by Eva Dean Folkert
The Hope College men's swimming and diving team dropped a rivalry dual meet to Calvin University in Grand Rapids on Saturday, 196-104.
Three Flying Dutchmen were individual winners: freshman Gabe Boonstra of Hudsonville (Hudsonville HS), pictured right, in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:44.03; junior Daniel Keith of Saline (Saline HS), pictured center, in the 200-yard backstroke clocking 1:55.79, and sophomore Kamaron Wilcox of Grand Rapids (Forest Hills Central HS), pictured left, in 1-meter diving with a score of 247 points.
Boonstra and Keith were also runners-up twice. Boonstra was second in the 50-yard freestyle (20.94) and 100-yard freestyle (46.22) while Keith placed second in the 200-yard freestyle (1:44.19) and 100-yard butterfly (53.28).
"Those two guys go back and forth in practice together," said head coach Jake Taber of Boonstra and Keith's 1-2 finish in the 200 free. "I feel like there is a healthy respect and an appropriate amount of competitive spirit between the two of them. But also accountability and desire to see the other one be better. I think they're better because they have each other."
In the 1000-yard freestyle event, Hope went 2-3-4 with some new talent. Freshman Bailey Smith of Battle Creek (BC Lakeview HS) was runner-up in the distance event with a time of 9:59.72, freshman Theo Duong of Kentwood (East Kentwood HS) was third clocking in in 10:05.45, and freshman Brant Assink of Holland (Holland Christian HS) placed fourth in 10:13.84.
"We've got this freshman trio right now with Bailey, Theo and Brandt, and some really cool things are happening," Taber said. "One of the luxuries of having guys come in together like this is they challenge each other. They're using each other so well to get better. What's happening now is that with a few meets under our belts, things that we've been seeing for weeks and weeks in practice is translating into competition. And it is so much fun."
Other runner-up finishes for the Flying Dutchmen included: Freshman Jack Muller of Queensland, Australia (Meridan State) in the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard breaststroke with times of 1:00.86 and 2:15.49, respectively; freshman JT Nissen of Spring, Texas (Klein Collins HS) in the 200-yard butterfly touched out in 2:03.02; Smith in the 500-yard freestyle clocking 4:47.08; freshman Spencer Cahill of Kentwood (East Kentwood HS) in 3-meter diving with 208.35 points; and the 400-yard free relay team of Nissen, Smith, Keith and Boonstra coming in a 3:12.66.
Hope now has a couple weeks off before travelling to Wheaton College (Illinois) on Friday and Saturday, December 6 and 7 for its perennial participation in the Wheaton Invitational.