Whit Swim Teams Swamp Bearcats, Stay Undefeated in NWC

News Release Date:
Saturday, January 14

 WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Helen Jenne and Ashley Jay for the women and Chris Bendix and Karl Mering for the men won two races apiece to power the Whitman College swim teams to lopsided dual meet victories over Willamette Saturday afternoon in Salem, Ore.

NWC Dual
Swim Meet

Men's Score
Whitman 122,
Willamette 60

Women's Score
Whitman 116,
Willamette 73

Complete Results

Despite swimming the last two events as non-scoring exhibitions, Whitman won the men's meet 122-60 and the women's competition 116-73.


The Whitman men stay undefeated on the season, improving to 4-0 in the NWC dual meet standings and 6-0 overall. The Missionary women are also 4-0 in conference and 5-1 on the season.

"We are awfully tired after our training trip (to southern California), and it certainly showed in our times today," Whitman coach Jenn Blomme said.

"But despite some serious exhaustion, we kept the mood up and stayed competitive."

Bendix, a senior captain, notched his two wins in the 400-yard individual medley (4:29.38) and 500-yard freestyle (5:04.67).

Mering, a freshman, led a 1-2-3 Whitman sweep in winning the 200-yard freestyle in 1:44.83. Senior Matt Rowett was second and junior Andrew Roehrig third.


In one of the day's best races, Mering won the 100-yard freestyle in 47.85, nipping junior teammate Galen Sollom-Brotherton by one one-hundredth of a second. Mering's time moves him from eighth to fifth place on Whitman's all-time list for that event.

Earlier in the meet, Sollom-Brotherton coasted to victory in the 1,650-yard freestyle in 17:35.90.

Jenne, a junior, was first in the women's 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle races, clocking times of 26.03 and 56.13.

Jay, a first-year swimmer, won the women's 400-yard individual medley in 5:03.24 and the 500-yard freestyle in 5:30.31. Sara Behrens, a junior, finished second in the 500 free, edging a Willamette swimmer by two-tenths of a second.

Melanie Notari, a sophomore, won the 200-yard freestyle in 2:09.33 while Keller Hawkins, also a sophomore, ruled the 100-yard backstroke in 1:04.97.


Junior Katie Chapman swam the 100-yard butterfly in 1:02.63, setting the pace for another Whitman sweep. Notari was second while junior Genay Pilarowski was third.

Sophomore Claire Collins had the best time (1:13.52) in the 100-yard breaststroke, but she entered the race as an exhibition. Willamette's Erin Parkinson took first in 1:14.14.

Senior Matt Liedtke got the win in the men's 100-yard butterfly in 55.50. Freshman Nic Win was the runner-up with Rowett taking third to complete the sweep.

Other winners for the Whitman men were senior Mitchell Lee in the 50-yard freestyle (22.58) and freshman Kevin O'Leary in the 100-yard backstroke (56.53).

Junior Paul Chang, swimming the 100-yard breaststroke as an exhibition, posted a top time of 1:01.41. Willamette's Chris Whitehead took first in 1:09.70.


The meet opened with Whitman posting victories in the 200-yard medley relays by comfortable margins.

Hawkins, Collins, Chapman and Behrens won for the women in 1:58.41. Sophomore Shunei Asao teamed with Chang, Liedtke and Mering on the men's side for a winning time of 1:41.41.

Whitman teams also had the best times in the closing 200-yard freestyle relays, although they swam the events as exhibitions.

Sophomore Ellen Banks joined Hawkins, Behrens and Jenne for a time of 1:45.23. Asao, Lee, Rowett and Sollom-Brotherton were timed in 1:30.79 in the men's race.

"Overall, it has been an awesome week of training and racing," Blomme said. "We are all looking forward to some tough meets next weekend, our last home meets of the season."

Whitman hosts those meets in the Louise and Paul Harvey Pool in Baker Ferguson Fitness Center. The Missionaries battle Pacific Lutheran at 6 p.m. Friday and Puget Sound at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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