All Time Greatest MIAA Swimmers

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Bailey Smith
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Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:56 pm
Team Affiliation: Hope College

All Time Greatest MIAA Swimmers

Post by Bailey Smith » Sun May 09, 2021 4:03 pm

Alright this is going to be a long one, I have been waiting for a long while for this after taking a good amount of time creating this list and today seems like as good a day as any. A couple things right off the bat I picked a very arbitrary number of 5 individual All-American awards to be eligible for the list, I don't know if its most fair thing but it was the only way I could narrow down the list into something I could realistically research and compare. Also I only did the males for the league, I think with the format I put out a female list could be made pretty easily. Lastly I only am making this list for the swimmers of the MIAA comparing diving to swimming for something like this didn't seem quite right (2 events vs 3, more subjective scoring then swim times) if this was a list comprised of both there would for sure be a couple of divers on here.

Alright so here we go to compare the greats I created a scoring system for a variety of things and the weight of points for these categories is something Im not sure I have fine tuned all the way into really determine the "greatest" so if anyone has ideas on changing the scoring or new things to add into the mix please feel free to let me know I would love to hear it. The scoring I came up with goes like this:
Each individual All-American swim = 10
National Champion = 5
National Record = 5
MIAA Swimmer of the Year = 10
All-MIAA = 5
Each individual conference championship swim = 3
MIAA meet record swim = 2

Don Knoechel 110
Brett Robins 100
Craig Fleming 90
John Latham 90
Paul Ellis 80
Josh Boss 80
Rob Peel 80
Nicholas Duda 70
Andrew Kurtz 70
Kirk Assink 70
Jon Hescott 70
Chris Manning 60
Jeff Bannink 60
Keith Nykamp 60
Peter Boumgarden 50
Mike Lubbers 50
Johnson Cochran 50
Judson Schnieder 50
Jeff Walker 50
Scott Whitbeck 50
Julian Iturbe 50

Knoechel with 11/12 back when it was only top 6 is pretty amazing, also this list is assuming Iturbe gets his 3 this year (pretty much guranteed just waiting on it to be announced)

National Champion
Josh Boss 35
Rob Peel 5
Jeff Walker 5
Paul Ellis 5
Craig Fleming 5

National Record
Josh Boss 15
Paul Ellis 5

MIAA Swimmer of the Year
Don Knoechel 40
John Latham 40
Josh Boss 30
Julian Iturbe 30
Jeff Walker 20
Paul Ellis 20
Craig Fleming 20
Andrew Kurtz 10
Kirk Assink 10
Jeff Bannink 10
Johnson Cochran 10

Knoechel and Latham going 4/4 on these is something that probably wont happen again and is extremely impressive, also interesting how many guys are apart of this (at least 5 time All-American) and how small this list is, I guess they were probably competing against each other or maybe some had less focus on MIAA but still.

Don Knochel 20
Jeff Walker 20
Brett Robbins 20
John Latham 20
Nicholas Duda 20
Judsen Schnieder 20
Scott Whitbeck 20
Andrew Kurtz 20
Paul Eliis 20
Criag Fleming 20
Chris Manning 20
Josh Boss 20
Rob Peel 20
Keith Nykamp 20
Peter Boumgarden 20
Mike Lubbers 20
Johnson Cochran 20
Julian Iturbe 20
Kirk Assink 20
Jeff Bannink 15
Jon Hescott 15

Pretty obvious that most of these guys were 4 year members of the MIAA team but whats more interesting to me is that Bannink and Hescott were only able to make it 3 imes, I am pretty sure Hecott only swam 3 years which makes his accomplishments even more impressive, not sure about Bannink

Conferenec Champion
John Latham 36
Julian Iturbe 33
Don Knoechel 33
Peter Boumgarden 27
Criag Fleming 27
Chris Manning 27
Rob Peel 27
Brett Robins 24
Jeff Walker 24
Josh Boss 24
Paul Ellis 21
Jon Hescott 21
Johnson Cochran 18
Nicholas Duda 18
Andrew Kurtz 18
Judson Schnieder 18
Scott Whitbeck 18
Kirk Assink 18
Mike Lubbers 15
Jeff Bannink 12
Keith Nykamp 6

Latham never lost an individual race at MIAAs, wow. Iturbe and Knoechel fell just one race short of being perfect.

