HOLLAND, Mich. - The championship streak run for the Calvin women's swimming and diving team came to an end on Saturday evening as the Knights finished second in the final team standings at the MIAA Championships.
Hope snapped Calvin's 14-year stranglehold on the league crown by placing first with a final team total of 810 points with Calvin second with 793 points.
Calvin held a 63-point lead over Hope after Thursday's competition but the Flying Dutch cut the margin down to 37 points with a strong day of competition on Friday.
Hope continued to charge in Saturday's prelims and found a large opening when Calvin's 400 freestyle relay was disqualified in the prelims for leaving the blocks early. With a first place relay finish worth 40 points down a sliding scale that had seventh place worth 24 points, the relay DQ proved crucial.
Calvin held a 793-770 advantage over Hope heading into the final event of the meet - the 400 freestyle relay. Without a relay team to race with however, the Knights were unable to hold off Hope which claimed first place in the relay and moved past Calvin for the 17-point win.
"It's unfortunate how things played out but it will be something we will all learn and grow from," said Calvin head swim coach Dan Gelderloos. "Credit to Hope for performing the way it did and for winning the championship. I also credit our team for continuing to remain positive throughout the evening finals and competing with everything that it had left."
Calvin crowned two event champions on Saturday. Senior Anna Serino (Pinckney, Mich./Pinckney HS) claimed her second MIAA individual title of the meet by winning the 100 freestyle (51.37) while junior teammate Libby Engle (Troy, Mich./Troy HS) was seventh (53.68).
The Knights also took first and fifth on the one-meter diving board with sophomore Joselyn Smith (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland West HS) winning the event with a total of 439.95 while sophomore Hannabeth Magnussen (Oakdale, Ca./Ripon Christian HS) was fifth (420.80). Freshman Paige Lynch (Ionia, Mich./Ionia HS) was ninth (264.50).
Calvin had a strong showing in the 1,650 freestyle as senior Kendall Murphy (Modesto, Ca./Home Schooled) was second (17:50.62) while sophomore Robyn Ellens (Hamilton, Mich./Holland Christian HS) was third (17:52.03) with both individuals turning in season-best times in the process.
Calvin put two swimmers in the finals of the 200 breaststroke with freshman Kylie Shaw (Dixon, Il./Dixon HS) taking fifth (2:30.13) and freshman Samantha Sonday (Portage, Mich./Portage Central HS) taking eighth (2:12.33).
In the 200 butterfly, freshman Anna Weber (North Royalton, Oh./North Royalton HS) was fifth (2:12.39) and freshman Grace Anne Delcompare (Naples, Fla./Home Schooled) sixth (2:12.33).
At the conclusion of the competition, Smith was named the MIAA's Most Valuable Diver after winning the three-meter competition Thursday and the one-meter Saturday. She is the fourth individual in Calvin history to receive the award as Erica Deur (2009-2009), Samantha Klaasen (2011-2013) and Sarah Bradley (2017) were previously so honored.
"I'm extremely proud of our divers this week," said Calvin diving coach Aaron Paskvan. "I thought they competed hard and were willing to take on the bright lights of a conference championship. It's a great honor for Joselyn to win the (Most Valuable Diver) award and she performed at a high level this week. Hannabeth was also very strong and I love the way Paige has improved this year and has contributed to the team."
Attention will now turn to the NCAA III Central Diving Regional next Friday and Saturday at Wabash College with Smith and Magnussen both scheduled to compete.
FINAL MIAA WOMEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS TEAM SCORES