Tarah Lang, Emma Schaefer Win Titles on Third Day of MIAA Swim/Dive Championships

by Eva Dean Folkert

Tarah Lang poses for a portrait Emma Schaefer poses for a portrait Freshman Tarah Lang won her first individual title while junior Emma Schaefer claimed her fifth career league gold medal at the 2020 MIAA Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday at Calvin University's Venema Aquatic Center.

Lang of Marshall (Marshall HS), pictured right, recorded a first-place effort in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:54.40.

Schaefer of DeWitt (Saint Johns HS), who was victorious in the 200 individual medley on Thursday night, took home another gold medal, broke her own school record and earned an NCAA B-cut in the 100 breaststroke by clocking a 1:04.44. The old mark in the event was 1:04.87 which Schaefer, pcitured left, set last December.

The Flying Dutch remain in second place with 595 points after the third day of the MIAA Championships. Calvin Univerity is first with 631 points while Albion College is third with 568 points. Rounding out the standings are Kalamazoo College in fourth with 387 points, Olivet College in fifth with 179, and Alma College in sixth with 174.

In the 400 individual medley, senior Erin Emmert of Grand Blanc (Powers Catholic HS) earned a second-place spot on the podium with a time of 4:37.09, while junior Hope Reynolds of Exon, Pennsylvania (Villa Maria Academy) took third in 4:41.29, and sophomore Aubrey East of Farmington Hills (North Farmington) claimed fifth in 4:44.46. 

Senior Paula Nolte of Elmhurt, Illinois (York Community HS) earned a bronze medal in the 100 breaststroke, touching the wall in 1:07.03. She was joined on the finalists' award stand by freshman Avery Covert of South Lyon (South Lyon HS) in fifth with a time of 1:07.99, and East in eighth, clocking in at 1:08.88.

In the evening's opening 200 medley relay, Emmert, Schaefer, freshman Jenna Kloosterman of Hamilton (Hamilton HS), freshman Sydney Randall of Byron Center (Byron Center HS) took third place with a time of 1:45.79.

Three Hope divers finished in podium positions after the 1-meter board competition: freshman Olivia Robertson of Sturgis (Sturgis HS) and senior Areal Tolsma of Holland (Holland Christian HS) tied for fifth place with 338.75 points while freshmen Allie Graver of Grosse Ile (Grosse Ile HS) took seventh with 327.75 points.

Other finals heat finishers on Friday were:

  • Freshman Emily Kurt of South Lyon (South Lyon HS) taking fifth in 1:57.18 and Randall in sixth in 1:57.55 in the 200 freestyle, and
  • Reynolds who claimed seventh in 59.60 in the 100 backstroke.

Friday consolation heat finishers were:

  • Freshman Alyssa Kerkman of South Bend, Indiana (Saint Joseph HS) and sophomore Abigail LaDuke of Holland (West Ottawa HS) who finished 13th (4:49.40) and 14th (4:55.80), respectively, in the 400 individual medley;
  • Kloosterman who claimed 11th (58.87) and freshman Macey Mayer of San Antonio, Texas (Johnson HS) who took 15th (1:01.48) in the 100 butterfly;
  • Sophomore Emma Engle of Kalamazoo (Home School) who clocked in with 1:57.30 to take 11th in the 200 freestyle;
  • Senior Erica Slenk of Zeeland (Holland Christian) who finished ninth with a time of 1:10.60 in the 100 breaststroke, and,
  • Reynolds, Nolte, Kerkman, and Slenk who took 11th in the 200 medley relay by finishing in 1:49.00.

The 2020 MIAA Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Championships conclude at Calvin University on Saturday with prelims at 10:00 a.m. and finals at 5:30 p.m.