Hope College has qualified eight swimmers for the NCAA Division III men's swimming and diving championships to be held March 21-23 at the University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio.
A year ago coach John Patnott's Dutchmen finished fourth at the 51-team national meet. Patnott has guided the Flying Dutchmen to top ten finishes 10 of the past 11 years. The best finish was second in 1995.
The Hope contingent will be led by senior Josh Boss (Jenison HS) who will be bidding to become just the sixth swimmer in NCAA Division III history to be a national champion in the same event four consecutive years. Boss is the three-time defending national champion in the 200-yard breaststroke. He also won the national title in the 100-yard breaststroke as a freshman (1999) and junior (2001) and was second as a sophomore (2000). Last year he was chosen the Division III Swimmer of the Year. He holds the Division III national record in both breaststroke events -- :54.69 in the 100 in 1999 and 1:58.90 in the 200 in 2001. This year he is the top-seeded swimmer in both events. He has been an NCAA All-American 13 times in his career.
Juniors Tim DeHaan (Haslett HS) and Brian Slagh (Zeeland HS) are returning All-Americans in two events. A year ago DeHaan finished sixth at nationals in the 50-yard freestyle and was eighth in the 100-yard freestyle. He is seeded fifth and eighth respectively in those events this year. Slagh was seventh in the 200-yard freestyle a year ago and is seeded eighth this year. Both contributed to Hope's success in relays last year, DeHaan swimming in five All-America relays and Slagh in three.
Junior Ian Kobes (Holland HS) is seeded sixth in the 100-yard backstroke and seventh in the 200-yard backstroke. He was an honorable mention All-American in those events last year, finishing 14th in the 200 and 16th in the 100. He also swam the backstroke leg on Hope's two All-America medley relays.
Sophomore Chris Hamstra (Zeeland HS) will be competing in the 200-yard freestyle where he is seeded 22nd and will swim legs of two freestyle relays (800 and 400). He was an All-American in three relay events last year.
Competing in a national meet for the first time will be junior Daniel Bouwens (Zeeland HS), freshman Jeffrey Heydlauff (Chelsea HS) and freshman Jeff Vroegindewey (Portage Central HS). They will swim in Hope's relay entries.
Both Bouwens and Vroegindewey have had older brothers achieve NCAA All-America distinction as Hope swimmers, Tom Bouwens swam legs on four All-America relay teams in 1999 and 2000 while Scott Vroegindewey was an All-American on five relay teams in 2000 and 2001.
Joshua Boss, senior from Jenison/Jenison HS
Daniel Bouwens, junior from Zeeland/Zeeland HS
Tim DeHaan, junior from Haslett/Haslett HS
Chris Hamstra, sophomore from Zeeland/Zeeland HS
Jeffrey Heydlauff, freshman from Chelsea/Chelsea HS
Ian Kobes, junior from Holland/Holland HS
Brian Slagh, junior from Holland/Zeeland HS
Jeff Vroegindewey, freshman from Kalamazoo/Portage Central HS
200 FREESTYLE RELAY
Seeded #4, 1:23.49 (Brian Slagh, Jeff Heydlauff, Jeff Vroegindewey, Tim DeHaan)
Brian Slagh (seeded #17, 4:37.46)
Tim DeHaan (seeded #5, :20.92)
Josh Boss (seeded #43, :21.88)
400 MEDLEY RELAY
Seeded #2, 3:23.13 (Ian Kobes, Josh Boss, Dan Bouwens, Tim DeHaan)
200 MEDLEY RELAY
Seeded #3, 1:33.05 (Ian Kobes, Josh Boss, Dan Bouwens, Brian Slagh)
Brian Slagh (seeded #8,1:41.46)
Tim DeHaan (seeded #17, 1:42.45)
Chris Hamstra (seeded #22, 1:42.69)
Josh Boss (seeded #1, :55.74)
Ian Kobes (seeded #6, :51.35)
800 FREESTYLE RELAY
Seeded #7, 6:53.51 (Brian Slagh, Jeff Vroegindewey, Chris Hamstra, Tim DeHaan)
Ian Kobes (seeded #7, 1:52.19)
Tim DeHaan (seeded #8, :46.18)
Brian Slagh (seeded #17, :46.36)
Josh Boss (seeded #1, 2:01.16)
400 FREESTYLE RELAY
Seeded #3, 3:04.17 (Brian Slagh, Jeff Vroegindewey, Chris Hamstra, Tim DeHaan)