The 1976-77 women’s swimming and diving team came into the season with high hopes, hoping to surpass the success of the previous year’s team. The outlook was bright with an outstanding group of first year student/athletes to bolster the returning group. The team was young as there were eight first-year athletes, four sophomores, one junior, and one senior. Coach Maurer had every expectation that the 1976-77 team would be contenders in the WMIAA relays scheduled to take place at K.
The team was undefeated in conference dual meets making them champions of the WMIAA. The team was successful in winning the relays in 11 of 12 events at the league meet. The results of the league meet were as follows: Kalamazoo-140, Calvin-76, Albion-74, Alma-28, Adrian-10, and Hope-8.
Kalamazoo participated at the Eastern Michigan Invitational. The Hornets ended up in sixth place competing against Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Indiana State, Michigan State University, Oakland University, Virginia and Western Michigan University. In comparison to their larger-school competition, the Hornets held their own and competed well.
Highlights of the season from various team members include “driving across Michigan during a snowstorm in those vans- at night – a little scary and coming out of practice in the winter and having one’s hair freeze”. Other recollections include the need to get used to each other which made things interesting and forced a switch up of who swam what event because new faces were circling in and out of the team. Ultimately, this may have made us a better team through the years. Team members were flexible as they ended up swimming things they did not want to swim, but did it without complaint. This “forced” flexibility ended up being a good K value to carry with us at K and in our lives after Kalamazoo College!
Team honors went to Cathie Kroeschell as Most Valuable and Jane Woodworth as Most Improved. Team captains were Kroeschell and Heather Gilchrist. Julie Chappell and Kroeschell both qualified for the AIAW national tournament.
The 1976-77 women’s swimming and diving team ended their season with a record of seven wins and four defeats and enjoyed being the WMIAA league champions!
Team members include: Sally Baker, Chris Bodurow, Julie Candoli, Lisa Carnall, Julie Chappell, Mary DeYoung, Cindy Donovan, Carol Franke, Laura Franseen, Sue Getz, Heather Gilchrist, Sue Hegel, Kelly Kent, Cathie Kroeschell, Barb Kurth, Jill Latta, Charlotte Nelis, Ann Oswald, Cindy Ratliffe, Donna Schimmel, Stacy Semenczuk, Colleen Sherburne, Ann Stevens, Cheryl Sulisz, Leslie Touma, Kathy VerDuin, Jane Woodworth, Patty Wotila, Team Manager, Barb DeRose and Head Coach Lyn Maurer
Note: The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), founded in 1971, was establishd to govern collegiate women’s athletics in the United States and to administer national championships.