The Hope College swimming and diving teams launch their season Saturday (Oct. 20) with a home non-conference dual meet with DePauw University of Indiana.
The meet will signal the start of a busy first month of the season highlighted by four home meets. Hope will also be hosting the MIAA championships at the Holland Aquatic Center from Feb. 21-23.
Coach John Patnott returns for his 21st season as head coach. In 20 seasons, Patnott has coached Hope swimmers (men and women) to 28 national championships. A total of 100 swimmers and divers in the men's and women's programs have achieved NCAA All-America status.
Last year both Hope teams finished runner-up in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). The Flying Dutchmen went on to place fourth at the men's NCAA Division III championships while the Flying Dutch ended 14th in the women's national competition.
The Flying Dutchmen return 19 letterwinners, including five swimmers who achieved NCAA All-America status. Leading the returnees is senior Josh Boss of Jenison, Mich. (Jenison HS) who was voted the NCAA Division III swimmer of the year after he captured national championships in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke events. Boss has been an NCAA All-American 13 times in his career with five national championships.
Other returning All-Americans on the men's team are junior Tim DeHaan of Haslett (Haslett HS), sophomore Chris Hamstra of Zeeland (Zeeland HS), junior Ian Kobes of Holland (Holland HS), junior Brian Slagh of Zeeland (Zeeland HS).
DeHaan was an All-American in two events, finishing sixth in the 50-yard freestyle and eighth in the 100-yard freestyle, while slagh placed seventh in the 200-yard freestyle. Hamstra and Kobes were members of All-America relay teams.
Other returning letterwinners on the men's team include senior Gary Albrecht of Grandville (Jenison HS), junior Daniel Bouwens of Zeeland (Zeeland HS), senior Nathan Farrar of Alma (Alma HS), senior Adam Hopkins of Niles (Niles HS), junior Adam Lyng of Hudsonville (Hudsonville HS), senior Andrew Mullenix of Battle Creek (Harper Creek HS), sophomore Brad Norden of Jenison (Jenison HS), senior Chris Repair of Battle Creek (Harper Creek HS), sophomore Jeff Seymour of Holland (Holland HS), sophomore Matt Stoltz of Pleasant Lake (Northwest HS), sophomore Jake Taber of Battle Creek (Lakeview HS), junior John Vinke of South Holland, Ill. (Thornwood HS) and senior Christopher Working of Holland (Zeeland HS).
The Flying Dutch return 13 letterwinners, including four swimmers who were All-MIAA honorees. Sophomore Michelle Smith of Olympia, Wash. was a triple winner at the MIAA championships in the distance (200, 500 and 1,650) freestyle events. Other returning All-MIAA swimmers are sophomore Audrey Arnold of Richmond, Ind. (Richmond HS), junior Kelly Parker of Battle Creek (Lakeview HS) and junior Erin VandenBerg of Beverly Hills, Mich. (Southfield Christian HS).
Other returning letterwinners include sophomore Lindsay Close of Holland (West Ottawa HS), senior Karen Fischer of Northville (Northville HS), sophomore Jennifer Franklin of Portage (Portage Central HS), sophomore Sarah Keenan of Portage (Portage Northern HS), sophomore Haley Martin of Battle Creek (Lakeview HS), senior Laura Smith of Dearborn (Dearborn HS), sophomore Jennifer Strach of Saline (Saline HS), sophomore Melissa Sulok of South Bend, Ind. (Clay HS), and senior Brooke Vivian of McBain (McBain HS).