posted February 1, 2010

Hope Highlights at MIAA Swimming/Diving Championships

The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) swimming and diving championships have concluded.

* The Flying Dutchmen have won their third consecutive men's MIAA championship. It is also the 12th men's MIAA championship in school history.

* The Flying Dutch finished second in the women's MIAA championship standings.

Coach John Patnott has now guided Hope swimming/diving teams to 31 MIAA championships, 12 by the Flying Dutchmen and 19 by the Flying Dutch. He ranks second alltime among MIAA coaches in championships won. The alltime leader is George Acker who coached Kalamazoo to 35 MIAA men's tennis titles.

Final Men's Standings: 1. Hope 878, 2. Kalamazoo 853, 3. Olivet 493, 4. Calvin 428, 5. Alma 277, 6. Albion 195.

Final Women's Standings: 1. Calvin 939, 2. Hope 715, 3. Kalamazoo 442, 4. Albion 374, 5. Olivet 289, 6. Alma 262, 7. Saint Mary's 241.

THIRD DAY HIGHLIGHTS (2/13/10)

* Junior Sarah Sohn of Arlington Heights, Ill. (Prospect HS) won her third gold medal of the championships capturing the marathon 1,650 freestyle in 17:33.09. She was the defending champion in the event. She earlier took first in the 500 free and 400 IM.

* The Flying Dutchmen gained 32 points over Kalamazoo in the race for the men's title by taking the first four places in the marathon 1,650 freestyle. Freshman Josh Grabijas of Howell (Howell) took the gold, his second of the meet, in 16:01.73. He was followed by teammates Jeff Shade of Davison (Davison HS), 16:08.06; James Richardson of Mount Vernon, Ohio (Mount Vernon HS), 16:09.30; and Andrew Rose of Holland (Grandville HS), 16:23.73. Shade the defending MIAA champion in the event. Grabijas, Shade and Richardson all had NCAA consideration times.

* Teammates Libby Westrate (Grandville/Grandville HS) and Christina Vogelzang (Holland/Holland Christian HS) finished one-two in the 100 freestyle. Westrate, a freshman, earlier won the 200 free. Her 100 time (:52.77) was an NCAA consideration time.

SECOND DAY HIGHLIGHTS (2/12/10)

* Sophomore Sarah Sohn of Arlington Heights, Ill. (Prospect HS) won her second gold medal of the meet capturing the 400 IM (4:38.58). In the prelims she had a season-best time of 4:37.97. Her time is an NCAA championships consideration performance. Teammate Chelsea Wiese, a sophomore from Rochester (Rochester Adams HS) finished in second place at 4:41.20. Sohn earlier won the 500-yard freestyle.

* Senior Phil Heyboer of Zeeland (Holland Christian HS) won the 400 IM for a fourth consecutive year with an MIAA record time of 4:00.24. The old mark, set by Heyboer in 2008, was 4:03.55. Heyboer has qualified for the NCAA championships next month with an earlier time of 3:59.31. Teammate Jeff Shade, a sophomore from Davison (Davison HS) finished second in 4:08.85.

* Freshman Libby Westrate of Grandville (Grandville HS) captured the gold medal in the 200 freestyle with an NCAA consideration time of 1:55.22.

* The men's 200 freestyle epitomized the title race going on between Hope and Kalamazoo. Seven of the eight swimmers in the finals were from the two schools. While Kalamazoo took first, second and third place, Hope ended fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth to leave the Hornets with a slim 53-52 point advantage.

* In the men's 100 butterfly, Kalamazoo's Paul Ellis denied Hope's Ryan Nelis (senior from Holland/West Ottawa HS) a fourth straight MIAA championship, defeating Nelis by .46 seconds (:49.81/:50.27)

* Freshman Laura Cameron of Ann Arbor (Pioneer HS) and senior Mitch Ruch of Zeeland (Zeeland West HS) had NCAA consideration times as each finished second in the 100-yard backstroke.

* The Flying Dutch concluded Friday's competition by winning the 800-yard freestyle relay. The team of Sarah Sohn, senior Claire Piester of Columbia, Mo. (Hickman HS), Libby Westrate and senior Christina Vogelzang had an NCAA consideration time of 7:47.40.

FIRST DAY HIGHLIGHTS

* Hope swimmers won the gold medal in both the men's and women's 500 freestyle. Both sophomore Sarah Sohn of Arlington Heights, Ill. (Prospect HS) and freshman Josh Grabijas of Howell (Howell) had season-best and NCAA consideration times of 5:07.20 and 4:35.47 respectively.

* The Flying Dutchmen took the top five places in the 500 free led by Josh Grabijas (4:35.47), senior Phil Heyboer of Zeeland (Holland Christian), 4:36.81); sophomore Andrew Rose of Holland (Grandville HS), 4:39.54); senior James Richardson of Mt. Vernon, Ohio (Mt. Vernon HS), 4:39.87); and sophomore Jeffrey Shade of Davison (Davison HS), 4:41.07). The sweep gave the Flying Dutchmen 82 points toward their Thursday total.

* The Flying Dutchmen had one of their best performances in recent years in diving with three finalists on the one-meter board led by freshman Ray Gaskell of Oscoda (Oscoda HS) who was third. Teammates Matt Ray, a senior from Holland (Holland HS), and Thomas Knecht, a sophomore from Grand Rapids (GR Christian HS), were sixth and eighth respectively.

* NCAA consideration times were recorded by senior Aaron Welsch of St. Peters, Mo. (Ft. Zumwalt South HS) in the 50 free (:20.87), freshman Libby Westrate of Grandville (Grandville HS), 50 free (:23.93); senior Ryan Nelis of Holland (West Ottawa HS) in the 200 IM (1:54.38); senior Phil Heyboer in the 500 free (4:36.81) and the women's 400 medley relay (3:58.46).