Mering Shatters Own School Record, Places 9th at Nationals

News Release Date:
Friday, March 23

 

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Whitman College freshman Karl Mering clearly saved his best for last at this week's NCAA Division III National Swimming Championships in Indianapolis, Ind.

After falling short of the finals in his first two individual events, Mering made a big splash in Friday's 200-yard butterfly, winning the consolation finals and breaking his own school record by more than three seconds.

Mering got off to a quick start in the preliminaries, posting the morning's 13th best time at 1:51.21.

Photo Top Page

 That's Karl Mering,
showing some
elite butterfly form

Greg Lehman photo

That shaved nearly a second off his school record and earned him a spot in the evening's consolation finals (places nine through 16 from the preliminaries).

Mering was just get warmed up, however.

Once the horn sounded for the consolation finals, Mering moved into second place and trailed only Nicholas Schmidt, a Johns Hopkins junior, after 150 yards. Mering then turned on the jets down the stretch, beating Schmidt to the wall to win the race in 1:48.95.

Of the 16 swimmers who competed in the evening finals (consolation and championship heats), Mering posted the third fastest time. In other words, had he clocked his time in the championship heat, Mering would have placed third overall.

Patrick Augustyn, a senior at Emory, won the championship heat in a blazing 1:45.43 while one of his junior teammates, Miller Douglas, was second in 1:46.73. Other than that, Mering was the only swimmer to get below 1:49.00 in the evening finals.

By placing ninth, Mering earned Honorable Mention All-American honors.

Mering also scored nine team points, boosting Whitman's total to 16, good enough for a 32nd-place tie with St. Olaf. His junior teammate, Galen Sollom-Brotherton, scored Whitman's first seven points Wednesday night by placing 10th in the 500-yard freestyle.

Sollom-Brotherton will swim his third and final event, the 1,650-yard freestyle, on Saturday. He is one of the favorites in that event, having posted DIII's second-best time this season.

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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; holden@whitman.edu