Kuiken makes waves


by Matt Bower

Senior Dana Kuiken is the only swimmer in Simpson history toprovisionally qualify for the NCAA Division III NationalChampionships. In her years at Simpson. Kuiken has made more thanjust waves in the swimming world.

This season, she has been a two time IIAC Women’s Athlete andWomen’s Swimmer of the Week. She has set the league record in the100m breaststroke event with a time of 1:09.65 and is the schoolrecord holder in the same event with a time of 1:08.47. Kuiken haswon 16 of 24 100m breaststroke races as a member of the Storm.

She did not start competitive swimming until she was in 8thgrade.

“I swam in summer competitions and at the YMCA growing up, butwhen I reached high school, it became a question of swimming orvolleyball and I chose swimming,” said Kuiken.

In her sophomore year of high school, Kuiken made it to state asa member of a select group of only 24 swimmers. It is evident thatKuiken loves to compete and she doesn’t mind the hard work.

“Practice is enjoyable,” said Kuiken. “It’s good exercise.”

Coach Mark Corley sees the many hours of hard work that Kuikenputs into practice.

“She is often the first one in the pool, getting equipment set,and is always working hard,” said Corley. “Her work ethic isevident daily in practice and shows in her races.”

It is all this hard work and dedication to the sport she loveswhich has earned Kuiken record-breaking marks in conferenceswimming.

“Dana brings a lot of experience to our team. She is familiarwith two to three day championship meet formats and that is veryhelpful, said Corley. “She is a leader in all facets.”

In the Storm’s last swim meet, Feb. 6-7 at the IIACChampionships, Kuiken won all three of her individual events. Shewon the 100 freestyle in a meet record time of :56.12, won the 200breaststroke in an IIAC record time of 2:34.59 and scored an IIACInvitational record time of 1:09.95 in the 100 breaststroke.

“Her racing skills are superb,” said Corley. “She is able toexecute a race plan and knows if the execution was lacking in onearea and is then able to make corrections the next time. She rarelymakes the same mistake twice.”

Kuiken was also instrumental in aiding the team to a fourthplace finish in both the 200 freestyle and the 400 freestyle as amember of each relay team with a time of 1:50.03 and a time of4:01.97, respectively.

“Dana is an outstanding role model. She is not a real vocalleader. But as they say, actions speak louder than words,” saidCorley.

Considering her performance in her individual swimming eventscombined with her participation in the relay events, Kuikenaccounted for 136 of the 197 team points for the Storm.

“Dana’s strengths are her work ethic and her racing skills,”said Corley.

“I see much more confidence in her mental skills as an athlete.She believes in her training and abilities and it shows when sheraces.”