Sophomore Swimmers Pace Whits to Victory
News Release Date:
Friday, January 21
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- It was a good night to be a sophomore on the Whitman College swim teams as they hit the water against Pacific Lutheran in a pair of Northwest Conference dual meets Friday night in Tacoma, Wash.
With sophomores Charlotte Graham, Helen Jenne and Katie Chapman each winning two individual races, and sharing in relay victories, the Whitman women captured all but one event in rolling to a 126-60 victory.
The Missionary women improved to 4-1 in the NWC dual meet standings, dropping their Pacific Lutheran counterparts to 3-2.
Sophomore Kevin Dyer paced the Whitman men, winning two individual races and sharing in a relay victory.
Paul Chang, also a sophomore and Dyer's former high school teammate in Carson City, Nev., was part of both victorious relay teams and a winner in his only individual race.
The Whitman men won all but two races in piling up a 127-57 victory margin. The Missionaries are now 5-0 in NWC dual meets. The Lutes slipped to 4-1 in the men's standings.
"For a second weekend in a row, we had some exceptional swims despite some really tough training," Whitman coach Jenn Blomme said.
"We are really proud of the wins tonight and look forward to some good competition tomorrow (at Puget Sound)."
Both Whitman squads got off to quick starts in the opening 400-yard medley relays.
Chapman teamed with senior Lauren Flynn and first-year teammates Keller Hawkins and Claire Collins to post a winning time of 4:10.59 -- the best time by a Whitman quartet in that race this season.
It was Chang, senior Jamie Nusse, junior Matt Liedtke and freshman Shunei Asao winning the men's relay in 3:42.97. That was less than two-tenths of a second off a season-best time for the Missionaries in that relay.
The Whitman men and women then dominated the first individual races -- the 200-yard freestyle events.
Dyer won the men's race in 1:52.60 while junior Matt Rowett was second and freshman Elliott Crane third. Graham took the women's 200 in 2:02.37, beating Collins and sophomore Libby Arnosti to the finish line.
Later in the meet, Graham and Dyer came back to win their respective 500-yard freestyle races. Graham clocked a season-best 5:26.09 on the women's side. Dyer's winning time was 4:58.80.
Chang notched his individual triumph in the men's 200-yard individual medley, winning in a career-best 2:04.03.
Jenne ruled the women's freestyle sprints, taking the 50-yard race in 25.83 and finishing first at 100 yards in 56.54, nipping Flynn by just three one-hundredths of a second.
After winning the 200-yard individual medley in 2:19.19, Chapman made a quick return to the pool to win the next women's race -- the 200-yard butterfly -- in a 2:12.93, her best time of the season.
Melanie Notari, one of Chapman's first-year teammates, finished second in the butterfly in 2:23.96, which was her best time of the season.
Other winners for the Whitman men were Nusse in the 100-yard freestyle (50.26), junior Mitchell Lee in the 50-yard freestyle (22.90), and junior Chris Bendix in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:19.17).
Collins also picked up a victory for the Missionary women, taking the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:35.94.
By agreement prior to the meet, coaches decided not to include the 1,000-yard freestyle in tonight's meet.
The meet concluded with Jenne, Flynn, Arnosti and Graham winning the women's 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:48.60, and with Rowett, Asao, Dyer and Chang stroking to a winning time of 3:23.69 in the men's relay.
Blomme noted that Chang "came from behind in all three of his races tonight. First he helped our medley relay catch up in the first event.
"Then, in the 200 IM, after falling behind after the butterfly and backstroke against one of the best backstrokers on the conference, he caught up in the breaststroke and had a really strong freestyle leg to finish with the win."
Finally, Chang helped the Missionaries rally to win the last relay.
"We were behind at the halfway mark," Blomme said, "but our hometown friends from high school, Kevin (Dyer) and Paul, brought it home. After Kevin shortened PLU's lead on the third leg, Paul again saw somebody ahead of him and went after him. Great intensity and competitiveness!"
Both Whitman teams stay in Tacoma Saturday for 1 p.m. dual meets against Puget Sound.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden,
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
email@example.com; (509) 527-5902