by Alan Babbitt
Meg Peel's determination in the pool paid off the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association champion Hope College women's swimming and diving team and herself.
The sophomore from Spring Lake, Michigan (Spring Lake HS) has earned MIAA Most Valuable Swimmer honors for the first time in her career.
Peel co-headlines an All-MIAA Women's Swimming & Diving Team that includes 17 swimmers and three divers along with Calvin College diver Joselyn Smith.
"She has earned everything she accomplished this year by extra workouts beyond the required number of workouts each week," co-head coach John Patnott said. "Three individual wins at the MIAA Championship and she was a member of three winning relays as well. She was the only woman swimmer to win three events.
Peel joins her father, Rob Peel (1987), in receiving the honor.
"It's pretty cool that Rob, her father, was also an MVP when he was swimming," Patnott said. "Like father like daughter. She certainly has a similar work ethic the he had."
This is the 23rd time a member of Flying Dutch have claimed MIAA Most Valuable honors.
Peel swam to individual MIAA titles in the 100- and 200 yard backstroke as well as the 500 freestyle. She also competed on the MIAA champion 200 freestyle, 400 freestyle and 400 medley relays.
Peel is joined by seven teammates on the All-MIAA Team, including three-time swimming honorees Erin Emmert of Grand Blanc, Michigan (Flint Powers Catholic) and Paula Nolte of Elmhurst, Illinois (York Community).
Three Hope swimmers are first-time honorees: senior Abigail Brinks of Commerce Township, Michigan (Walled Lake Northern), senior Betsy Craig of Grand Rapids, Michigan (East Grand Rapids), and junior Allison Eppinga of Saline, Michigan (Saline).