posted March 12, 2001

Betsy VandenBerg Successfully Defends Crown; Flying Dutch Finish 14th at NCAA DIII Championships

Hope College senior Betsy VandenBerg of Beverly Hills (Southfield Christian HS) successfully defended her national championship in the 200-yard breaststroke at the NCAA Division III championships in Buffalo, N.Y. last weekend.

It was the second of two All-America performances at the national championship meet by VandenBerg who ends her Hope career as one of the nation's top collegiate breaststroke swimmers.

She cruised to the gold medal in the 200-yard breaststroke defeating challenger Alyssa Heidinger of Denison by more than two seconds with a time of 2:19.19

Earlier in the meet Heidinger edged VandenBerg in the finals of the 100-yard breaststroke. VandenBerg also finished ninth in the 200-yard individual medley.

VandenBerg finished her career an NCAA All-American seven times in individual events. In the 200-yard breaststroke she was the silver medalist as both a freshman and sophomore and the gold medal winner in her junior and senior years.

VandenBerg's gold marks the 26th national championship gained by a Hope swimmer under coach John Patnott.

Hope finished 14th in the 51-team field with 78 points. Denison, Ohio captured the Division III title with 588 points to end a 17-year run by Kenyon, Ohio.

Hope had two honorable mention All-America performances relay teams. The Dutch were ninth in the 800-yard freestyle relay and tenth in the 400-yard medley relay with a team of freshman Audrey Arnold of Richmond, Ind. (Richmond HS), freshman Michelle Smith of Olympia, Wash., sophomore Erin VandenBerg of Beverly Hills, Mich. (Southfield Christian HS) and Betsy VandenBerg.

Hope College Results at NCAA Division IIIWomen's Swimming & Diving ChampionshipsThursday-Saturday, March 8-10 - Buffalo, N.Y.

ALL-AMERICA PERFORMANCES

200-YARD BREASTSTROKE
Betsy VandenBerg, 1st place, 2:19.19

100-YARD BREASTSTROKE
Betsy VandenBerg, 2nd place, 1:04.88

HONORABLE MENTION ALL-AMERICA PERFORMANCES

200-YARD INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY
Betsy VandenBerg, 9th place, 2:08.60

800-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY
9th place, 7:49.10 (Michelle Smith, Erin VandenBerg, Audrey Arnold, Betsy VandenBerg)

400-YARD MEDLEY RELAY
10th place, 4:02.50 (Audrey Arnold, Michelle Smith, Betsy VandenBerg, Erin VandenBerg)

OTHER PERFORMANCES

500-YARD FREESTYLE
Michelle Smith, 25th place, 5:09.14
Erin VandenBerg, 27th place, 5:12.01

ONE-METER DIVING
Hannah Rapson, 22nd place, 281.55 points

200-YARD MEDLEY RELAY
18th place, 1:52.93 (Audrey Arnold, Michelle Smith, Betsy VandenBerg, Erin VandenBerg)

200-YARD FREESTYLE
Michelle Smith, 17th place, 1:56.02

100-YARD BREASTSTROKE
Kelly Parker, 19th place, 1:08.60

1,650-YARD FREESTYLE
Erin VandenBerg, 22nd place, 17:50.13
Michelle Smith, 23rd place, 17:50.62

200-YARD BREASTSTROKE
Kelly Parker, 29th place, 2:30.62

THREE-METER DIVING
Hannah Rapson, 19th place (323.85 points)

400-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY
17th place, 3:39.50 (Michelle Smith, Erin VandenBerg, Audrey Arnold, Betsy VandenBerg)