Hope College will send nine swimmers to the NCAA Division III men's championships at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. from March 20-22.
The Flying Dutchmen will be bidding for a sixth consecutive top ten finish. Hope was fifth a year ago with 12 All-America performances. Coach John Patnott's Flying Dutchmen have qualified in all five relay events and are eligible for entries in eight individual events.
Hope's qualifiers are freshman Travis Barkel of Zeeland, Mich. (Zeeland HS), senior Daniel Bouwens of Zeeland, Mich. (Zeeland HS), sophomore Matthew Cook of Wyoming, Mich. (Grandville HS), junior Ross Geurink of Hudsonville, Mich. (Hudsonville HS), junior Chris Hamstra of Zeeland, Mich. (Zeeland HS), sophomore Jeff Heydlauff of Chelsea, Mich. (Chelsea HS), junior Ian Kobes of Holland, Mich. (Holland HS), freshman David Ornee of Zeeland, Mich. (Zeeland HS), and senior Brian Slagh of Zeeland, Mich. (Zeeland HS).
Five of Hope's qualifiers are returning NCAA All-Americans. Brian Slagh was an All-American in the 100-yard freestyle (fifth place) and 200-yard freestyle (seventh place) while Ian Kobes achieved All-America honors by finishing seventh in the 100-yard backstroke. He was also 11th nationally in the 200-yard backstroke. Daniel Bouwens, Chris Hamstra and Jeff Heydlauff were All-Americans in relay events.
Competing at nationals for a fourth straight year, Brian Slagh has qualified in two freestyle events and is eligible to swim in another. He is seeded eighth in the 500 (4:33.88) and ninth in the 200 (1:41.10). He is eligible to swim in either the 50 (seeded #47, :21.69) or 100 (seeded #19, :46.55).
Returning to nationals for the third straight year, Ian Kobes is seeded 14th in the 100 backstroke (:51.74) and 18th in the 200 backstroke (1:53.44).
Chris Hamstra has qualified in the 200 freestyle where he is seeded 19th (1:42.42). He is also eligible to swim in the 50 freestyle (seeded #24, :21.27) and the 100 freestyle (seeded #25, :46.75). He is competing at nationals a third consecutive year.
Heading to nationals for the second time, Daniel Bouwens will compete in the 100 butterfly (seeded #26, :51.31) while making his first trip will be Ross Geurink who is seeded 28th in the 100 breaststroke (:58.75).
Freshman David Ornee has qualified for the 200 freestyle where he is seeded 10th (1:41.22). He is also eligible to compete in the 50 freestyle (seeded 65th, :22.67) and 100 freestyle (seeded 34th, :46.99).
Four of Hope's qualified relays are seeded in the top ten. A year ago all Hope relay entries achieved All-America distinction. The 400 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay were each third nationally while the 200 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay were each fourth and the 800 freestyle relay was seventh.
This year the best seeding is third in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:04.58) with a team of David Ornee, Jeff Heydlauff, Chris Hamstra and Brian Slagh.
The 200-yard freestyle relay is seeded fourth (1:23.56) with a team of Jeff Heydlauff, Chris Hamstra, Travis Barkle and Brian Slagh.
The 800-yard freestyle relay is seeded seventh (6:53.41) with a team of David Ornee, Chris Hamstra, Matthew Cook and Brian Slagh.
The 400-yard medley relay is seeded sixth (3:25.57) while the 200-yard medley relay is seeded 11th (1:33.86). Ian Kobes, Ross Geurink and Daniel Bouwens swim in both relays with the freestyle leg in the 200 coming from Jeff Heydlauff and from Brian Slagh in the 400.