MIAA Record
Rob Peel 16
Jeff Walker 12
Julian Iturbe 10
Criag Fleming 10
Paul Ellis 8
Judson Schnieder 8
Mike Lubbers 8
Don Knoechel 6
Josh Boss 6
Jeff Bannink 6
Keith Nykamp 4
Peter Boumgarden 2
Jon Hescott 2
Nicholas Duda 2

Peel swam an MIAA meet record in every individual event he swaw but 1, Im not quite sure what happened in that 50 free

So here we go the Top 10 greatest MIAA swimmers of all time:
1. Josh Boss (02) Hope 210
2. Don Knoechel (80) Kalamazoo 209
3. John Latham (99) Kalamazoo186
4. Criag Fleming (11) Kalamazoo 172
5. Paul Ellis (10) Kalamazoo 159
6. Rob Peel (87) Hope 150
7. Brett Robins (98) Kalamazoo 144
8. Julian Iturbe (21) Calvin 143
9. Jeff Walker (93) Kalamazoo 131
T10. Andrew Kurtz (05) Kalamazoo 118
T10. Kirk Assink (95) Hope 118

The title of greatest ever came down to an incredible 1 point. Kalamazoo dominates this list with 7/11 followed by Hope with 3 and Calvin with 1.
For anyone interested here are the next 10:

Nicholas Duda 108
Jon Hescott 108
Chris Manning 107
Peter Boumgarden 99
Johnson Cochran 98
Judson Schnieder 96
Mike Lubbers 93
Keith Nykamp 90
Scott Whitbeck 88
Jeff Bannink 87

I had a lot of fun making this and if theres anyone I missed or any errors I made let me know, anything about this list that shocks or surprises you about anything on here?

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Re: All Time Greatest MIAA Swimmers

Post by JonSnow » Sun May 09, 2021 4:16 pm

Very in-depth and I really liked the scoring system you used.

It's incredible to see Julian only at 8 in the all time list. Just goes to show the productive history of the league. I wonder if the 5th year will boost him a bit more.

The total number of KZOO guys is unreal. Maybe the new pool can help recapture the success of the KZOO of the olden days.

Josh Boss. All you need to say.
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Re: All Time Greatest MIAA Swimmers

Post by facenorth » Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:39 pm

This was fun to read Bailey. While the points system is one you came up with and others could easily argue, when you look at the outcome it sure seemed to do its job pretty well.

Yes, the historical NCAA presence in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's was pretty remarkable. I'm happy to see you young guys learning some of the names of the legends of the league. Let's be honest, 7 of those top 10 were swimming in the MIAA before those swimming in the league now were even born! I believe Hope, Kalamazoo and Calvin were all top 10 at Nationals in 2002. That might be the last time we even had two MIAA teams finish in the top 10 nationally and that year we had THREE!

FYI, Hescott and Bannink were both transfers. That would likely explain why they were not 4x All MIAA recipients.

Bailey Smith said:
Lastly I only am making this list for the swimmers of the MIAA comparing diving to swimming for something like this didn't seem quite right (2 events vs 3, more subjective scoring then swim times) if this was a list comprised of both there would for sure be a couple of divers on here.
I want to first recognize this statement, then acknowledge Jeff Gorton. He just flat out deserves mentioning despite the clause. Jeff dove at Kalamazoo in the late 90's and was an absolute stud. It wasn't ever fair how good he was and the coolest part is he's an even better dude. I don't have all the stats infront of me but I know he was an Olympic Trials Qualifier and I believe he won the NCAA Title all four years on the 1m board. He may have won a couple on the high board as well. I feel like (and this is where it would be awesome if Milhouse or DonCheadle or Miller from yesteryear could hop on here) that Gorton and Boss were co-MVP's one year. I'm happy to speculate that with NCAA Champions (Gorton was also an NCAA Record holder at one point, I believe) and NCAA Record Holders coming out of the same MIAA Championship meet, very soon after we began designating MIAA Swimming MVP and MIAA Diving MVP. Kinda fun.

All American's were announced earlier this week, you could certainly update the list now, right?

