Traditions were continued and started during the winter sports season.
On the intercollegiate scene, a senior swimmer made NCAA history and both of Hope's basketball teams advanced to post-season tournament play.
While not an intercollegiate sport, the college's ice hockey club advanced to a national tournament. In addition, Hope's basketball cheerleading squad qualified for a national competition for the first time in school history.
In the end, Hope maintained its lead in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) all-sports standings. The Commissioner's Cup is presented annually to the member college with the best cumulative finish in all conference sports.
MEN'S SWIMMING & DIVING
With two national championship finishes, All-America performances in nine events and three Hope records, the Flying Dutchmen finished fifth at the NCAA Division III championships. It marked the 11th time in 12 years that coach John Patnott's Dutchmen have been a top-10 team nationally. This year's recognitions bring to 102 the number of NCAA All-Americans coached by Patnott in his 22 seasons at the helm.
Senior Josh Boss of Jenison, Mich., climaxed a brilliant collegiate swimming career by winning the national championship in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke events. In winning the 200, he became just the sixth swimmer in Division III history to win a national championship in the same event four consecutive years. He also won the 100 breaststroke three of his four years. Boss ended his career an NCAA All-American 17 times.
Other swimmers achieving NCAA All-America recognition were junior Daniel Bouwens of Zeeland, Mich., junior Tim DeHaan of Haslett, Mich., sophomore Chris Hamstra of Zeeland, Mich., freshman Jeffrey Heydlauff of Chelsea, Mich., junior Ian Kobes of Holland, Mich., junior Brian Slagh of Holland, Mich., and freshman Jeff Vroedindewey of Portage, Mich. The All-America recognition was especially meaningful for two swimmers who had brothers achieve the distinction while swimming at Hope, Tom Bouwens '99 and Scott Vroegindewey '01.
Josh Boss was a four-time MIAA champion in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke. Other Hope conference champions were Tim DeHaan in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle, Brian Slagh in the 200-yard freestyle and Ian Kobes in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke.
The Flying Dutch captured their third consecutive MIAA championship and advanced to the "Sweet Sixteen" of the NCAA Division III tournament.
Coach Brian Morehouse's Dutch won a school-record 27 games and finished ranked seventh in the nation among Division III teams. In six seasons under Morehouse, the Dutch are 124-41.
The team was led by four seniors: Jodi Boom of Coopersville, Mich., Amy Brower of Hamilton, Mich., Laura Poppema of Holland, Mich., and Becky Sutton of Eaton Rapids, Mich. Hope's record during their career was 93-18.
Becky Sutton and Laura Poppema achieved All-MIAA first team recognition. Poppema was also named to the all-region team of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.
An amazing year-end run advanced the Flying Dutchmen to the NCAA Division III championship tournament for the 16th time in school history.
Coach Glenn Van Wieren's Dutchmen tied for second place in the regular season MIAA standings. The MIAA representative to the NCAA playoffs is determined by the outcome of a season-ending tournament.
The Flying Dutchmen put together an amazing string of performances that included come-from-behind victories over rivals Kalamazoo and Calvin. Hope went on to win a first-round game in the NCAA tournament before the season ended.
Juniors Don Overbeek of Wyoming, Mich., and Chad Carlson of Holland, Mich., were voted to the All-MIAA first team.
The team posted its school-record 23rd consecutive winning season, finishing with a 21-9 record. The season also marked the 25th year under coach Van Wieren who has a career record of 477-169.
During the season Hope played its 2,000th men's basketball game. With an all-time record of 1,381-643, Hope ranks fifth-best among all NCAA Division III members.
WOMEN'S SWIMMING & DIVING
It was a season of peaks and valleys for the Flying Dutch. In late February the team appeared to have won the conference title by winning the championship meet. In early March it was discovered that an error by college officials in determining the academic eligibility of a swimmer new to the program would result in the forfeiture of the team championship. The performances of other team members in individual events were not affected.
Conference champions included sophomore Michelle Smith of Olympia, Wash., in the 500-yard freestyle and 1,650-yard freestyle, sophomore Audrey Arnold of Richmond, Ind., in the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley, freshman Elizabeth Fredericks of Yucaipa, Calif., in the 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly, and junior Kelly Parker of Battle Creek, Mich., in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke. Joining the conference champions on the All-MIAA team were sisters Laura (senior) and Sarah (freshman) Smith of Dearborn, Mich.
Elizabeth Fredericks went on to compete at the NCAA Division III championships, achieving honorable mention All-America recognition by finishing 12th in the 200-yard butterfly and 15th in the 100-yard butterfly.
CHEERLEADING & ICE HOCKEY
Hope College offers many athletic opportunities beyond the intercollegiate scene.
For many years the cheerleading squad has been viewed as one of the best at the small college level. In recent years a growing club sports program has included ice hockey. Both groups shined in the national spotlight this winter.
The basketball cheerleaders finished eighth at the national collegiate championships held January 10-12 in Orlando, Fla. The coed squad of 18 was competing at nationals for the first time.
Members of the squad were: sophomore Meredith Albers of Hamilton, Mich.; junior Josh Brandenburg of Mt. Vernon, Ohio; senior Bethany Buege of Evart, Mich.; senior Jason Cain of Arcadia, Mich.; senior Camy Clift of Belleview, Mich.; senior Beth Evans of Winfield, Ill.; freshman Ashley Farr of Jenison, Mich.; junior Tony Frucci of Plainwell, Mich.; sophomore Betsie Jetter of Greenville, Ohio; senior Nick Kunnen of Muskegon, Mich.; freshman Carmen Nee of Kalamazoo, Mich.; freshman Ashleigh Sartor of Plymouth, Mich.; junior Kristin Sheehan of Lansing, Mich; freshman Russell Smith of Bad Axe, Mich.; sophomore Melissa Snyder of Mishawaka, Ind.; freshman Sarah Stowell of Lake Odessa, Mich.; junior Curtis Tyler of Charlotte, Mich.; and senior Brooke Wever of Fremont, Mich.
The coaches of the squad are Wes Wooley '89, Kris Ritton '91 and David Muir '96.
The ice hockey club finished fifth at the American Collegiate National Ice Hockey Championships held Feb. 28 to March 2 in Atlanta, Ga.
The Flying Dutchmen won two of three games in the 12-team Division III tournament. The only loss was a 4-3 overtime decision to defending national champion University of Wyoming. Victories were posted over Georgetown University and the University of Florida.
Juniors John Collins of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and Matt Wynalda of Grand Rapids, Mich., were voted to the all-tournament teams.
The squad was coached by Chris Van Timmeren '97.