Calvin Women’s Swimming and Diving Captures Seventh Straight MIAA Title
Sunday, February 20, 2011
JENISON - The Calvin women’s swimming and diving team continued its MIAA championship streak on Saturday night, completing the three-day MIAA Championships with a first place total of 850 points. The MIAA title is the seventh straight for the Knights including their ninth overall. Calvin finished 171 points ahead of runner-up Hope. At the conclusion of the competition Saturday night, sophomore Elizabeth Counsell (Indianapolis, IN/Heritage Christian HS) was named the MIAA’s Most Valuable Swimmer while sophomore Samantha Klaasen (Holland/Holland Christian HS) was named the MIAA’s Most Valuable Diver.
Calvin concluded the competition on Saturday night by taking first place in four events with senior Monica Bressler (Sandusky, OH/Perkins HS) repeating as league champ in the 200 backstroke (2:09.02) while Klaasen won the one-meter diving competition (432.95 points) and Counsell the 200 breaststroke with an NCAA III automatic qualifying time of 2:19.74. Calvin’s 400 freestyle relay team of Bressler, sophomore Rachel Colasurdo (Chesapeake, VA/Home Schooled), freshman Maria Sedjo (West Chicago, IL/Home Schooled) and sophomore Stephanie Fox (Kentwood, MI/Home Schooled) won with a time of 3:04.03.
For Bressler, Saturday’s 200 backstroke win marked the fifth individual MIAA title of her collegiate career as she also owns a 50 freestyle title (2010), two 100 backstroke titles (2010 and 2011) and last year’s 200 backstroke crown.
“Tonight was a good way to end my MIAA career,” said Bressler who has fought through injuries her senior year. “There is a lot of wear and tear on your body after four years of collegiate swimming but to win a conference championship as a team makes it all worth it.”
Counsell had the swim of the night for Calvin, establishing a new MIAA and Calvin record with her winning time in the 200 breaststroke. It came on the heels of a Friday night win in the 100 breaststroke and a Thursday night triumph in the 200 IM.
“She (Elizabeth) really turned the momentum of the meet in our favor,” said Calvin head swim coach Dan Gelderloos Saturday night reflecting on Counsell’s win in the 200 IM back on Thursday. “Then she just kept building and getting better. Her swim in the 200 breaststroke tonight was just outstanding. She is most deserving of the Most Valuable Swimmer award and her teammates are all thrilled for her.”
Counsell is the fifth individual in Calvin women’s swimming and diving history to receive MIAA MVP honors, joining Katie Nagelkirk (2002 & 2003), Becky Weima (2004-to-2007), Emily Roberts (2009) and Maggie Vail (2010).
Klaasen meanwhile led a 1-2-3 Calvin finish on the one-meter diving board as freshman Elise Kauffman (Sugarland, TX/Clements HS) was second (388.60) and senior Carmen Brummel (West Olive, MI/Unity Christian HS) third (360.35). Klaasen also captured the three-meter title on Thursday night. She is the second individual in Calvin women’s swimming and diving history to receive the honor, joining fellow Holland Christian High School graduate Erica Deur to have won it at Calvin. Deur was a four-time MIAA MVP at Calvin from 2006-to-2009.
“Our divers have worked so hard and to see them finish the way they did tonight was just icing on the cake,” said Paskvan. “We had several alumni (divers) here tonight and was great to see the individuals who started our strong (diving) tradition and great to see our current athletes continue that tradition.”
Calvin also used depth throughout Saturday night to continue to build its lead. In the 1650 freestyle, sophomore Shelby Cloyd (Plainwell, MI/Plainwell HS) was third (17:47.15), junior Bridget Scott (Oakville, ON/Kings Christian Collegiate) fourth (18:17.40), freshman Elizabeth Schleh (Mount Vernon, WA/Academy Northwest HS) sixth (18:29.35) and freshman Claire Strunk (Evanston, IL/Evanston Township) seventh (18:36.40).
In the 200 backstroke, sophomore Savannah VanWormer (Marshall, MI/Marshall HS) was eighth (2:13.92) and freshman Ellie Price (Hilton, NY/Hilton HS) seventh in the 200 butterfly (2:20.66). In the 100 freestyle, Fox was fifth (54.16), Sedjo sixth (54.50), Colasurdo seventh (54.60) and freshman Margaret Rechel (Worthington, OH/Thomas Worthington HS) eighth (54.82).
“We just had a great team contribution all three days and nights,” said Gelderloos. “The strength of our team this year was the fact that we had quality numbers. Everyone worked together for this championship and I am proud of everyone of my athletes.”
FINAL MIAA CHAMPIONSHIPS WOMEN’S SWIMMING AND DIVING TEAM SCORES
Calvin - 850 points
Saint Mary’s 314