Karl Can Do: Mering Shatters Swim Record

News Release Date:
Friday, December 2


WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Shattering a 12-year-old school record, Whitman College freshman Karl Mering finished seventh in Friday morning's preliminaries of the 50-yard freestyle as the 63rd annual Husky Invitational Swim Meet got underway at the King Co. Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

Mering was clocked in 20.93 while shaving nearly one-half second off the school record set by Tucker Jackson in 1999.

Mering's time also meets the provisional qualifying time for the NCAA Division III national championships, slated for next March.

Top Page Photo

That's Karl Mering,
catching his breath
after a recent race


Mering returned to the pool for the evening championship finals, but was unable to match his morning time.

Swimming against five competitors from NCAA Division II Grand Canyon University and two from the University of British Columbia, Mering placed eighth in the finals in 21.18. The event's morning preliminaries attracted a total of 142 swimmers.

Mering, one of about 15 Whitman swimmers competing at the invitational, also swam on two Missionary relay teams.


He teamed with senior Matt Liedtke, junior Paul Chang and freshman Kevin O'Leary to place 17th among 36 teams in the 400-yard medley relay. Their time was 3:38.63.

Mering, Chang, O'Leary and freshman Nic Win placed 25th in 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:31.32

In the morning preliminaries of the men's 200-yard individual medley, Win finished 74th in a season-best 2:04.73 (moving into 10th place on Whitman's Top 10 list) while Liedtke placed 109th in 2:16.07. Neither Win nor Liedtke finished high enough to make the evening finals.

Helen Jenne, a junior, gave the Whitman women's team its best showing of the day, placing 46th in the preliminaries of the women's 50 free. Her time was 24.93, about three-tenths of a second off her career-best time.

Ashley Jay, one of Whitman's first-year swimmers, finished 55th in a field of 114 competitors in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:21.67, her season-best effort by nearly seven-tenths of a second.


Also joining Jay in that event were junior Charlotte Gray (96th, 5:39.12) and sophomores Claire Collins (97th, 5:40.05) and Melanie Notari (103rd, 5:45.11).

Junior Katie Chapman had Whitman's best finish in a huge field of swimmers in the 200-yard individual medley. She was 57th in 2:14.01. Sophomore Keller Hawkins was 121st in 2:22.18 while junior Genay Pilarowski was 138th in 2:27.78.

None of the Missionary women placed high enough in the morning preliminaries of the individual events to advance to the evening finals.

Hawkins, Chapman and Jenne, joined by junior Sara Behrens, finished 26th among 48 teams in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:41.73

It was Hawkins, Chapman, Jenne and Collins swimming the 400-yard medley relay, placing 27th in 4:07.62. 

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