Posted: Feb 23, 2018
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Calvin women's swimming and diving team continued to widen its lead at the MIAA Championships Friday at the Venema Aquatic Center.
With one day of competition left, the Knights hold a commanding 172-point lead over second place Hope.
The Knights put together a memorable evening, setting three school records.
Calvin opened the finals with a bang, winning the 200 medley relay in a school record and NCAA B' cut qualifying time of 1:45.35. The relay consisted of freshman Hannah Chao (Farmington Hills, Mich./North Farmington HS), senior Rachel Mattson (Ann Arbor, Mich./Ann Arbor Huron HS), freshman Jenna Oezer (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) and senior Abby VanHarn. VanHarn was able to pull the relay into first place in the final 25 yards as the Knights edged Hope's relay by two-tenths of a second for the win.
VanHarn then led a fantastic cadre of Calvin Knights in the 200 freestyle as the Knights swept the top five spots with VanHarn winning the event for the fourth consecutive year. VanHarn won the race with an NCAA III B' cut qualifying time of 1:50.79 while junior teammate Anna Serino (Pinckney, Mich./Pinckney HS) was right behind with a B' cut qualifying time of 1:51.55. Senior Madelyn Smith (Allegan, Mich./Allegan HS) was third with a career-best time of 1:53.36 while sophomore Libby Engle (Troy, Mich./Troy HS) was fourth with a career-best tiem of 1:53.63. Junior Kendall Murphy (Modesto, Ca./Home Schooled) was fifth with a career-best time of 1:54.98.
In the 100 butterfly, Jenna Oezer set a new school record, taking second with a time of 57.56. Sophomore Emily Gunderson (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) also surpassed the previous school record of 58.04 with a third place time of 57.78.
Chao set a school record in the 100 backstroke, taking third in a time of 57.31 while sophomore Abbey Wellman (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point HS) was fourth (57.78) and sophomore Sydney Boyer (Bristol, Ind./Northridge HS) seventh (1:00.62).
Sophomore Emily Slenk (Holland, Mich./Holland Christian HS) was fifth in the 400 IM (4:46.22). In the 100 breaststroke, Mattson was fourth (1:08.48) and junior Elysa Wolf (Austin, Tx./Regents School of Austin) seventh (1:08.97).
The evening was capped off by senior Sarah Bradley (Wheaton, Il./Wheaton North HS) who captured the one-meter diving competition for the second straight year, doing so with a score of 453.60. Bradley opened the evening finals in fourth but moved her way to the top with three clutch dives at the conclusion of her program to win the event by a nine-point margin.
Freshman Joselyn Smith (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland West HS) had a strong performance, taking third with a score of 420.80. Freshman Hannabeth Magnussen (Oakdale, Ca./Ripon Christian HS) also scored in the finals, placing seventh with a score of 380.25.
"I'm extremely proud of my divers tonight," said Calvin diving coach Aaron Paskvan. "Sarah Bradley showed her mettle and proved she was a champion diver this evening. This is a big confidence booster for her and I thrilled to see her win a championship tonight. Joselyn and Hannabeth also dove very well. To have two freshman divers reach the finals and dive as well as they did is wonderful. They both continue to improve and I am excited to watch them moving forward."
Calvin head swim coach Dan Gelderloos was also thrilled with his entire women's team. "We had another outstanding night," said Gelderloos. "The medley relay really got our energy up right away and it just carried through the evening. Three school records in one night is impressive and it was great to see Sarah lead the way in diving tonight as well. This is a very tight team with strong bonds. They work so well supporting one another and it showed again tonight."
Action continues Saturday morning with prelims at 10 a.m. with evening finals set to begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Venema Aquatic Center.
MIAA WOMEN'S TEAM SCORES