posted June 7, 2001

SPRING SPORTS ROUNDUP<br>No brooms, but still a clean sweep

With nary a broom in sight (hard to believe when you consider this Dutch community's propensity for cleanliness), there still is no doubt that Hope College has scored a clean sweep in intercollegiate athletics during the 2000-01 school year.

Hope has won all three all-sports awards presented by the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) to the member college for the best cumulative finish in all league sports.

A bountiful spring season culminated an outstanding year of intercollegiate athletics. It resulted in Hope winning the Commissioner's Cup (previously known as the All-Sports Award) for the sixth time in a decade and a record 23rd time in school history.

Since 1998-99, the MIAA has also presented separate awards for the best cumulative finish in men's and women's sports. Hope claimed the women's all-sports honor for the third consecutive year and the men's all-sports award for the second time in three years.

Hope crowned five league champions -- baseball, women's basketball, football, men's golf and volleyball. In men's sports, no team finished below third place in its respective MIAA race, while in women's sports every team but one finished third or higher.

Hope teams and athletes extended their excellence by competing in NCAA championship events in 11 of the 18 college-sponsored sports.

Excellence was spread throughout the spring sports with conference honors, NCAA opportunities and individual national accolades.

BASEBALL Dutchmen Win MIAA Title; Earn NCAA Playoff Berth

The Flying Dutchmen continued their dominance of MIAA baseball by winning the league championship for the eighth time since 1990 and the 18th time in school history.

Coach Stu Fritz has guided the Flying Dutchmen to five MIAA titles in eight seasons, and this year's trip to the NCAA Division III championships was the second in four years.

Seven players achieved All-MIAA first team recognition. Junior pitcher Mark Simonson of Holland, Mich., was honored for the second consecutive year, while first-time honorees were sophomore outfielder Kyle Blackport of Grand Rapids, Mich.; senior pitcher Nate DeVisser of Mattawan, Mich.; sophomore third baseman Casey Glass of Hudsonville, Mich.; junior second baseman Nick Grinzinger of Mount Pleasant, Mich.; sophomore designated hitter B.J. Maas of Jenison, Mich.; and sophomore outfielder Mike VanBeek of Hudsonville, Mich.

DeVisser, who tied a 31-year-old Hope record for pitching victories, was voted to the Mideast All-Region second team. He posted an 8-1 record and pitched Hope's first-ever victory in the NCAA playoffs. That 2-1 win over top-seeded Wartburg was especially memorable for Coach Fritz, who is an alumnus of the Iowa college, where he achieved all-conference honors in baseball. DeVisser and freshman catcher Eric Mac Kenzie of Alpena, Mich., were named to the Central Region all-tournament team.

TRACK & FIELD Teams Hail Three NCAA All-Americans

A school-record three Hope senior athletes achieved NCAA All-America designation as they competed in the Division III national championships.

Emily Sowers of Grand Rapids, Mich., achieved All-America status in the discus for a third consecutive year, while gaining the honor for the first time were Joe Veldman of Sawyer, Mich., in the 5,000-meter run and Steve Rabuck of Myerstown, Pa., in the 800-meter run.

Sowers finished sixth nationally in the discus to climax a topsy-turvy season. A month earlier she was foiled by Mother Nature in a bid to win the MIAA championship in the discus for a fourth straight year. She failed to advance to the finals after fouling three consecutive times in rain-slicked conditions. Fortunately, she had already qualified for nationals. A day later she captured the MIAA gold medal in the shotput, upsetting teammate Sarah Burgess of Niles, Mich., who was the two-time defending champion.

Veldman culminated an outstanding senior year in which he qualified for nationals in both cross country and track. He was also presented the Otto van der Velde Award as the college's outstanding male senior athlete. A strong finish at nationals in the 5,000-meter run advanced Veldman into the All-America field. He was in 12th place heading into the final half mile, needing to be among the top eight to achieve All-America. Battling rain and wind, he passed six runners -- including three from MIAA rival Calvin -- to finish sixth and become Hope's third 5K All-American. He joined Dan Bannink '97 and Marcia Vandersall '93 Bannink in the elite group.

Rabuck finished eighth in the 800-meter run to become Hope's first track All-American in a running event under 5,000 meters. He was a two-sport athlete at Hope with the rather unusual combination of soccer and track.

Hope sent a contingent of six athletes to nationals, the college's largest field in many years. Senior Joe Kattelus of Okemos, Mich., was 11th in the discus and 15th in the shotput; freshman Jennifer Price of Battle Creek, Mich., ended ninth in the 800-meter run; and sophomore Ed Perez of Hopkins, Mich., was 14th in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles.

Under second-year coach Dereck Chavis, the Flying Dutch were second in the MIAA women's standings while the Dutchmen were third in the men's race. Seven athletes were voted to the All-MIAA teams. Honored in women's track were Price, Sowers and freshman Christy Watkin of Holland, Mich., and in men's track Kattelus, Perez, Rabuck, Veldman and senior Garett Childs of Breckenridge, Mich.

