Whits Win Three More Swim Titles; Records Continue Free Fall

News Release Date:
Saturday, February 11


WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Whitman College swimmers won three more event titles and continued to fold, spindle and otherwise mutilate the school record book at Saturday night's championship finals of the Northwest Conference Championships at the King Co. Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

Photo Top Page

 That's Karl Mering,
winner of Saturday's
200-yard butterfly

Greg Lehman photos

As a team, the Whitman men took a solid grip on second place in the team scoring, finishing the night with 360 points.

Whitworth leads the eight-school men's field with 585 points while Puget Sound (326) and Pacific Lutheran are the two squads chasing Whitman for runner-up honors.

On the women's side, Whitman has command of third place with 347 points, more than 100 points clear of fourth-place Pacific. The Whitworth women are first with 428 points but just eight points in front of Puget Sound.

Junior Galen Sollom-Brotherton and freshman Karl Mering led the Saturday night charge for the Missionary men.

Day Two Results

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Sollom-Brotherton captured his second event title in as many days, dominating the 400-yard individual medley in 3:59.24. He beat his nearest competitor by more than seven seconds and sliced another five seconds off his school record.

Mering won the men's 100-yard butterfly in 49.83, nipping Puget Sound's Jere Jeremikj by three one-hundredths of a second.

Mering and Sollom-Brotherton also teamed with freshman Kevin O'Leary and senior Mitchell Lee to win the 800-yard freestyle relay in 6:51.37, slashing nine seconds from the school record. The time also meets the provisional qualifying standard for the NCAA Division III national championships.

The victory also marked the second relay triumph in as many days for the Whitman men. Lee, Sollom-Brotherton and Mering joined sophomore Shunei Asao to capture Friday night's 200-yard freestyle relay.

While the Whitman women didn't win any event titles in tonight's finals, sophomore Keller Hawkins came oh-so close in the 100-yard backstroke. She lowered her school record to 58.71, finishing just two one-hundredths of a second behind the winner.

Claire Collins

Junior Genay Pilarowski and sophomore Claire Collins also challenged for the top spot in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Pilarowski finished third in 1:06.61, peeling two-tenths of a second off a school record set by Collins just last year. Collins took fourth in tonight's race in 1:07.10.

Collins also swam in the championship finals of a second event, placing seventh in the 400-yard individual medley in 4:47.79.

Junior Paul Chang was the runner-up in the men's 100-yard breaststroke in 58.20, snipping three-tenths of a second of his own school record.

O'Leary finished third in the men's 100-yard backstroke in 52.86, wresting the school record away from freshman teammate Nick Win, who placed fifth in 52.03. Win had set the record at 52.13 Friday night in swimming opening leg of the 400-yard medley relay.

Sophomore Melanie Notari and junior Katie Chapman gave Whitman a strong one-two punch in the championship finals of the 100-yard butterfly. Notari was fourth in 58.22, finishing less than one-half second out of first, while Chapman was fifth in 58.27.

Ashley Jay, one of Whitman's first-year swimmers, placed fifth in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:56.23, moving into second place on Whitman's best-times list for that event. Junior Charlotte Graham was eighth in 1:58.33.

Lee posted a sixth-place showing in the men's 200-yard freestyle. His time was 1:45.24.

While the Whitman men obliterated the school record in winning the 800-yard freestyle relay, Missionary school records fell in all four of the relay events.

Melanie Notari

Hawkins, Pilarowski, Chapman and Jenne placed second in the women's 200-yard medley in 1:48.09, dropping nearly one second off the record.

It was Graham, Collins, Chapman and Jay finishing third in the 800-yard freestyle while lowering the school standard by six-tenths of a second to 7:55.35.

Win, Chang, Lee and senior Matt Liedtke gave Whitman a third-place showing in the 200-yard medley relay. They dropped the school record by nearly one second to 1:36.05.

Liedtke was one of several Whitman swimmers who competed in tonight's consolation finals. He won his consolation final in the 100-yard butterfly, placing ninth overall in 52.50.

Junior Sara Behrens finished 10th in the 100-yard backstroke in 1:03.53, a career-best time. O'Leary added a 10th-place showing in the men's 200-yard freestyle with a season-best 1:45.93, and sophomore Jacob Gavin swam a career-best 1:04.78 in placing 11th in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Placing 12th in other racess were Pilarowski in the women's 100-yard butterfly (1:02.48) and Asao in the men's 100-yard backstroke (55.44). Juniors Joey Gottlieb and Andrew Roehrig also swam the backstroke, placing 14th and 16th, respectively, in 57.41 and 58.48.

Ellen Banks in the 200-yard freestyle (2:00.46) and Yohan Mahoney (4:43.91) in the men's 400-yard individual medley placed 14th. Senior Monica Boshart was 15th in the 100-yard breaststroke in a season-best 1:11.81.

Galen Sollom-Brotherton

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