Swim Teams Off to Fast Starts at Winter Invitational - Meindertsma Shatters School Mark in 1650
Thursday, November 29, 2012
By Mark DeHaan
Calvin’s three-day Winter Invitational began Thursday evening.
Teams participating included Division I Valparaiso University, Division II schools Grand Valley State University, Hillsdale College, Northern Michigan University and University of Indianapolis as well as MIAA schools Kalamazoo, Olivet, and Saint Mary’s and fellow Division III school Wabash College. The Calvin women head into day two in fifth place with 49 points. Northern Michigan leads with 91 total points. The Calvin men are in second after the first day of competition with 75 points, Grand Valley leads with 127.
Both men’s and women’s teams swam well against their respective competition, posting impressive times this early in the season. The only two events swum by both sides were the 800 yard freestyle relay and the 1650 yard freestyle.
The women started the meet with the 800 yard freestyle relay. The Calvin A relay team of senior Stephie Fox, freshman Michaela Rookus, senior Elizabeth Counsell and sophomore Kathryn Wrobel was able to capture sixth in a time of 7:49.97.
Wrobel followed up the sixth place relay finish with a seventh place individual finish in the 1650 yard freestyle in 17:53.66. Senior Shelby Cloyd also picked up points for the Knights in the 1650 yard freestyle, swimming in a time of 18:29.89, good for 16th individually.
On the men’s side, the Knights got off to an exciting start as freshman Caleb Meinderstma shattered the Calvin men’s 1650 yard freestyle record by swimming a 16:16.47, good for second individually. The previous record was held by Brad Flikkema, set in 1998 at 16:28.80. Freshman Aaron Venema was barely off that record time, swimming to a fourth place time of 16:31.06. Senior Mathias Bares added points for the Knights, finishing in 14th overall at 17:03.35.
In the 800 yard freestyle relay, the Calvin A relay team of junior Andrew Mitchell, freshman Brandon Muma, Venema, and sophomore Alex Baumann took fifth place in 6:59.25. The B team of sophomore Travis Vincent, Meinderstma, junior Peter Johnson, and sophomore Andrew Vanderlei finished 11th in 7:19.73.
“It was a great night for us,” said head coach Dan Gelderloos. “Both women and men posted 800 free relays that were faster than we have ever been at this point in the season. The miles (1650) were all swum very strong, with the highlight being Caleb Meindertsma’s school record with 16:16, (a record) that has stood since 1998. It was a great way for us to get the ball rolling, and we look to continue the momentum in the morning.”
Prelims resume Friday morning at 10:00 a.m., with the finals of the events set for 6:00 p.m. Fourteen more events are sent for Friday, beginning with the women’s 200 freestyle relay and ending with the men’s 400 medley relay.