posted June 12, 2009

Hope Swimmers Headed to First International Experience

Hope College swimmers over the years have excelled at venues throughout the United States. In the coming days members of the Flying Dutch and Flying Dutchmen teams will have an opportunity to test waters afar.

Coach John Patnott and 22 members of the teams will be travelling to Barcelona, Spain, site of the 1992 Summer Olympics, for a week of training, competition, community service and sightseeing.

The group leaves Friday, June 12 and returns Saturday, June 20.

Over the years the college has encouraged its Hope athletic teams to have an international experience. This will be a first for Hope's swimmers. Other teams that have traveled internationally include baseball, men's and women's basketball, football, men's golf, women's and men's soccer, softball and volleyball.

Hope's international roster will be comprised of swimmers from the 2008-09 program.  By NCAA rule, swimmers new to the team in 2009-10 may not participate.

The service project will consist of cleaning a park in the community of Callela where the team will be headquartered. A friendly meet will be held with the club swimming team in Sant Adrià on Friday (June 19).

The student-athletes taking the trip will be Ann Frisella of Arlington Heights, Ill., Ariel Humphrey of Fremont, Aria Kieft of Spring Lake, Brandon King of Willowbrook, Ill., Thomas Knecht of Grand Rapids, Elizabeth Nelis and Ryan Nelis of Holland, Jessie Parsons of Anchorage, Alaska; Kelsey Pierson of Indianapolis, Ind., Claire Piester of Columbia, Mo., Matt Ray of Holland, James Richardson of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Mitch Ruch of Zeeland, Kathryn Schewe of Berkley, Jeff Shade of Davison, Matt Smith of Holland, Clayton Sommers of Holland, Tessa Talsma of Grandville, Alicia Tuuk of Lansing, Ill., Christina Vogelzang of Holland, Kate Williams of Wheaton, Ill., and Whitney Willson of Commerce Township.