Feb. 16. THE leaders will be hard to catch as the MIAA swimming and diving championships head into their final day of competition at the Holland Community Aquatic Center.
Kalamazoo is on a pace to capture its sixth consecutive men's crown while Calvin is eyeing its first-ever women's championship which would end a streak of nine consecutive titles by Hope.
In each meet Hope is a solid second. Kalamazoo is ahead of Hope 431-361 in the men's meet while Calvin is third at 272.
Calvin leads Hope 356-298 in the women's meet while Kalamazoo is third at 193.
On Friday, senior Betsy VandenBerg became the eighth female swimmer in MIAA history to win an event four consecutive years. VandenBerg won the 100-yard
breaststroke with an NCAA qualifying time of 1:05.25. Teammate Kelly Parker, a sophomore, finished second with a conditional national qualifying effort (1:07.85).
Hope also had a one-two finish in the men's 100-yard breaststroke. Junior Josh Boss won the event for a third consecutive year with a national qualifying time (:55.91) while freshman teammate Ross Geurink was second with a conditional national qualifying time (:59.08).
Hope swept the top three spots in the men's 100-yard backstroke. Sophomore Ian Kobes (:52.37), senior Chris Dattels (:52.40) and sophomore Chris Roecker (:52.72) all had conditional national qualifying performances.
Sophomore Brian Slagh of Zeeland upset defending champion J.D. Schneider of Kalamazoo in the 200-yard freestyle with a conditional national qualifying
In the women's 200-yard freestyle, freshman Michelle Smith and sophomore Erin VandenBerg finished one-two. Smith's time of 1:55.79 was a pool record and
conditional qualifying performance. VandenBerg was timed in 1:57.35.
The Flying Dutch won the women's 800-yard freestyle relay for the 16th time in 17 years. The team of Erin VandenBerg, freshman Audrey Arnold, Betsy VandenBerg and Smith were timed in 7:48.79.
The Flying Dutchmen won the 200-yard medley relay with a national qualifying time (1:32.88). The swimmers were Kobes, Boss, Dattels and sophomore Tim DeHaan.