HOLLAND, Mich., Feb. 22. HOPE College moved a step closer to reclaiming the MIAA women's swimming and diving championship with first place performances in five of Friday's seven events, on the secon day of competition.
A year ago Calvin ended Hope's string of nine consecutive women's championships.
After two days of this year's meet the Flying Dutch hold an 83 point advantage over the Knights, 428-345. A distant third is Kalamazoo 185 followed by Albion 182, Saint Mary's 146, Alma 139 and Olivet 57.
Kalamazoo College, meanwhile, made a giant stride toward claiming its seventh consecutive men's championship. The Hornets lead Hope by 70 points most of which came from an unprecedented sweep by Kalamazoo of the first six places in the 400-yard individual medley on Friday night. Kalamazoo has 441 points
followed by Hope 371, Calvin 252, Albion 128, Alma 125 and Olivet 36.
The meet, being held at the Holland Community Aquatic Center, concludes today with prelims at 10 a.m. and the finals at 7 p.m.
The Flying Dutch won both of Friday's women's relays. The 200-yard medley relay of Audrey Arnold, Kelly Parker, Erika Steele and Elizabeth Fredericks qualified for the NCAA Division III nationals with a time of 1:50.34. The 800-yard freestyle relay of Michelle Smith, Sarah Smith, Arnold and Erin Vandenberg won the gold with a conditional national qualifying time of 7:53.79.
Hope crowned three league champions in Friday's competition for women. When junior Kelly Parker won the 100-yard breatstroke (1:08.62), she accomplished a
feat first achieved in the 1970s by her father, Randy, who was the men's MIAA breaststroke champion while swimming at Albion College.
Sophomore Audrey Arnold won her second goal medal of the meet capturing the 100-yard backstroke (1:00.16). She earlier won the 200-yard individual medley.
Freshman Elizabeth Fredericks won the 100-yard butterfly (59.18).
While the Flying Dutchmen were unable to match Kalamazoo's depth, the Hope men made their mark Friday with fourth national qualifying performances.
Senior Josh Boss, the NCAA Division III national swimmer of the year in 2001, won the 100-yard breaststroke (55.74) for a fourth consecutive year. He
becomes just the 16th swimmer in MIAA men's swimming history to win an event four times.
Junior Ian Kobes of Holland smashed the record in repeating as the MIAA's 100-yard backstroke champion. He qualified for nationals with a time of 51.35
while setting a pool and league record.
Junior Brian Slagh of Zeeland repeated as champion in the 200-yard freestyle with a national qualifying time (1:41.46).
Hope also qualified its 200-yard medley relay team for nationals (1:33.05) with a team of Kobes, Boss, junior Dan Bouwens of Zeeland and junior Tim DeHaan. On Thursday the same quartet qualified for nationals in winning the 400-yard medley relay.