HOLLAND, Mich. - The 17th-ranked Calvin men's swimming and diving team put together an impressive set of performances at the MIAA Relays Friday night at the Holland Aquatic Center.
The annual unscored event featured several tradition relays as well as a new sprint knockout competition.
In the relay competition, Calvin took first place in four events.
Calvin won the 200 yard mixed medley relay which featured two members of the women's team and two from the men's team. Calvin's group of senior Ben Holstege (Keswick, Va./Covenant HS), sophomore Sam Holstege (Keswick, Va./Covenant HS), Jenna Oezer and Gunderson won in a time of 1:40.29.
In the 1500 yard freestyle relay, Calvin's trio of sophomore Julian Iturbe (Caracas, Venezuela/Colegio Emil Friedman HS), junior Tim Randall (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) and junior Brian Goins (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams HS) won in a time of 14:50.29, finishing 27 seconds ahead of the second place team from Kalamazoo.
Calvin's 400 IM relay of junior Fear Churchwell (Athens, Ga./Clarke Central HS), Sam Holstege, Ben Holstege and Skyler Fish (Ionia, Mich./Ionia HS) took first place in a time of 3:39.13. The Knights then claimed a victory in the 500 yard progressive freestyle relay as senior Jared Britton (Falls Church, Va./George Mason HS), freshman Trevor Sparks (Otsego, Mich./Otsego HS), Randall and Iturbe cruised to a win in a time of 4:15.30.
The Knights also posted a third place finish in the relay as senior Jacob Lensing (Pella, Ia./Pella Christian HS), junior Tristan Hazlett (Lutz, Fl./Home School), senior Nathan Olberding (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville HS) and Churchwell clocked in with a time of 4:26.89.
The sprint knockout rounds featured 50-yard sprint events with eight swimmers to an event. Each sprint even began with quarterfinal rounds paired down to semifinal rounds and then to a championship final of two.
In the 50 butterfly sprint, Olberding and Britton both advanced to the semifinals. Britton later advanced to the final before finishing second. His top time in the 50 butterfly was 24.19. Ben Holstege and Fish advanced to the finals in the 50 backstroke with Holstege winning the final in a time of 24.50. Churchwell advanced to the semifinals in the 50 breaststroke with his best time coming in at 27.83. In the 50 freestyle, Iturbe and Noah Holstege advanced to the semifinals. Iturbe went on to win the event with a time of 22.33 in the finals.
"It was a great night and a very fun format with the knock out 50's at the end," said Calvin head swim coach Dan Gelderloos. "Our team swam WITH each other which was the word of the week. We were able to highlight some of the best swimmers from all of the teams and I think everyone came out of her feeling good about the way this meet came together."
Calvin returns to action on Friday when it hosts a D3 quad meet with Ohio Northern, Albion and Carthage.