Whit men win NWC Sprint Invitational, Women 4th

News Release Date:
Saturday, October 27

Competing against Northwest Conference teams for the first time this season, the Whitman men's swim team made a statement on Saturday, placing ahead of the 10-time defending conference champion Whitworth Pirates. The women's team finished 4th, just 6 points behind the hosts from Pacific University.

Though the Sprint Invitational did not include the full complement of swimming events (it consistent of 50 meter races for the four strokes and the 100 meter IM), the Whit men are now poised to challenge the Whitworth dynasty.

Paul Chang, Sr.

In the first event, Whitman's two returning all-Americans, junior transfer Galen Sollom-Brotherton (Dublin, CA) and sophomore Karl Mering (Boise, ID), finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in the 100 IM, just one hundredth of a second apart. Their times were 55.75 and 55.76. Sophomore Nic Win (Bothell, WA) and first yearNick Wechter (Pittsburgh, PA) finished 5th and 6th, respectively, at 56.09 and 56.22. Senior Paul Chang (Carson City, NV) also scored for Whitman, despite breaststroke being his preferred event.

Mering and Sollom-Brotherton finished 2nd and 6th, respectively, with times of 23.72 and 24.90 in a Whitworth-dominated 50 fly event. Win tied for 12th win a time of 24.46 before winning the 50 back by more than half a second in 25.53. Whitman racked up points in the fly, as another first year, Will Erickson(Minneapolis, MN), came in 3rd at 26.22, while Whitman's two workhorses, Mering and Sollom-Brotherton placed 5th and 6th. Junior Shunei Asao (Cupertino, CA) also got in the scoring column, finishing in a 7th-place tie at 26.61.

Chang won the 50-breastroke, finishing three hundredths of a second ahead of Whitworth's Kyle Wicks at 28.04. Wechter returned to the scoring column with a 7th-place finish with a time of 29.37. Sollom-Brotherton finished 10th, Win finished 12th, and another first year, Robby Dorn (Edina, MN), came in 15th at 30.08. In the final event, Mering proved to be the fastest man in the pool, winning the 50-free in 21.99. Chang came in 6th at 22.71. Sollom-Brotherton and Asao tied for 9th in 22.95, and Erickson finished 15th in 23.38.

In the five events, the Whit men tallied 268.66 points, more than 18 points ahead of Whitworth, who had 249.83. The Whits were far afield from the rest, as Pacific Lutheran came in 3rd place with 112 points.

Genay Pilarowski, Sr.

Despite finishing 4th, the Whit women were delighted by the swimming of first yearCameo Hlebasko (Bainbridge Island, WA). Hlebasko placed 3rd in the 100 IM with a time of 1:03.29, 4th in the backstroke in a time of 29.47, 16th in the breastroke in a time of 35.01, and 5th in the freestyle in a time of 26 seconds even.

Senior Genay Pilarowski (Kneeland, CA) provide the highlight of the afternoon for the Whit women by winning the 50-breaststroke in 31.90 to go with her 15th-place finish in the butterfly. Also scoring for Whitman in the breaststroke wereClaire Collins (Burlingame, CA), who placed 9th, first year Elise Tinseth (Renton, WA) at 13th, and Jo Brunner (Seattle, WA) at 15th.

 First year Kendra Clinton (Kirkland, WA) also had an excellent meet, finishing 8th in the IM, 13th in the butterfly, and 13th in the backstroke. Senior Helen Jenne (Shoreline, WA) came within a second of being the fastest woman in the pool, finishing 3rd in the 50 freestyle in a time of 25.74.

The Whitman swim teams will be in action each of the next three weekend. Next weekend, they have dual meets at home against Linfield College and Williamette University on Friday and Saturday. The following weekend, they swim Lewis and Clark and Pacific University on the road before returning home the weekend of the 17th for the Northwest Invitational.

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