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Men's MIAA Championships Preview

Grant Stille preparing to swim.
Photo by Kimberly Moss

It's been a hard-fought year for the Kalamazoo College men's swimming and diving team as the Hornets enter the conference meet with a 2-6 overall record and a 2-4 conference record. Kalamazoo faced one of the more difficult schedules in recent memory, facing Division II Saginaw Valley State as well as conference powerhouse Calvin University twice.

History

Coach Jay Daniels is in his fourth season as head coach of the Kalamazoo College swimming and diving program along with Brie Powers as assistant coach. On the diving side, Coach Kyle Oberhill is in his eleventh season with the Kalamazoo program.

Last year the Hornets finished third at the conference championships, the highest placement of Coach Daniels' time as head coach on the men's side. It was a battle to the end until the Hornets were able to edge Hope College for third place by just 21 points, finishing just behind Calvin University and the reigning MIAA Champions, Albion College.

Schedule
When: Wednesday, February 19 - Saturday, February 22, 2020

Where: Venema Aquatic Center, Hosted by Calvin University

What: Calvin University, Albion College, Kalamazoo College, Hope College, Alma College, and Olivet College will be competing for the MIAA conference championship.

More: MIAA Championship Central

What to Watch

Thursday's afternoon competition is set to start out with a bang as the 200 freestyle relay is the first event of the evening. The Kalamazoo College men's relay (Sr. Brenden French, Sr. Michael Orwin, Sr. Grant Stille and So. Luke Durden) is seeded second in this event and currently stands 17th in all of Division III.

The Hornets have boasted one of the deepest individual medley groups throughout the season and their five swimmers seeded within the top-16 in the 400 IM are hoping to further prove this (Jr. Matt Howrey, Fr. Jackson Rysavy, So. Tyler Sakalys-Moore, Jr. Max Ambs, and Fr. Nick Cohee). This is the largest group out of all other teams with Calvin and Albion being just behind with four each.

The Hornets have had one of the best breaststroke groups in the conference all season. For the 100 breaststroke, the Hornets have four swimmers seeded within the top-16 (Sr. Brenden French, Sr. Grant Anger, Jr. Adam Coe, and Fr. Nick Cohee). In this event, the top-6 swimmers are seeded within a half-second of each other, including seniors Brenden French and Grant Anger.

On the diving portion of the meet, the Hornets will have three men competing in both the 1-meter and 3-meter events (Fr. Sam Ankley, Jr. Tony Dougherty, and Fr. Luke Middlebrook). Freshman Sam Ankley is seeded first in each of these events.

Coach Quotes

"Both our teams head into the MIAA championships with momentum from a solid dual meet season. Our consistent performances all season set us up to have a strong conference meet. We have athletes chasing after conference titles, national cuts, and school records. I'm proud of all the hard work we have put in this season and I'm confident it will pay off this week."

-Head Coach Jay Daniels

"I am more excited than ever to see the results of this team's hard work. This squad has had a high level of dedication and focus all season, which has intensified as MIAA's approached. It's all about seeing individual success from each athlete that culminates into camaraderie and unites the team. I am excited to head to Calvin and see fast swimming and elite diving!" 

-Assistant Coach Brie Powers

Story by Tyler Sakalys-Moore