GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Calvin men's swimming and diving opens its 2017-18 home schedule on Friday night at the Venema Aquatic Center against Grand Valley State.
The Knights are coached by Dan Gelderloos. Coach Gelderloos is in his 22nd season at Calvin. He has won three MIAA men's titles, including the first men's title in program history in 2014. The Knights have won three of the last four MIAA titles. Calvin has had three MIAA MVP's under the command of coach Gelderloos. He is excited to start his 22nd season at Calvin.
"This is always a positive time of the year with everyone eager to embark on a new journey that leads to some successful results," said Calvin head coach Dan Gelderloos. "We are already off to a good start in the classroom as the team is reporting some good grades, the work in the pool has been as high as it has ever been, and the relationships are growing day by day. That is all a coach can ask for!"
The Knights return 22 letter winners, including all seven individuals that were All-MIAA selections last winter. The Knights also return two individuals that qualified for the 2017 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships. In addition, Calvin welcomes 13 freshmen to its roster of 35. Calvin is coming off a second-place finish at the MIAA Championships.
"Returning starters are always nice," said Gelderloos. "I don't know the exact numbers, but I believe both teams return the most points from last year's conference meet. Those are just numbers, but that is never a bad thing. It is going to depend on how our freshmen can contribute and if we can stay away from the injury bug."
The Knights return four All-MIAA honorees from the winter.
"Heading into the season, the MIAA has several new coaches that will bring some young energy to the conference which is always nice," said Gelderloos. "There are also several teams who have athletes who can compete at the NCAA meet in March. It is going to be another fun year that will offer some great challenges for our team. We know if we are going to contend, we need to continue to put in as many great practices as we can."
Calvin will open its season on Oct. 21 at Calvin's Venema Aquatic Center against Grand Valley. The Knights will host dual meets against Wheaton, Wayne State, Olivet, Alma, and Hope. Calvin will also host the MIAA Relays, the Calvin Quad, the Calvin Invite and the 2018 MIAA Championships.
"What I have loved watching over the first four weeks is the energy this team practices with," said Gelderloos. "It is contagious and has made me very eager to work with the team each day."
The NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships will take place March 21-24 in Indianapolis, Indiana.