HOLLAND, Mich. - The Calvin men's swimming and diving team was unable to hold off a final-day charge by Albion at the MIAA Championships Saturday at the Holland Aquatic Center.
One year prior, Calvin fought off the Britons to win the league title by a scant six points. On Saturday, the Knights were unable to match the fire-power of the Albion squad as the Britons erased a 12-point deficit heading into Saturday and walked away with a 26-point margin of victory.
Albion finished the four-day meet with 912 points with Calvin second at 886 points.
The Britons outscored Calvin in three of the five individual events on Saturday including a decisive 79-40 margin in the 200 breaststroke. Albion also rang up 63 points in the diving events while Calvin went scoreless on the boards without a diving entrant at the meet.
Calvin had several outstanding swims on Saturday led by sophomore Julian Iturbe (Caracas, Venezuela/Colegio Emil Friedman) who captured the 1,650 freestyle with an NCAA III B' cut qualifying time of 16:11.29. Iturbe's time was 10 seconds clear of runner-up Mac Robertson of Albion. Calvin junior Tim Randall (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) also produced a top-eight finish, placing sixth in a time of 16:35.90.
Senior Skyler Fish (Ionia, Mich./Ionia HS) was also crowned an MIAA champion in the 200 backstroke, winning the race with a time of 1:50.60. Sophomore Colin Murphy (Troy, Mich./Brother Rice HS) was third in 1:52.97 and freshman Jake Boender (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) seventh in 1:59.34.
Calvin's 4x400 meter relay team of Iturbe, senior Jared Britton (Falls Church, Va./Chesapeake HS), Fish and senior Ben Holstege (Keswick, Va./Covenant HS) took home a league crown with an NCAA III B' cut qualifying time of 3:00.74.
Sophomore Ryan Gelderloos (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) placed fourth in the 200 butterfly (1:55.65) followed by junior Nathan Olberding (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville HS) fifth (1:56.07) and junior Brian Goins (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams HS) seventh (1:58.56).
"I thought our guys swam great again tonight," said Calvin head swim coach Dan Gelderloos. "We just got beat by a great team. Hats off to Albion for stepping up and performing at a high level. I can't fault my guys whatsoever. They gave it everything they had."
At the conclusion of the meet, Iturbe was named the MIAA's Most Valuable Swimmer. He is the fourth individual in Calvin history to receive the honor, joining Steve Ruiter (1983), Johnson Cochran (2015) and Ben Holstege (2018).
FINAL MIAA MEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS TEAM SCORES