Calvin Women’s Swimming and Diving Team Set to Open 2012-13 Season
Thursday, October 18, 2012
With six returning All-MIAA selections and 17 returning letterwinners, the 2012-13 Calvin women’s swimming and diving team will seek its ninth consecutive MIAA title this year.
A year ago, Calvin finished more than 143 points ahead of rival Hope at the MIAA Championships. According to Calvin head coach Dan Gelderloos, the gap may have narrowed this year. “We have a real nice group of returning athletes and we are excited about the season but we also realize Hope has a very strong team this year too,” said Gelderloos. “Kalamazoo has also stepped forward over the last few years so I am anticipating a very close race for first place at the MIAA Championships in February.”
With an eye on building for the month of February, Gelderloos will build the team’s hopes around seven seniors led by returning All-MIAA selections Samantha Klaasen, Elizabeth Counsell, Rachel Colasurdo and Stephanie Fox.
Klaasen (Holland/Holland Christian HS) is the reigning two-time MIAA Most Valuable Diver and was the 2012 league champion on the one-meter board as well as the league runner-up on the three-meter board. She will lead a solid group of divers that will also include sophomore Rebecca Mumby (Spring Lake/Spring Lake HS) and freshman Sarah Roth (Brighton/Brighton HS).
A three-time national qualifier and a 2011 NCAA III All-American in the 200 breaststroke, Counsell is the two-time defending MIAA champion in both the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke events. Colasurdo (Chesapeake, VA/Home Schooled) was a big point producer for Calvin at the MIAA Championships last February, placing second in the 100 butterfly, fifth in the 50 freestyle and fifth in the 200 butterfly while also swimming on Calvin’s first place 200 freestyle and 200 medley relay teams.
Fox (Kentwood/Home Schooled) is a two-time All-MIAA selection. At the MIAA Championships last year, she placed second in the 200 IM and 200 freestyle, third in the 100 freestyle and swam on Calvin’s first place 200 freestyle and 200 medley relay teams.
Other members of Calvin’s senior class include distance freestyle specialist Shelby Cloyd (Kalamazoo/Plainwell HS), backstroke and butterfly specialist Kristy Kinzer (Fort Wayne, IN/Homestead HS) and IM/freestyle specialist Savannah VanWormer (Marshall/Marshall HS). Cloyd and VanWormer both scored for Calvin at the MIAA Championships while Kinzer returns after two years away from the pool. In 2010, she was a national qualifier for the NCAA III Championships in both the 100 backstroke and in several Calvin relays.
“We have a very strong senior class,” said Gelderloos. “Not only do we have talented athletes in the senior group but also strong leaders.”
The junior class consists of Margaret Rechel (Worthington, OH/Thomas Worthington HS), Elizabeth Schleh (Mount Vernon, WA/Academy Northwest HS), Maria Sedjo (West Chicago, IL/Home Schooled) and Claire Strunk (Evanston, IL/Evanston Township).
“All four juniors give us strong depth,” said Gelderloos. “All four have scored points at the conference meet the last two years and they are very capable of doing so again.”
The sophomore class includes Mumby, Alex Dhaenens (Howell, MI/Howell HS), Betsy Otten (Sheboygan, WI/Sheboygan County Christian HS), Maggie McLaurin (Ferndale, WA/Ferndale HS), Alexi Scott (Richmond, IN/Richmond HS), Erika Waugh (Berne, IN/South Adams HS) and Kathryn Wrobel (Arden Hills, MN/Moundsview HS).
An All-MIAA selection as a freshman, Waugh established a school record in the 200 backstroke last winter with a time of 2:06.29 while just missing the school mark in the 100 backstroke. She was a top-six finisher in both events at the MIAA Championships, placing second in the 100 backstroke and first in the 200 backstroke while also adding a sixth place finish in the 500 freestyle.
Wrobel also landed a berth on the All-MIAA team as a freshman, placing third in the 500 and 200 freestyle events while also placing second in the 1,650 freestyle. Dhaenens and Scott were also big point producers for Calvin at the conference meet while Otten and McClaurin also scored for the Knights. On the diving board, Mumby had a fifth place finish on the three-meter board and a fourth place finish on the one-meter board.
“We had a strong freshmen class last year and the challenge for the group will be to continue to improve as sophomores,” said Gelderloos. “We will rely a lot on our sophomores. They are very talented and have great potential.”
The freshmen class includes nine athletes. “I like our freshmen class a lot,” said Gelderloos. “We have some individuals that will definitely fill some holes this year and also help build our depth.”
Calvin will open its season on October 20 when it hosts the annual MIAA Relays. Non-conference dual meets are scheduled with Grand Valley State, Wheaton and Wayne State. Calvin will also hosts its own Calvin Winter Invitational November 29-December 1. In addition, Calvin will compete at the University of Chicago Classic January 11 and 12. Conference dual meets are sprinkled throughout November, January and February including a home dual meet with rival Hope on January 19.
The MIAA Championships are slated to be held February 13-16 at nearby Jenison High School. Another highlight on the schedule is the first-ever NCAA III Diving Regional to be held at Calvin. The regional, which will determine qualifiers to the NCAA III Championships, will be held at the Venema Aquatic Center March 1 and 2. The NCAA III Championships are slated to be held March 20-23 in Shenandoah, Texas.