As you mentioned in your original post, you thought it would be pretty straight forward to produce a women's list as well. Would you be willing to do that for the viewers at home?

Bailey Smith
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:56 pm
Team Affiliation: Hope College

Re: All Time Greatest MIAA Swimmers

Post by Bailey Smith » Sun Jun 13, 2021 7:38 pm

Alright here you go FaceNorth I finally got around to making the women's list. Same exact points and criteria of the guys, only difference being that to be eligible for the women's list you needed 3 individual all american swims instead of 5.

Shelly Russell 120
Rebekah Weima 120
Kristen Hoving 110
Dawn Hoving 100
Erinn Van Auken 80
Betsy Vandenburg 80
Jennifer Straley 60
Hannah Chao 40
Erika Steele 40
Lisa Smith 40
Emma Schaefer 40
Susan Looman 30
Sara Looman 30
Llena Durante 30
Meghan Hunter 30
Elizabeth Council 30
Emily Roberts 30
Sue Lelby 30

National Champion
Shelly Russell 35
Rebekah Weima 25
Dawn Hoving 15
Betsy Vandenburg 10
Kristen Hoving 10
Susan Looman 10
Sue Lelby 5

National Record
Shelly Russell 10
Susan Looman 5
Betsy Vandenburg 5

Shelly Russell 20
Rebekah Weima 20
Kristen Hoving 20
Dawn Hoving 20
Erinn Van Auken 20
Betsy Vandenburg 20
Jennifer Straley 20
Hannah Chao 20
Lisa Smith 20
Emma Schaefer 20
Llena Durante 20
Meghan Hunter 20
Elizabeth Counsell 20
Emily Roberts 20
Erika Steele 15
Susan Looman 5
Sara Looman 5
Sue Lelby 5

Rebekah Weima 40
Shelly Russell 30
Dawn Hoving 30
Kristen Hoving 20
Betsy Vandenburg 20
Emma Schaefer 20
Sue Lelby 10
Jennifer Starley 10
Erinn VanAuken 10
Emily Roberts 10
Elizabeth Counsell 10

MIAA Champion
Shelly Russell 36
Kristen Hoving 36
Dawn Hoving 36
Rebekha Weima 33
Erinn VanAuken 30
Betsy Vandenburg 30
Emma Schaefer 27
Meghan Hunter 24
Sue Lelby 21
Elizabeth Counsell 21
Lisa Smith 18
Llena Durante 15
Jennifer Straley 15
Hannah Chao 12
Emily Roberts 12
Susan Looman 6
Erika Steele 6

MIAA Meet Record
Dawn Hoving 16
Rebekha Weima 14
Kristen Hoving 12
Sue Leiby 12
Erinn VanAuken 8
Shelly Russell 4
Susan Looman 4
Lisa Smith 4
Emily Roberts 4
Meghan Hunter 2
Betsy Vandenburg 2
Emma Schaefer 2
Erika Steele 2
Elizabeth Counsell 2

With the final top 10 coming to...
1. Shelly Russell (89) Hope 255
2. Rebekah Weima (07) Calvin 252
3. Dawn Hoving (94) Hope 217
4. Kristen Hoving (96) Hope 208
5. Betsy Vandenberg (01) Hope 167
6. Erinn VanAuken (00) Hope 148
7. Emma Schaefer (21) Hope 109
8. Jennifer Straley (88) Hope 95
T9. Elizabeth Counsell (13) Calvin 83
T9. Sue Leiby (84) Albion 83

Comparing this list to the guys it is much more top heavy and is not nearly as deep. Hope woman dominate this list. Also pretty amazing how close these keep coming out.

Just for fun:

Top 10 MIAA Swimmers
1. Shelly Russell (89) Hope 255
2. Rebekah Weima (07) Calvin 252
3. Dawn Hoving (94) Hope 217
4. Josh Boss (02) Hope 210
5. Don Knoechel (80) Kalamazoo 209
6. Kristen Hoving (96) Hope 208
7. John Latham (99) Kalamazoo 186
8. Criag Fleming (11) Kalamazoo 172
9. Betsy Vandenberg (01) Hope 167
10. Paul Ellis (10) Kalamazoo 159

Hope some people actually see this haha hopefully the next few years we can get some new guys on here and get the old ones back on.

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