huge asset for us coming down the stretch in February.”
With the target growing ever larger on the team’s back, Gelderloos says the team is looking to take a step back, start from square one and relearn what has made the team so successful in year’s past.
“We’re going to take a few steps back and refocus on getting to know each other, learning some better fundamentals in the pool and going from there. We’ve committed to relearning what has made us successful. I think that is probably what we have to do every year, but this year, more-so, that seems to be the calling for what we need to do.”
Calvin opens up its season at the Venema Aquatic Center on October 19 when it hosts the MIAA relays. The Knights will then return to action in a dual meet against a pair of Division II schools before beginning the conference portion of their schedule on October 26 against Albion.