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Women’s Swimming & Diving Captures Eighth Straight MIAA Title

Sunday, February 19, 2012

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By Mark DeHaan

Heading into the final night of competition up 112.5 points over its nearest competitor, Calvin looked to hold on for the MIAA Championship. Not only did the Knights hold on to the lead, but the Knights also built up a 150-point advantage en route to a 803.5 point performance and its eighth straight women’s swim and dive title including its 10th in the last 12 years.

Saturday’s competition started with the 1650 freestyle. The Knights claimed a 2-3 finish in the mile swim as freshman Kathryn Wrobel took second in 17:44.12 while junior Shelby Cloyd finished in 17:51.75. Senior Bridget Scott finished seventh (18:19.18) and sophomore Elizabeth Schleh finished eighth (18:21.03) in the mile swim to round out the top eight in conference.

In the next event, the 200 backstroke, Calvin claimed its first individual title of the night as freshman Erika Waugh finished in a NCAA B cut time of 2:06.42. Earlier in the day, Waugh established a new school record in the event with a time of 2:06.29. The Knights also took fifth and sixth in the 200 backstroke as senior Briana Seaks finished in 2:12.23 and junior Savannah VanWormer finished in 2:13.66.

Calvin continued to build its lead in the 100 freestyle as Knights finished in third, fourth, sixth and eighth. Leading the charge was junior Stephie Fox with a time of 53.22, followed closely behind by senior Rachel Bos with a time of 53.67. Freshman Alex Dhaenens took sixth in 54.49 while sophomore Maria Sedjo took eighth in 55.09.

In the 200 breaststroke, junior Elizabeth Counsell earned another individual title for the Knights and her second of the weekend. Counsell’s time of 2:21.86 was good enough for a NCAA B cut. Freshman Alexi Scott took sixth in the event with a time of 2:32.19.

The Knights earned a fifth place finish in the 200 butterfly from junior Rachel Colasurdo (2:15.03) before ending the meet with a thrilling 400 freestyle relay.

The Calvin A team (Fox, Bos, Colasurdo, Dhanens) finished the relay with a second place finish behind Hope in a time of 3:34.25.

In the post-meet ceremonies, Calvin junior diver Samantha Klaasen was named the MIAA Most Valuable Diver for the second straight season for her first place performance on the one meter board and second place finish on the three meter board.

The Calvin women also continued the tradition of throwing their coaches in the pool during the post-meet ceremonies.

“I told our women’s team to celebrate this one,” said Head Coach Dan Gelderloos. “Winning eight in a row and 10 in 12 years is special. I think the key to our current run is consistency and some hard-working, determined athletes.”

“It’s great – we just keep going,” said Counsell. “Every year we stop and think that we haven’t won (this event) this year, and we’re a new team this year – so we have to put everything into it and keep the tradition going.”

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