Calvin Women Surge To Lead On First Day of MIAA Swimming & Diving Championships
Friday, February 18, 2011
JENISON - The Calvin women’s swimming and diving team has taken a commanding first day lead at the MIAA Swimming and Diving Championships held at the Jenison High School Aquatic Center. Through day one, the Knights are in first place with 287 points, 82 points ahead of second place Hope with Kalamazoo third with 174 points.
Calvin took first place in three events Thursday night led by a 1-2-3 finish on the three-meter diving board with sophomore Sam Klaasen (Holland/Holland Christian HS) taking first place with an NCAA III qualifying score of 414.60 followed by senior Carmen Brummel (West Olive/Unity Christian HS) in second (380.15) and freshman Elise Kaufman (Sugarland, TX/Clements HS) in third (364.25).
In the pool, sophomore Elizabeth Counsell (Indianapolis, IN/Heritage Christian HS) had a stirring first place finish in the 200 IM (2:10.99) while Calvin’s 400 medley relay team of senior Monica Bressler (Sandusky, OH/Perkins HS), Counsell, senior Caitlin Alexander (Holland/Holland Christian HS) and sophomore Stephanie Fox (Kentwood, MI/Home Schooled) won with an NCAA III condititional qualifying time of 3:53.93.
Seeded 16th in the 200 IM heading into the day, Counsell advanced to the evening finals with the second-fastest swim of the morning prelims. In the finals, she trailed Hope’s Ashley Jasperse by a three yard margin with 15 yards to go but found an extra gear and powered home for the win. Counsell was one of three Calvin swimmers in the finals of the event as Alexander was sixth (2:13.55) and sophomore Rachel Colasurdo (Chesapeake, VA/Home Schooled) eighth (2:14.57).
Calvin opened the meet with a second place finish in the 200 freestyle relay as the quartet of freshman Samantha Musolf (Byron Center/Byron Center HS), Bressler, Fox and freshman Margaret Rechel (Worthington OH/Thomas Worthington HS) clocked an NCAA III conditional qualifying time of 1:36.85.
In the 50 freestyle, Calvin placed placed three individuals in the finals with Bressler taking third with an NCAA III conditional qualifying time of 23.99, Musolf placing fifth (25.05) and Rechel placing eighth (25.24). In the 500 freestyle, sophomore Shelby Cloyd (Plainwell/Plainwell HS) had a season-best time of 5:09.11 that was good for third place while Fox was seventh 5:21.17 and senior Kendra Kinzer (Fort Wayne, IN/Homestead HS) eighth (5:22.46).
According to head coach Dan Gelderloos, the come-from-behind victory by Counsell in the 200 IM ignited the Calvin team. “If I had to point to one thing that got our team going it would be Elizabeth Counsell’s swim in the 200 IM,” said Gelderloos. “That created instant energy and really got our team going.”
As for the diving contingent, Calvin diving coach Aaron Paskvan was thrilled. “I am so proud of all three of our (women’s) divers,” said Paskvan. “They have worked so hard all year long despite some ups-and-downs and it paid off tonight. It was wonderful to see how they supported each other. For Sam (Klaasen), I tip my hap to her tonight. This was her first national qualifying score on the three-meter and she did as a conference champion. That was very good to see.”
Action continues on Friday with morning prelims set for 10 a.m. and evening finals set for 6 p.m.