There was a major assault on the Hope track record book with 12 new marks. New individual women's records were established by Christy Watkin, 200-meter dash (:26.15); Jennifer Price, 800-meter run (2:12.22), and junior Anna King of Downers Grove, Ill., 3,000-meter steeplechase (13:16.00). Men's individual marks were established by Joe Kattelus, shotput (52-5 1/2) and discus (162-1); Steve Rabuck, 800-meter run (1:51.86); Joe Veldman, 5,000-meter run (14:41.90); and Ed Perez, 400-meter hurdles (:53.25). Records were set in every relay. The women's 4x100-meter relay of sophomore Karen Clark of Midland, Mich., Christy Watkin, sophomore Brooke Oosting of Grand Rapids, Mich., and Jennifer Price was timed in :50.03, while the 4x400-meter relay of Brooke Oosting, sophomore Jessica Oosting of Grand Rapids, Mich., Jennifer Price and Christy Watkin was clocked in 4:02.08. The men's 4x100-meter relay of freshman Sophy Teng of Holland, Mich., senior Eric Shooks of Central Lake, Mich., senior Jacob Sitati of Nairobi, Kenya, and freshman Chris Clark of Holland, Mich., was timed in :42.33, while the 4x400-meter relay of Ed Perez, junior Seth Palmer of Marshall, Mich., junior Curtis Tyler of Grand Ledge, Mich., and Garett Childs was clocked in 3:19.67.

SOFTBALL Winning Tradition Continues; Senior is NCAA All-American

For a record eighth consecutive year, the Flying Dutch surpassed 20 victories in a season. Coach Karla Hoesch '73 Wolters's Dutch finished second in the MIAA standings while posting an overall 21-12 mark. One of the games was an exciting 10-inning, 3-2 loss to eventual national champion Muskingum, Ohio. The Dutch posted their 300th victory under Coach Wolters, who in 14 seasons at Hope is 310-178 and in 23 years of coaching college softball is 479-256.

Senior catcher Carrie Scott of Centreville, Mich., was voted an NCAA Division III All-American for the second time in her career. Voted the most valuable player in the MIAA, she set Hope single season records for home runs (10) and total bases (81) with a .412 batting average and .836 slugging percentage. In her career she hit 23 home runs with 102 RBIs and 240 total bases, all Hope records.

Scott's career nearly ended in her freshman year, when she suffered a serious knee injury. She was able to return the following year and began that season with a 29-game hitting streak.

Voted to the All-America second team, she is the third Hope catcher to receive the national honor, joining Deb Vashaw '92 Sleeman and Amy Moeckel '96 Peterson.

Senior pitcher Kim Grotenhuis of Holland, Mich., joined Scott as a three-time All-MIAA softball player. This spring Grotenhuis posted a 12-6 record with a school-record 0.90 earned run average. Over her career, she was 47-23 and had a school-record 396 strike outs.

Grotenhuis was presented the college's John Schouten Award as the outstanding female senior athlete and the Southland Medal as the outstanding woman in the senior class. During her career she was all-conference in volleyball and softball. Maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average, she was named a Verizon/GTE Academic All-American in both sports.

MEN'S TENNIS Flying Dutchmen Challenge; Players Receive Honors

The Flying Dutchmen were runnerup to perennial MIAA champion Kalamazoo. At the MIAA championships, coach Steve Gorno's Dutchmen advanced to the finals in five of six singles flights and all three doubles flights. Kalamazoo prevailed in each, but not without a spirited Hope challenge. Two of three doubles championship matches went three sets.

Junior Dan Mann of Spring Lake, Mich., and senior Kai Bouchard of Hinsdale, Ill., were voted to the All-MIAA first team. Bouchard was also presented the league's Stowe Sportsmanship Award, marking the third straight year it has been presented to a Hope player.

The Lawrence Green Scholarship was presented to senior Kevin Gingras of Muskegon, Mich., making it four straight years that the award, established in memory of longtime Hope physical educator Lawrence "Doc" Green, has gone to a Hope player.

WOMEN'S TENNIS Flying Dutch Second in MIAA; Senior Kristin Kooyer is MVP

Hope's string of MIAA championships was snapped, but the Flying Dutch finished strong to gain second place in the conference standings. Coach Karen Page's Dutch posted a 10-10 dual match record.

Senior Kristin Kooyer of Grand Haven, Mich., was voted the league's most valuable player. She had the distinction of going her entire collegiate career undefeated in conference singles matches. This season she was league champion at the first flight after winning the third flight crown as both as junior and sophomore and the fourth flight as a freshman. She ended second alltime in singles victories with an 84-12 mark surpassed only by Audrey Coates '97 Akland, who was 87-17.

WOMEN'S GOLF Lacey Wicksall Honored As Nation's Top Freshman

Freshman Lacey Wicksall of Traverse City, Mich., was voted the national Division III freshman player of the year by the College Golf Coaches Association.

Wicksall qualified for the NCAA Division III championships and achieved All-America distinction by finishing 15th in a field of 60 golfers at nationals. Her average of 78.8 strokes per 18-hole round was the third best among individual qualifiers for the tournament and the second best among all freshman competitors. Last fall she was the MIAA conference medalist. She becomes Hope's third All-America female golfer, joining Lisa Stover '94 and Ellen Colenbrander '00.