HOLLAND, Mich. – Parker Belmore led Albion College to a come from behind win in the 200-yard freestyle relay and that gave the Britons the momentum to sweep first place in every event in Thursday action at the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Swimming & Diving Championships at the Holland Aquatic Center.
The junior from Livonia, Mich., dove in a tenth of a second behind Calvin College's Max DeYoung, but Belmore achieved a split of 20.67 to pull the Britons to the wall in 1:23.14 which was .15 seconds ahead of Calvin.
"The relay was an event where we would not have been considered the favorite," Head Coach Jake Taber said. "We learned a lot about Parker a year ago at this meet when he put together a fantastic anchor leg together for us. I have a tremendous amount of confidence in Parker when the race is close. He does a good job of staying calm in a big moment."
Feeding off Belmore's performance, Gerado Huidobro, usually noted for his work in the breaststroke, raced past the field in the 500 freestyle in 4:36.99. Huidobro was joined in the championship race by first-year swimmer Mac Robertson who finished sixth.
The Britons received some help with the team score from Kyle Harvey who moved up to ninth after finishing 11th in the morning preliminaries.
Albion had the top two performers in two events.
In the 200 individual medley, Tostado improved on his MIAA record time from last season by more than a second with an NCAA "B" cut time of 1:49.98. Belmore achieved a time of 1:53.64 to hold off Calvin's Ben Holstege by two tenths of a second for the silver medal. Tyler Kimbrell, a first-year swimmer from Milan, Mich., also earned a place in the championship final and finished eighth.
Performing at a higher degree of difficulty, Jake Burris and Henry Swett had a head start on the competition in the 1-meter diving event. Burris was awarded scores of 52.8 and 55.9 in the final two rounds to achieve a 492.95 total to edge Swett by eight points.
Bosko gained his third MIAA title in the 50 freestyle, sprinting to the wall in 20.71 seconds, a time that's one hundredth of a second off the NCAA "B" cut. Nate Kozyicki and Ciemniecki joined Bosko in the final, finishing fourth and sixth, respectively.
Tostado, Huidobro, Kozycki and Bosko put the exclamation point on the evening with a MIAA record and NCAA "B" cut time of 3:18.27 in the 400 medley relay.
Despite the successful session, Albion's goal of taking home the league championship is far from sealed. The Britons' lead over Calvin is just 28 points. Albion has rolled up 304 points in the three sessions, followed by Calvin at 279, Hope College 223, Kalamazoo College 177, Olivet College 88, and Alma College 82.
"While it's a great start, there's a lot of racing left," Taber said. "There are four sessions left and we're hoping to take the momentum from tonight over to tomorrow. We have talked about how every session matters. One of the things we did a nice job of this morning was setting the table for the opportunities we had to race tonight."
The Friday program includes the 200 medley relay, the 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and 3-meter diving.