Feb. 17. THE MIAA swimming and diving championships concluded Saturday with one very familiar team leading the men's standings and a newcomer atop the women's field.
Kalamazoo College won the MIAA men's championship for the sixth consecutive year and for the 23rd time in league history. Calvin College claimed its first-ever women's title dethroning Hope which had been champion for nine consecutive years.
Hope finished second in both the men's and women's field and while there was no team trophy to be claimed there were alot of individual honors to be garnered.
In the women's competition Hope counted eight individual gold medalists and two relay champions. Calvin's success was in its depth as the Lady Knights had three individual and three relay champs.
The Dutch had two triple winners. Freshman Michelle Smith swept the distance freestyle events, winning the gold in the 200, 500 and l,650. On Saturday she gained a spot at nationals in the 1,650 (17:30.57). Senior Betsy VandenBerg capped her league career on Saturday by winning the 200 breaststroke for a fourth consecutive year in a national qualifying and MIAA record time of 2:20.54. She earlier won the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke.
Freshman diver Hannah Rapson completed a sweep by capturing the 3-meter championship on Saturday with a conditional national qualifying performance.
In the men's competition, Hope crowned three individual champions on Saturday to give the Dutchmen a trio of double winners.
Junior Josh Boss won the 200 breaststroke for a third consecutive year with a league record time (2:02.04). He earlier won the 100 breaststroke.
Sophomore Brian Slagh reigns as the league freestyle sprint champion after winning the 100 freestyle (45.88) to go along with an earlier gold in the 50
Sophomore Ian Kobes ruled the backstroke as he won the 200 event on Saturday (1:54.01). He earlier captured the 100 back.
Hope displayed amazing depth in the backstroke events, sweeping first through third in both the 100 and 200.
The Flying Dutchmen ended the meet by winning their fourth relay on the competition. The quartet of Brian Slagh, Scott Vroegindewey, Chris Hamstra and Tim DeHaan had a conditional national qualifying time (3:05.11) in winning the event for a 12th consecutive year.