Chloe Palajac sure liked the view from the top.
The senior from Dearborn, Michigan (Dearborn HS) stood in the gold-medal podium position twice at the 2018 MIAA Championships on Thursday by winning the 200-yard individual medley and contributing a speedy butterfly leg for a 400-yard medley relay victory.
The Hope College women's swimming and diving team currently stands in second place with 256 points at the championhips while host Calvin College leads the championships with a score of 370 points. Albion College is in third with 184, Olivet College is fourth with 109, and Alma College is fifth with 100.
Palajac's 200-yard IM victory was her third all-time MIAA individual championship in three different events. In 2015, she won the 200-yard butterfly and last year, she was the 100-yard butterfly champ.
The 200 IM highlighted the second night of the championships for Hope as the Flying Dutch took the top three of four places in that event. Palajac became an MIAA champion with a time of 2:08.42. She was joined on the awards podium by runner-up Emma Schaefer, a freshman from Dewitt, Michigan (Saint Johns HS) with a time of 2:08.53. Sophomore Paula Nolte of Elmhurst, Illinois (York Community HS) took fourth place, finishing in 2:11.05 (pictured top).
In the night's final race, Hope claimed another league championship with a win in the 400-yard medley relay swam by Palajac, Nolte, junior Sydney Asselin of Holland, Michigan (Holland Christian HS), and freshman Megan Peel of Spring Lake, Michigan (Spring Lake HS) in a time of 3:52.02 (pictured right).
Hope went one-two in the 500-yard freestyle consolation heat. Sophomore Alison Sobkowski of Portage, Indiana (Portage HS) was first in that heat, taking 9th place in the event, with a time of 5:18.42 while Hope Reynolds of Exon, Pennsylvania (Vila Maria Academy) placed second in that heat, taking 10th place overall, with a time of 5:19.11.
"I'm really very happy about today's swims," said head coach John Patnott. "Ninety-five percent of our swims have been very good. They were a little off in the morning but came back well tonight. The team has good attitudes, good spirits, and they're racing hard. What more can I ask for?"
Other finals heat finishers on Thursday were as follows:
- Junior Abigail Brinks of Commerce Township, Michigan (Walled Lake Northern HS) took fifth place in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:10.56;
- Asselin and Peel finished 5th (24.39) and 7th (24.71) respectively; and,
- Junior Sara Plohetski of South Lyon, Michigan (South Lyon HS), freshman Natalie Crandell of Okemos, Michigan (Lansing Christian) and senior Kristin Jannsen of Grandville, Michigan (Grandville HS) finished 5th, 7th, and 8th in 3-meter diving.
- Senior Julia Hines of Vienna, Virginia (James Madison HS), sophomore Erin Emmert of Grand Blanc, Michigan (Powers Catholic HS), Nolte, and Schaefer took third place in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Other Thursday consolation heat finishers include:
- Freshman Mackenzie Ralston of Norton Shores, Michigan (Mona Shores HS) who was 14th in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:20.05.
The 2018 MIAA Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Championships continue at Calvin's Venema Aquatic Center Friday with prelims at 10:00 a.m. and finals at 5:30 p.m.