Mighty Whit Swimmers Dispatch Ten School Records in One Day
News Release Date:
Friday, February 10
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- The Missionary men's and women's swim teams continued their assault on the Whitman College record book during Friday night's championship finals of the Northwest Conference Championships at the King Co. Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.
Whitman swimmers broke a total of 10 school records on opening day of the championships, which got underway with the preliminary heats at 10 a.m.
In the team scoring, Whitman powered its way into second place on the men's side with 154 points, one more than third-place Puget Sound. Whitworth lead the eight-team field with 251 points.
The Missionary women finished day one in third place with 141 points. Whitworth was in first with 200 points followed by Puget Sound in second with 182.
"This has been an historic day for us," veteran Whitman coach Jenn Blomme said. "I don't remember us ever being so strong all across the board on the first day of the conference championships.
"We are excited about tomorrow. There are more good things to come."
Junior Galen Sollom-Brotherton was shining as brightly as anyone during the evening finals.
For starters, Sollom-Brotherton swam the anchor leg on a 200-yard freestyle relay team that gave Whitman its first-ever relay victory at the conference championships.
A team that included freshman Karl Mering, senior Mitchell Lee and sophomore Shunei Asao won the 200 freestyle in 1:25.07, lopping more than one second off the school record.
Sollom-Brotherton later gave the men's squad its first individual event title since 2008 when he won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:30.02, breaking his own school record as well as the NWC mark set in 2003. His time also meets the provisional qualifying time for the NCAA Division III National Championships, and in all likelihood will earn him a berth at the national meet.
Junior Katie Chapman, sophomore Keller Hawkins and first-year Missionary Ashley Jay broke individual school records for the Whitman women, while freshman Nic Win broke one other record for the men.
With Win swimming the first leg and Sollom-Brotherton again taking the last turn, the Whitman men also shattered a school record while placing second in the 400-yard medley relay. The foursome, which also included Mering and junior Paul Chang, were clocked in 3:26.35, dropping the school record by nearly seven seconds.
Not to be outdone, the Whitman women also set new school standards in both relays.
Hawkins anchored the Missionaries in the 200-yard freestyle relay to a third-place time of 1:39.32, which took three-tenths of a second off a record set last year. Sophomore Ellen Banks and juniors Helen Jenne and Sara Behrens rounded out the team.
| Katie Chapman
Photo by Greg Lehman
Hawkins, Chapman and Jenne teamed with junior Genay Pilarowski to take third in the 400-yard medley relay in 3:57.29, slicing nearly 1.5 seconds off the school record.
Chapman clipped nearly two-tenths of a second off her school record in the 200-yard individual medley, placing third in 2:09.62.
Mering also placed third in the men's 50-yard freestyle. His time was 21.46, just one one-hundredth of a second out of the runner-up spot.
Lee joined Mering in the championship finals of the 50 free, placing sixth in 21.84. Chang and Asao swam in the consolation finals, placing 10th and 14th, respectively, with times of 22.03 and 22.22.
Although unable to match the new school record she set in the preliminaries, Jenne finished fourth in the 50-yard freestyle in 24.57 while Hawkins was fourth in 24.58. Banks finished 11th in the consolation finals in 25.25.
In the men's 200-yard individual medley, Win came within a whisker of a school record while placing fourth in 1:56.48. His time was just four one-hundredths of a second off the record set by Scott Daukas in 1995.
Later in the session, however, Win picked off a second Daukas record in the 100-yard backstroke. Win swam the opening 100-yard backstroke leg of the 400-yard medley relay in 53.13, which was just enough undercut the time (53.82) Daukas posted in 1995.
Hawkins snapped her own school record in the 100-yard backstroke while swimming the first leg of the women's 400-yard medley time. She covered the first 100 yards in 59.49, taking about three-tenths of a second off the mark she set last year.
After breaking a 20-year-old record in the preliminaries of the 500-yard freestyle, Jay came back with a lower time (5:11.54) while placing fifth in the championship finals. Junior teammate Charlotte Graham was eighth in 5:21.59; sophomore Melanie Notari was 16th in a career-best 5:24.66.
Senior Chris Bendix made the consolation finals of the men's 500-yard freestyle, placing 13th in 4:53.88.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; email@example.com