With competitors in 11 events, the Hope College
men's swimming team heads to the NCAA Division III national
championships with great expectations.
The 25th annual national meet will be held March 18-20 the
University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Coach John Patnott's Flying Dutchmen will be aiming for a
top ten performance as they compete in seven individual and four
The Dutchmen have been among the top ten teams seven of the
last eight years, including a 10th place finish a year ago.
Alot of the attention will be focussed on freshman Josh Boss
(Jenison) who enters the meet as the top-seeded swimmer in the
100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke events. His time in the 100
breaststroke (:55.12) is faster than any Division III national
championship performance ever. The winning time a year ago was
:56.05. The Division III record, which can be set only at the
national championships, is :55.92 by Gary Simon of Claremont-
Mudd-Scripps, Calif. in 1997.
Boss is also seeded first in the 200-yard breaststroke with
a time of 2:02.60. The winning national championship time a year
ago in the 200 breaststroke was 2:01.92 and the Division III
record is 2:01.33.
Sophomore Joshua Ficke (Etiwanda, Calif.) will compete in
the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle where he is seeded
16th (:21.03) and 39th (:47.34) respectively while sophomore
Chris Dattels (Wilmette, Ill.) will swim in the 100-yard
backstroke and 200-yard backstroke where he is seeded 13th
(:52.35) and 24th (1:55.63). Junior Jarod Lippert (Alma HS) is
seeded 30th in the 100-yard butterfly (:51.78).
The Flying Dutchmen will also compete in the 200-yard
freestyle relay (seeded 13th, 1:24.55), the 400-yard freestyle
relay (seeded ninth, 3:06.95), the 200-yard medley relay (seeded
fifth, 1:33.17) and 400-yard medley relay (seeded third,
3:24.52). Members of the relay teams will include Boss, junior
Tom Bouwens of Zeeland, Ficke, Dattels and Lippert.
A year ago Hope scored all of its points at nationals in
relay events. The 200-yard freestyle relay and 200-yard medley
relay achieved All-America distinction finishing seventh and
eighth respectively. Dattels, Ficke and Lippert were members of
those relay teams.