The Hope swimming/diving teams launch their 2000/2001 seasons Saturday (Nov. 11) hosting Albion in an MIAA dual meet at Kresge Natatorium in the Dow Center.

Flying Dutch Pre-Season Outlook

The Flying Dutch face a major challenge in their bid to keep alive their string of Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) championships and accomplishments on a national level.

Last year, after winning a ninth consecutive MIAA championship, the Flying Dutch finished sixth at the NCAA Division III championships. It marked the 10th consecutive year that coach John Patnott's Flying Dutch were a top-ten team.

The 2000-01 pre-season roster of 19 swimmers and divers includes eight letterwinners and just one senior.

Three returning swimmers achieved both All-MIAA and NCAA All-Americans honors last year.

Senior Betsy VandenBerg of Beverly Hills, Mich. (Southfield Christian HS) captured the Division III national championship in the 200-yard breaststroke. She establish a new DIII record in winning the event and also achieved All-America distinction with third place finishes in the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard individual medley.

Sophomore Erin VandenBerg of Beverly Hills, Mich. (Southfield Christian HS) and junior Laura Smith of Dearborn, Mich. (Dearborn HS) each achieved All-America designation as members of relay teams. Erin VandenBerg was also the MIAA champion in the 500-yard and 1,650-yard freestyle events.

Other returning letterwinners include junior Jenna Anderson of Cincinnati, Ohio (Anderson HS), junior Karen Fischer of Northville, Mich. (Northville HS), sophomore Kelley Parker of Battle Creek, Mich. (Lakeview HS), junior Briony Peters of Menominee, Mich. (Menominee HS), and sophomore Emily Ward of Ionia, Mich. (Ionia HS).

Flying Dutchmen Pre-Season Outlook

A blend of returning veterans along with swimmers new to the program should put the Flying Dutchmen in a position to compete for the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) championship and make a splash on the national scene.

Last year coach John Patnott's Dutchmen finished sixth in the nation among NCAA Division III teams. It was the ninth time in 10 years that the Dutchmen have accomplished that feat.

The pre-season roster of 26 swimmers for 2000-01 includes 15 returning letterwinners. Five of the swimmers achieved All-MIAA distinction and four were NCAA All-Americans.

Returning All-MIAA swimmers are junior Josh Boss of Jenison, Mich. (Jenison HS), senior Chris Dattels of Wilmette, Ill. (New Trier HS), sophomore Chris Roecker of Battle Creek, Mich. (Lakeview HS), sophomore Brian Slagh of Holland, Mich. (Zeeland HS), and senior Scott Vroegindewey of Kalamazoo, Mich. (Portage Central HS).

Josh Boss is the two-time defending NCAA Division III national champion in the 200-yard breaststroke. He was the national silver medalist in the 100-yard breaststroke after winning the gold in that event as a freshman. He also competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials last summer.

Chris Dattels achieved NCAA All-America recognition last season by finishing seventh in the 100-yard backstroke. He was also an honor mention All-American by winning the consolation finals at nationals in the 200-yard backstroke. He had an outstanding junior year, establishing Hope and MIAA backstroke records.

Brian Slagh and Scott Vroegindewey were All-Americans in relay events highlighted by a third place finish in school-record time in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Other returning letterwinners include junior Gary Albrecht of Jenison, Mich. (Jenison HS), sophomore Daniel Bouwens of Zeeland, Mich., sophomore Tim DeHaan of Haslett, Mich. (Haslett HS), junior Nathan Farrar of Alma, Mich. (Alma HS), junior Adam Hopkins of Niles, Mich. (Niles HS), sophomore Adam Lyng of Hudsonville, Mich. (Hudsonville HS), senior Padric Moore of Holland Patent, N.Y. (Holland Patent Central HS), junior Andrew Mullenix of Battle Creek, Mich. (Lakeview HS), sophomore John Vinke of South Holland, Ill. (Thornwood HS), and junior Chris Working of Holland, Mich. (Zeeland HS).

Hope will host the MIAA championships at the Holland Aquatic Center from Feb. 15-17.