Calvin Women’s Swimming & Diving Team Wins 6th Straight MIAA Title - Men Place Fourth
Sunday, February 14, 2010
(written by Derek Neice, Mitch Blankespoor and Jeff Febus)(photo courtesy of Lynn Powe of Hope College Public Relations Office)
As Calvin senior and MIAA Most Valuable Swimmer Maggie Vail touched the wall at the end of the 400 free relay, she gave the Knights yet another 1st place finish this weekend, and with that touch she characterized the entire conference meet for the Calvin women as they went on to win the 2010 Conference Championship with a record 939 points.
With those 939 points Calvin won the women’s competition by 224, with Hope taking second place with 715 points, and Kalamazoo nabbing third with 442 points.
“Everyone carried their own weight, everyone swam to their potential, and everyone supported each other,” Calvin coach Dan Gelderloos said after the festivities had concluded. “We were able to swim real well and we put a pretty good team onto the national meet in Minneapolis Lord-willing.
The day’s events started out with the mile finals, a grueling race of 1650 yards that saw Calvin swimmers finish fourth through seventh. Libby Veldkamp came in fourth with a time of 18:02.45, Laura Price took fifth in 18:11.25, Bridget Scott came in sixth with a time of 18:21.36, and Shelby Cloyd grabbed seventh with a time of 18:22.10.
Next came the 200 back finals, and Monica Bressler was impressive yet again as she took first place with a time of 2:09.94. Caitlin Alexander came fourth with a time of 2:11.87.
The 100 free finals came next, and Calvin’s top performers in that event were Rachel Bos who took third with a time of 53.60 and Rachel Colasurdo who took eighth in a time of 54.78. In the 100 free consolation finals Stephanie Fox and Kendra Kinzer finished in the top two spots with times of 54.47 and 54.90.
The next event was the 200 breast finals, and with the finishes Saturday it can definitely be argued that Calvin’s breaststrokers were the most impactful throughout the entirety of the meet. In the finals, Maggie Vail and Emily Roberts took the top two spots yet again with B-cut times of 2:21.54 and 2:23.80. Libby Counsell got out-touched at the wall by an Albion swimmer and took fourth with still an impressive B-cut time of 2:24.96.
“The breaststrokers continued to be a strong point,” Gelderloos said of his trio of breaststrokers. “Maggie Vail really continued to dominate in that event as she has the last three years or so, Emily Roberts had a very solid time, and we all feel there’s a lot of room for improvement over the next couple weeks before we head to nationals.”
“Maggie [Vail] is probably top two or three of my all-time most improved swimmers over their four years,” Gelderloos said of his MIAA Most Valuable Swimmer. “She’s an incredibly confident swimmer, silently very competitive, and she’s going to be really missed next year to be honest.”
Calvin couldn’t win them all though. The 200 fly finals were the only ones that did not feature a Calvin swimmer in the top four finishers. In that event Kelley Barr was the sole Knight representative and she took eighth in a time of 2:23.85.
The final event was the 400 free relay finals, and Calvin’s win in that event sealed a phenomenal performance by the women over the last three days. The relay consisted of Monica Bressler, Rachel Bos, Laura Price and Maggie Vail, and they won the race in a B-cut time of 3:32.35.
“The highlight for me was the 400 relay, I love winning that event,” Gelderloos said of the final event of the night. “It was kind of icing on the cake to go out on that note.”
Looking back over the last three days, you have to admire the performances of these women in the water. They won event after event, they had a swimmer named the conference’s most valuable, and they set the conference record for points scored.
There’s a lot of happiness going around that team right now as they look ahead to the big dance in March, but none bigger than Gelderloos’. As he jumped off the diving boards with the rest of the Calvin coaches in celebration after his team was awarded the trophy, his joy was unmistakable.
MEN’S RECAP - REYNOLDS PLACES FIFTH ON THREE-METER BOARD/RUSHLOW FOURTH IN 100 FREE
In the men’s competition, Calvin came up with a number of strong performances on the final night of competition. Calvin’s top individual finish came from freshman Mark Rushlow who was fourth in the 100 freestyle with a time of 46.56.
Other top-eight individual finishes for the Calvin men included freshman Mathias Bares placing seventh in the 1650 freestyle (16:45.28), sophomore Ross Battoclette taking eighth in the 200 backstroke (2:00.95), freshman Stephen Kraft taking seventh in the 200 breaststroke (2:13.20) and Calvin’s 400 freestyle relay team of freshman Kenton Cooper, senior Kurt VanAllsburg, freshman Kyle Garringer and senior Jon Herrema placing fourth (3:13.67).
Also scoring points for the Calvin men were senior Brad Groenewold in 15th place in the 1650 freestyle (18:37.11); Garringer in 10th place (1:59.88); freshman Sam Allison in 12th place (2:03.11); freshman Zack Reuther in 14th place (2:03.89); junior Tyler Westman in 15th place (2:04.43) in the 200 backstroke; VanAllsburg 11th (48.05) and Cooper 12th (48.34) in the 100 freestyle; sophomore Greg Gorham in 11th place (2:16.95); sophomore Chris Shepperly in 14th place (2:20.44) and sophomore Luke Griffioen in 16th place (2:26.59) in the 200 breaststroke and freshman Ryan Martinie 10th (2:02.20) and Groenewold 15th in the 200 butterfly (2:28.08).
Calvin’s lone diver, freshmen Colin Reynolds, finished fifth with a score of 242.25.
“Colin did great tonight. He made one mistake, but that will happen as a rookie. You get in the finals and your adrenalin is pumping. He helped his team out by getting on the podium tonight. What else can you ask from a guy that comes and works hard everyday? ” Calvin diving coach Aaron Paskvan commented.
Reynolds looked to rebound on the finals., but finished fifth again. He had a couple of great dives. On his second dive, he didn’t get quite enough air. As a result, he went headfirst into the water before his hands could get around. Despite this, he rebounded and had a couple of great dives to finish fifth.
Reynolds’s scoring was not quite enough to jolt the men ahead of Olivet, but kept them within striking distance until the very end.
FINAL TEAM SCORES
Men’s Team Scores: 1. Hope 878. 2. Kalamazoo 853. 3. Olivet 493. 4. Calvin 428. 5. Alma 277. 6. Albion 195.
Women’s Team Scores: 1. Calvin 939. 2. Hope 715. 3. Kalamazoo 442. 4. Albion 374. 5. Olivet 289. 6. Alma 262. 7. Saint Mary’s 241.