Men's Swimming Ranked in NCAA Top 20 for First Time in School History
Walla Walla, Wash. – For the first time in the history of Whitman Men’s swimming, the Missionaries are ranked in the NCAA Division III Top 20. After the final conference meets were held last weekend, the Whits landed right at the No. 20 spot heading into the national championships next month.
The national ranking comes after a sterling season for the Missionaries that included a regular season championship, with a perfect 7 – 0 record, a hallmark victory over Whitworth, snapping the Pirates winning streak of 90 straight dual meets, and a second place showing at the Northwest Conference Championships that saw Karl Mering (So., Boise, Idaho) named Outstanding Male Swimmer and coach Jenn Blomme awarded Men’s Coach of the Year.
Mering, who has already qualified for the NCAA meet in the 100 butterfly, won two other individual events and was a member of the 800 free relay team -- Mering, Galen Sollom-Brotherton (Jr., Dublin, CA), Kevin O’leary (So., Lake Oswego, OR, and Sam Starr (Fr., Sonoma, CA) -- that set a new NWC meet record (6:50.15).
Sollom-Brotherton also won three conference events and like many of his teammates, swam NCAA provisional qualifying times and, now, waits to see if the times will merit an invite to the big meet.
Blomme said of the ranking, “We are so proud of what our team has done over the last couple of years. As soon as we get our new school records up on the record board, all of our men's records will have been set over the last two seasons. We know they are a force to be reckoned with, but it is just awesome to see that others have taken note of it too!”
Karl Mering swims the butterfly against Whitworth
Whitman Sports Information Director