Calvin Men's Swimming and Diving Vaults Into 10th Place at NCAA III Championships

Calvin Men's Swimming and Diving Vaults Into 10th Place at NCAA III Championships

GREENSBORO, N.C. - The Calvin men's swimming and diving team has vaulted into 10th place in the team standings through two days of competition at the NCAA III Championships.

The Knights used three All-America performances on Thursday to boost their point total up to 71 points.

Calvin had a pair of All-America relay swims as its 200 freestyle relay took seventh while its 400 medley relay took seventh. In addition, sophomore Julian Iturbe (Caracas, Venezuela/Colegio Emil Friedman) was an All-American individually in the 200 freestyle, placing eighth.

The Knights got the day off with a bang, clocking the sixth-best time of the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:21.51. The relay of senior Ben Holstege (Keswick, Va./Covenant HS), senior Jared Britton (Falls Church, Va./Chesapeake HS), Iturbe and freshman Noah Holstege (Keswick, Va./Covenant HS) then took eighth in the evening finals with a time of 1:21.39. The relay finish marked Calvin's (men) first All-America relay performance since 2003.

Iturbe qualified for the evening finals in the 200 freestyle by finishing eighth in the morning prelims, nabbing the last spot in the finals by two-hundreths of a second (1:38.88). He then came back to take eighth in the evening finals with a time of 1:39.17.

Calvin's 400 medley relay team of Ben Holstege, senior Skyler Fish (Ionia, Mich./Ionia HS), Britton and Iturbe were eighth in the morning prelims (3:16.72) and then seventh in the evening finals (3:16.35).

"I told the team heading into the day that a meet like this can give you a dose of humility," said Calvin head swim coach Dan Gelderloos. "It doesn't care what you are supposed to do on paper or how you feel on that particular day. I have to give credit to our team for turning the page after a disappointing day one. Our relays were outstanding. We had four relay swims and we lowered our time in each race which was fantastic. Julian swam a great prelim to get to the evening final. He had an outstanding finish that got him that slight edge to get him into the championship final. It's a tremendous accomplishment for him."

Gelderloos also cited the performance of Britton in the 100 butterfly prelims as he had fast swim of 49.35. "That was the best (butterfly) swim Jared has ever had at nationals," said Gelderloos. "He is giving everything he has at this meet and I love watching the way he is leading our guys."

Action continues with morning prelims at 10 a.m. with championship finals set for 6 p.m. on Friday.