Two for Two: Mering Snaps 2nd Swim Mark

News Release Date:
Saturday, December 3


WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Make it two for two for Whitman College swimmer Karl Mering in his weekend quest to rewrite parts of the school record book at the 63rd annual Husky Invitational Swim Meet in Federal Way, Wash.

Mering, a freshman, dispatched Whitman's "oldest" school record with this morning's seventh-best time in the preliminaries of the 100-yard butterfly. He was clocked in 50.23, clipping more than a second off the record (51.33) set in 1992 by Gary Ames.

Top Page Photo

Karl Mering, new
school record holder
in 100 butterfly


Mering then returned to the pool for the evening finals, placing fourth while dropping his new record to 49.70.

That mark ranks as the best time posted by a Northwest Conference swimmer this season, and it meets the provisional qualifying time for the 2012 NCAA Division III national championships.

Swimmers from more than two dozen universities, colleges and club teams are at the invitational, which continues through Sunday.


Mering, one of about 15 Whitman swimmers at the invitational, set a new school in the preliminaries of the 50-yard freestyle on Friday. His time in that race also met the provisional qualifying standard for the NCAA DIII national championships.

In other Saturday results, Mering just missed advancing to the evening finals in the 100-yard backstroke, but Whitman juniors Genay Pilarowski and Katie Chapman both made the cut in their events. 

Swimmers with the top 32 times in the preliminaries advanced in the men's 100-yard backstroke. Mering swam his race in 54.42, which was the 36th best time among 93 entries.

While Mering's time wasn't quite fast enough for tonight's talent-laden round of final heats, it is the fourth-best time ever clocked by a Whitman swimmer and just seven-tenths of a second off a school record set in 1995.

Pilarowski swam a 1:08.50 in the preliminaries of the women's 100-yard breaststroke, advancing to the evening finals with the 26th best time among 95 swimmers. She then won her evening finals heat, placing 25th overall in 1:07.43, a career-best time that is just six-tenths of a second off the school record.

After Chapman advanced in the 100-yard butterfly with the morning's 30th-best time (58.84) among 115 competitors, she returned for the evening finals, placing 26th overall in 58.50. That time is little more than one second off her school record.

Three of Chapman's teammates also swam in the 100 fly prelims. Sophomore Melani Notari was 92nd in 1:03.62, junior Helen Jenne was 97th in 1:04.13, and sophomore Keller Hawkins was 111th in 1:06.21.


Sophomore Claire Collins joined Pilarowski in the 100 breast prelims, placing 51st in 1:11.20.

Hawkins also swam this morning in the 100-yard backstroke, clocking a 1:03.18 to place 61st. Junior teammate Charlotte Graham was 83rd in 1:06.63.

Earlier in the morning, Graham finished 123rd (2:05.58) in a huge field of 166 swimmers in the 200-yard freestyle.

Ashley Jay, one of Whitman's first-year swimmers, was 90th in the 200 free in 2:02.73. Jay also placed 74th in the 400-yard individual medley in 5:04.49.

Junior Paul Chang came close to advancing (top 32) in the men's 100-yard backstroke. He posted the 39th best time at 1:01.76.

Senior Matt Liedtke finished 47th in the prelims of 100-yard butterfly. His time was 54.73, about four-tenths of a second off his career-best mark.

Freshman Kevin O'Leary swam the prelims in two events, placing 55th (56.12) in the 100-yard backstroke and 90th (1:50.94) in the 200-yard freestyle.

Freshman Nic Win also swam in the 100 back, placing 62nd in 56.77.

Saturday Relay Results

Freshmen Kevin O'Leary, Nic Win and Karl Mering teamed with junior Paul Chang to place 18th (30 entries) in the 800-yard freestyle relay in 7:23.44.

Senior Matt Liedtke joined Chang, Win and Mering to finish 20th (38 teams) in the 200-yard medley relay in 1:40.52.

In the women's 200-yard medley relay, it was juniors Katie Chapman, Genay Pilarowski and Helen Jenne teaming with sophomore Keller Hawkins to finish 22nd (49 teams) in 1:52.31.

Sophomore Claire Collins and first-year teammate Ashley Jay joined Jenne and Chapman to finish 24th among 38 teams in the 800-yard freestyle relay. Their time was 8:05.20.

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