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Women’s Swimming & Diving Picks Up All-America Relay Performances on Day Two of NCAA Championships

Thursday, March 19, 2009

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NCAA III Championships Site

MINNEAPOLIS, MN—The Calvin women’s swimming and diving team remains in the top 10 after two days of competition at the NCAA III Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Minnesota. On Thursday, the Knights received All-America performances from its 200 freestyle and 400 medley relay teams as both teams placed eighth. With two days left to go in the four-day meet, the Knights are in seventh place with 80 points, two points ahead of eighth place Wisconsin-LaCrosse and four points behind sixth place Claremont-Mudd Scripps.

Kenyon leads the women’s competition with 309 points with Emory second with 246 points.

Calvin’s 200 freestyle relay of sophomore Monica Bressler (Sandusky, OH), senior Cara VanWoerkom (Calvin Christian HS) and juniors Maggie Vail (Portage Northern HS) and Laura Price (Warren, PA) clocked in with an eighth place time of 1:35.60. It marks the fourth consecutive year that Calvin has earned All-America honors in the event as well as the fifth time overall. The Calvin relay advanced to the finals in dramatic fashion as it tied the relay from Stevens Institute of Technology for eighth place in the morning prelims, requiring a swim-off at the conclusion of the of the prelims. Calvin then won the swim-off with a season-best time of 1:34.30 to advance to the evening finals. “Our performance in the swim-off was the highlight of the day for us,” said Calvin head swim coach Dan Gelderloos. “Our team had to face some pressure but responded in strong fashion.”

Calvin’s 400 medley relay of Bressler, junior Emily Roberts (DeKalb, IL), senior Julie Wolfe (Westerville, IL) and VanWoerkom clocked in with an eighth place time of 3:52.71. It marks the third time in four years that Calvin has posted an All-America performance in the event.

“Our goal for today was to get both relays into the finals and we achieved that goal,” said Gelderloos. “The competition this year is very fierce. To finish in the top-eight at this national meet is very significant. We’ve got some work to do yet over the next two days but we’re in good position to make another run at a final (overall) top 10 team finish.”

Also competing for Calvin in the morning prelims for Calvin on Thursday but not advancing were Price, VanWoerkom, sophomore Kendra Kinzer (Fort Wayne, IN) and junior Libby Veldkamp (Calvin Christian HS) in the 200 freestyle, Roberts in the 400 IM and Wolfe in the 100 butterfly.

Roberts had a season-best time of 4:41.18 in the 400 IM while Price had a career-best time of 1:52.81 in the 200 freestyle that was good for 17th place - one spot out of the consolation finals.

Scheduled to compete for Calvin on Friday will be seniors Erica Deur (Holland Christian HS) and Jeena Velzen (Unity Christian HS) and junior Casey Herman (Libertyville, IL) on the one-meter diving board, Bressler in the 100 backstroke, Roberts and Vail in the 100 breaststroke. Calvin will also compete in the 800 freestyle relay.


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