posted February 10, 2006

MIAA Swimming & Diving Highlights

Both Hope swimming and diving teams ended second at the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships.

Olivet won its first-ever men's championship edging the Flying Dutchmen 559-532. Next was Calvin with 314, followed by Kalamazoo 294, Albion 293 and Alma 92.

Calvin repeated as women's champion with 621.5 points, followed by Hope 47, Olivet 373, Kalamazoo 274.5, Albion 210, Alma 89 and Saint Mary's 87.

Hope senior Kurtis Blohm of Wilmington, Ohio was voted the MIAA's most valuable swimmer for the second year in-a-row.
Blohm was a triple individual champion and a member of four league champion relay teams.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11 HIGHLIGHTS

Freshman Andrea Keller (Kokomo, Ind.) opened Saturday's finals by winning the 1650 freestyle in 18:03.24. It marks the fifth time in six years that a Hope swimmer has won the marathon race for women.

It was a good night for Hope's backstrokers. The Flying Dutch finished one-two in the women's 200 backstroke. Junior Sarah Diekevers (Jenison) and freshman Brittaney Reest (Holland, Mich.) led the field. Diekevers had an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 2:07.28 while Reest was clocked in (2:08.24). 

Sophomore Wade Engers (Ann Arbor, Mich.) won the men's 200 back in 1:56.15. He earlier won the gold in the 100 backstroke.

Senior Kurtis Blohm (Wilmington, Ohio) claimed his third gold medal of the meet winning the 100 freestyle in MIAA record time (:45.38).  He earlier won the 50 and 200 freestyle events.  His 100 (:45.38) and 50 (:20.37) times were both NCAA qualifying performances.  It marks the second consecutive year that Blohm has been a triple winner.  He has been an MIAA gold medal winner seven times in his career.

Junior Lisa Smith (Dearborn, Mich.) set her second league record and won her third event by capturing the 200 butterfly. Her time of 2:06.18 shattered the old mark of Hope's Dawn Hoving by nearly two seconds (2:08.16 in 1993).  Smith earlier set a league record in winning the 100 butterfly and was also the champion in the 50 freestyle.  Her butterly times were NCAA qualifying
 performances.  Smith avenged 2005 losses in both butterfly events to Olivet's Jill Lingbeek by beating the Comet senior in both events this year.  As a freshman Smith was the 2004 league champion in both butterfly events.

Freshman diver Jacob Hoekstra (Grandville, Mich.) captured the three-meter championship edging defending champion Dan Fradeneck of Albion. Earlier in the one-meter competition Fradeneck and Hoekstra finished one-two. Hoekstra's three-meter point total of 467.25 was an NCAA provisional performance.  He is Hope's first three-meter MIAA champion since 1988 when Jim Mitchell, now Hope's diving coach, captured the gold.

The Flying Dutchmen won their fourth relay title by capturing the meet-ending
400 freestyle relay.  The team of Chas VanderBroek, Jeff Vroegindewey, Ryan Vogelzang, Kurtis Blohm had an NCAA conditional qualifying time of 3:04.85.

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 10 HIGHLIGHTS

The second day of the MIAA swimming and championships has one team running away from the field in the women's competition and one of the closest team races in recent years in the men's meet.

Defending champion Hope has a slim lead in the men's meet, leading an upstart Olivet team by only seven points, 360-353. Next is Calvin at 211, followed by Albion 210, Kalamazoo 187 and Alma 84.

Calvin is well on it way to winning the women's championships. The Knights have 463.50 points, followed by Hope 319, Olivet 329, Kalamazoo 213.5, Albion 160, Saint Mary's 64 and Alma 63.

The Flying Dutch opened Friday's competition by winning the 200 medley relay in league record time. The team of freshman Brittaney Reest (Holland, Mich.), senior Lisa Ekdom (Holland, Mich.), junior Lisa Smith (Dearborn, Mich.) and junior Carlie Annessa of Mandeville, La. had an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 1:48.87 erasing the old mark of 1:49.24 set by Hope in 1998.

Lisa Smith captured her second gold medal of the meet winning the 100 butterfly in an NCAA qualifying time of :56.52. Earlier in the day's prelims she set a conference record of :56.32. She also broke the 13-year-old record of :56.43 by Dawn Hoving. In winning the event for the second time in her career, Smith avenged a 2005 loss to Olivet's Jill Lingbeek who was runnerup this year.

Senior Kurtis Blohm (Wilmington, Ohio) won his second gold medal of the meet capturing the 200 freestyle with an NCAA provisional time of 1:40.98. He earlier won the 50 freestyle.

A key moment in the men's meet came in the 100 backstroke as Hope finished one-two in a championship final that included three Olivet swimmers. Junior Wade Engers (Ann Arbor, Mich.) entered the race seeded third while senior Jeff Vroegindewey (Kalamazoo, Mich.) was seeded second. Engers was the first to the wall with a career-best :53.76 while Vroegindewey was clocked in :54.78.

Friday's competition ended with Hope winning the 800 freestyle relay for the first time since 1995. The team of sophomore Chas VanderBroek (Holland, Mich.), Jeff Vroegindewey, Kurt Blohm, and sophomore Daniel Gardner (Alma., Mich.) had an NCAA conditional qualifying time of 6:56.30.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9 HIGHLIGHTS

Thru Thursday, Hope tops the men's standings while the Flying Dutch are second in the women's race. Scores in the men's meet are: 1. Hope 178, 2. Olivet 145, 3. Calvin 103, 4. Albion 102, 5. Kalamazoo 73, Alma 39. Scores in the women's meet are 1. Calvin 234, 2. Hope 133, 3. Kalamazoo 117, 4. Albion 103, 5. Olivet 88, 6. Alma 36, 7. Saint Mary's 28.

On Thursday night, Hope swimmers were crowned champions in both the women's and men's 50 freestyle. Senior Kurt Blohm (Wilmington, Ohio) successfully defended his championship with an MIAA and Hope record time of :20.67. Blohm also qualified for the NCAA Division III championships where a year ago he was the national silver medalist (:20.71). The old Hope mark of :20.69 was first set by All-American Rob Peel in 1986 and tied by Blohm in 2005. Junior Lisa Smith (Dearborn, Mich.) won the women's sprint with an NCAA conditional time of :24.18.

Hope won the men's 200 freestyle relay for an unprecedented 18th consecutive year. The team of sophomore Chas VanderBroek (Holland, Mich.), junior Jacob Holton (Chelsea, Mich.), sophomore J. Ryan Vogelzang (Holland, Mich.), and senior Jeff Vroegindewey (Kalamazoo, Mich.) had an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 1:24.23. In a time trial after Thursday's events, the relay was clocked in 1:22.47, an NCAA automatic qualifying time and Hope record. Recording one of the fastest times in Division III this year were Vanderbroek, Holton, Vroegindewey and Blohm.

The Flying Dutchmen concluded the first day of competition by winning the 400 medley relay for a seventh consecutive year. The team of Kurt Blohm, Ryan Vogelzang, Kyle Waterstone, and Chas VanderBroek had an NCAA conditional qualifying time of 3:29.08.