HOLLAND, Mich. - The Calvin men's swimming and diving team will carry a 15-point lead into the final day of competition at the MIAA Championships. The Knights have a team score of 617 points with Albion second with 602 points setting up another scintillating Saturday between the two conference rivals. A year ago, Calvin edged the Britons by six points to win the league title.
Calvin had another record-breaking evening and took first place in three events to help stay on top of the conference point standings.
Calvin's 200 medley relay team of senior Ben Holstege (Keswick, Va./Covenant HS), junior Sam Holstege (Keswick, Va./Covenant HS), senior Jared Britton (Falls Church, Va./Chesapeak HS) and freshman Noah Holstege (Keswick, Va./Covenant HS) led off the meet with a victory. The relay clocked in with an MIAA and school-record time of 1:29.41, breaking the previous MIAA record of 1:29.71 set by Albion last year and the previous Calvin record of 1:29.40 set by the same group this past December. The time is also an NCAA B' cut time and will place Calvin in the top five on the NCAA Division III best times list.
Ben Holstege had a busy night, repeating as MIAA champion in the 100 backstroke with an NCAA III B' cut qualifying time of 49.22. Ben Holstege helped Calvin pile up 61 points in the 100 backstroke as senior Skyler Fish (Ionia, Mich./Ionia HS) was second (50.40), freshman Noah Holstege was sixth (52.42) and freshman Jake Boender (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) eighth (54.59).
Calvin's biggest point total came in the 200 freestyle as sophomore Julian Iturbe (Caracas, Venezuela/Colegio Emil Friedman) won the race with an NCAA III B' cut qualifying time of 1:38.87, surging forward to the win in the final 25 yards. Iturbe was one of five Knights to score in the 200 freestyle as junior Tim Randall (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) was third (1:41.71), sophomore Ryan Gelderloos (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) fourth (1:42.76), freshman Trevor Sparks (Otsego, Mich./Otsego HS) ninth (1:43.77) and sophomore Colin Murphy (Troy, Mich./Brother Rice HS) 10th (1:44.86).
The Knights also had fireworks in the 100 butterfly as Britton took second with a school-record and NCAA III B' cut qualifying time of 49.01. His time eclipsed the previous Calvin record of 49.25 set by Peter Boumgarden in 2002. The record by Boumgarden had been the oldest record still standing in the Calvin men's swimming record books. Ben Holstege was fourth in a B' cut qualifying time of 49.28. Senior Nathan Olberding (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville HS) was seventh (51.75) and Boender ninth (53.50).
In the 100 breaststroke, Calvin picked up a total of 56 points with Sam Holstege third (58.48), junior Tristan Hazlett (Lutz, Fla./Home School) fourth (58.03), senior Jacob Lensing (Pella, Ia./Pella Christian HS) fifth (58.92) and junior Gabriel Kirk (Irvine, Ca./University HS) eighth (1:00.02).
"It was a good night for our team," said Calvin head swim coach Dan Gelderloos. "We have work to do but we are in the position we want to be in. We had some strong swims and exciting races. Our enthusiasm and support for each other was very high."
Gelderloos also commented on the long-standing record in the 100 butterfly broken by Britton on Friday. According to Gelderloos, Boumgarden, currently a professor in the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, texted Britton to congratulate him on the accomplishment. "Jared was very happy to break a record he has set his eyes on as a freshman," said Gelderloos. "Peter (Boumgarden) sent him a congratulatory text and Jared really appreciated that. Peter is a class act and it was great to see the connection between different generations of Knights within our swim program."
Calvin will return to action on Saturday with prelims set for 10 a.m. and finals slated for 5:30 p.m. at the Holland Aquatic Center.
MEN'S TEAM SCORES THROUGH 2-22-19