Hope College will be well represented at the 18th
annual NCAA Division III women's swimming and diving championship
to be held March 11-13 in Oxford, Ohio.
The national championship meet will be held at Miami
University and hosted by the College of Wooster.
The MIAA champion Flying Dutch have qualified four relay
teams along with swimmers and a diver in 10 individual events.
Coach John Patnott's Flying Dutch have finished among the
top ten Division III women's teams eight consecutive years and in
the top all but one year since 1986. The 1998 team finished
fifth as Patnott was named the Division III women's coach of the
year for the second time in his career.
The Flying Dutch return three swimmers who achieved
individual All-America designation a year ago.
Junior Erinn Van Auken of Holland (West Ottawa HS) has
qualified in three freestyle events. She is seeded seventh in
the 100-yard freestyle (:52.35), tenth in the 50-yard freestyle
(:24.21) and 15th in the 200-yard freestyle (1:55.46). Last year
she achieved All-America status by finishing sixth in both the
50-yard and 100-yard freestyle. During her career she has been a
member of nine All-America relay teams.
Sophomore Betsy VandenBerg of Beverly Hills (Southfield
Christian HS) has qualified in the 100-yard and 200-yard
breaststroke and 20-yard individual medley. The defending
national silver medalist in the 200-yard breaststroke, VandenBerg
is seeded fifth (2:22.94) heading into this year's meet. She is
seeded 20th in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:07.29) and 27th in
the 200-yard individual medley (2:12.49). Last year she was 10th
at nationals in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Junior Llena Durante of Chicago, Ill. (Whitney Young HS) has
qualified in three events. A year ago she was the silver
medalist at nationals in the 100-yard butterfly and this year is
seeded seventh (:58.58). She is also seeded 14th in the 50-yard
freestyle (:24.31) and 25th in the 100-yard freestyle (:53.61).
During her career she has been an NCAA All-American in eight
Senior diver Kari Jackson of Canton (Plymouth-Canton HS)
will compete on both the one-meter and three-meter boards. This
season she was the MIAA champion on the one-meter board and the
three-meter runnerup. Jackson qualified for nationals in 1997,
but did not advance to the finals.
Competing in individual events for the first time will be
freshman Liz VanderVeen of Spring Lake (Holland Christian HS) and
junior Colleen Doyle of Rochester Hills (Marian HS). VanderVeen
is seeded 22nd in the 50-yard freestyle (:24.46) while Doyle is
seeded 24th in the 100-yard backstroke.
Hope has also qualified in four relays. The team is seeded
fifth in the 400-yard medley relay (3:57.61), sixth in the 200-
yard freestyle relay (1:37.07), seventh in the 400-yard freestyle
relay (3:34.52) and 11th in the 200-yard medley relay (1:50.45).
Members of the relay teams will include freshman Jenna Anderson
of Cincinnati, Ohio (Anderson HS) along with Doyle, VandenBerg,
Durante and Van Auken.
The Flying Dutch will be seeking to extend their string of
All-America performances in three relays. The 200-yard freestyle
relay has been All-American eight consecutive years while
the 400-yard medley relay has achieved the distinction seven
years in-a-row and the 200-yard medley relay five consecutive
Last year the 200-yard medley relay was third while the
400-yard medley, 200-yard freestyle and 400-yard freestyle relays
were all fifth. Hope won the national championship in the 200-
yard medley relay and 400-yard medley relay in 1994. The best
200-yard freestyle relay finish was second in 1994 and the best
400-yard freestyle relay effort was second in 1988.