Whit Men Flash Depth at NWC Swim Meet

News Release Date:
Saturday, February 14

WALLA WALLA, Wash. --The Whitman College men flashed their talented depth in two events during the Saturday morning preliminaries of the Northwest Conference Swimming Championships at the King Co. Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

Missionaries posted five of the top nine times in the preliminaries of the men's 400-yard individual medley. Ysbrand Nusse, who placed second in the finals of the event at each of the past three NWC championship meets, led the Whitman contingent with the morning's fourth-best time (4:18.06). Eric Molnar, a Whitman junior who won the event last year, was close behind with the fifth-best time (4:20.77).

Nusse and Molnar will be joined in tonight's championship finals (top eight) by sophomores Nick Wood and Chad Trexler, who clocked the sixth- and seventh-best times in the preliminaries.

"The men's 400 IM is just crazy," Whitman coach Jenn Blomme said. "The finals tonight will be so exciting with Eric and Ice (Ysbrand), who were one-two in this event last year, competing with current conference phenoms Quentin Darling (Whitworth) and Jay Jones (Pacific Lutheran)."

Freshman Chris Bendix just missed the championship finals of the 400 IM, recording the ninth-best time in the preliminaries. He will swim in tonight's consolation finals along with freshman teammate Brian Wakefield, who qualified in the 16th spot.

The Whitman men failed to crack the championship finals of 100-yard breaststroke, but five of the eight swimmers in the consolation finals will be Missionaries.  Freshmman Mitchell Lee, junior Nick Hurlburt and Trexler led the way, filling spots nine through 11 in the preliminaries. Junior George Stanton and Wood had the morning's 13th- and 15th-best times, respectively.

"All of our men dropped so much time in the 100-yard breaststroke, especially Chad and Nick," Blomme said. "Chad Trexler is swimming out of his mind today. His performances in both of his events today were amazing. Nick Wood also had a big drop today in the breaststroke after having struggled with it for most of the season."

Sophomore Jamie Nusse made a strong showing in the preliminaries of the men's 200-yard freestyle, recording the morning's second-best time. In the women's preliminaries of the same event, Lauren Flynn had the morning's sixth-best time, a career-best 2:00.33. "With both Jamie and Lauren in the finals tonight, the 200 freestyle will be exciting for us tonight," Blomme said. "There were some great swims this morning, especially on the women's side, so Lauren has her work cut out for her. I'm totally confident she can go faster tonight."

Senior Noel Sollom-Brotherton also advances to the championship finals with a high seed in the men's 100-yard backstroke, after placing third in the prelims with a career-best 54.86.

Whitman will have two women in tonight's finals of the 400 IM. Junior Kendi Thomas had the morning's fifth-best time while first-year teammate Linnea Scott advanced with the seventh seed from the preliminaries. "Both Kendi and Linnea are poised for strong swims tonight," Blomme said. "They swam well this morning and could go faster tonight."

Junior Chelsea Klinger just 400 IM championship finals, posting this morning's 10th-best time.

First-year Missionary Monica Boshart made the championship finals of the 100-yard breaststroke, but she had to work especially hard to get the eighth and final spots in the finals. She and Puget Sound's Sarah Wilson tied for eighth with times of 1:11.89, so a "swim-off" between the two was held 20 minutes later to see who would make tonight's championship race and who would be relegated to the consolation finals.

"It was an exciting race to watch," Blomme said. "Monica outswam her competitor in the middle of the pool, but her opponent had stronger turns. In the end, Monica dropped another second from her earlier time and won the race to get the eighth spot." 

Senior Courtney Fitzpatrick just missed the championship finals of the 100-yard butterfly, placing ninth in the prelims. She will be joined in the consolation finals (nine through 16) by two teammates. Sophomore Jeraldine Enriquez finished 13th, two spots in front of junior Jessie Neill.

First-year Missionary Alyssa Bader made the consolation finals of the 100-yard breaststroke, placing 12th in the prelims.

In addition to his breaststroke event earlier in the morning, Stanton came back to post the 11th-best time in the 100-yard backstroke. He will swim in the consolation finals with senior Colin Gibson, who placed 15th in the prelims.

Freshman Matt Liedtke made the consolation finals of the 100-yard butterfly, clocking the morning's 11th-best time. Matt Rowett, a freshman who has been slowed by injury the past month, just missed the consolation finals, placing 17th in the prelims.

Rowett came back in the next men's event, the 200-yard freestyle, to register the 12th-best time and advance to the consolations. He finished one spot in front of sophomore teammate Eliot Stone, who also advanced.

Other Whitman swimmers who competed in Saturday's morning preliminaries were:

Women's 400-yard IM: Monica Boshart, 18th, 5:15.97.

Women's 100-yard butterfly: Becca Young, 17th, 1:10.62; Sylvie Luiten, 20th, 1:21.12..

Women's 200-yard freestyle: Katie Tackman, 20th, 2:09.70; Sidney Kohls, 24th, 2:14.09; Lena Page, 30th, 2:21.62.

Women's 100-yard breaststroke: Ali Schueter, 19th, 1:212.34.

Women's 100-yard backstroke: Vanessa Johnson, 19th, 1:08.65; Kate Pringle, 23rd, 1:10.42; Becca Young, 24th, 1:11.32.

Men's 100-yard breaststroke: Brian Wakefield, 21st, 1:05.48.


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