Men Shatter Record in 800 Free Relay

News Release Date:
Saturday, February 14

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- With its 800-yard freestyle relay squad obliterating a 13-year-old school record, the Whitman College men's swim team solidified its hold on third place at the Northwest Conference Championships Saturday night in the King Co. Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

Ysbrand Nusse
Noel Sollom-Brotherton

Seniors Ysbrand Nusse and Noel Sollom-Brotherton teamed with junior Eric Molnar and sophomore Jamie Nusse to place second in the 800-yard freestyle relay in 7:00.53, slicing more than nine seconds off the Whitman school record.

The Missionary foursome finished less than two seconds behind the winning team from Whitworth University but almost 10 seconds in front of third-place Linfield College.

"It was our most exciting event of the night," Whitman coach Jenn Blomme said. "The guys have been gunning for this school record all year, and they just annihilated it tonight. All four guys had phenomenal, inspired swims."

Eric Molnar
Jamie Nusse

In the men's overall team scoring, Whitman heads to Sunday's final day of competition with a third-place total of 359 points, well ahead of fourth-place Pacific Lutheran's 259 points. Whitworth leads the eight-school men's field with 476 points, just 18 points ahead of Puget Sound.

Led by sophomore Lauren Flynn, who placed fourth in the 200-yard freestyle, a young Whitman women's team finished Saturday's events in fourth place with 218.5 points. Puget Sound sits in first on the women's side with 529.5 points, followed by Whitworth with 518 points and Lewis & Clark with 299.

Jamie Nusse gave Whitman its best individual placing of the night, finishing second in the 200-yard freestyle. He missed Whitman's school record in that event by less than six-tenths of a second.

Older brother Ysbrand Nusse led a dominating Missionary team performance in the 400-yard individual medley, placing third in a career-best 4:14.26. Molnar was fourth in 4:15.30 while sophomore teammates Nick Wood and Chad Trexler placed seventh and eighth, respectively.

Kendi Thomas
Lauren Flynn

In Saturday morning's preliminaries, freshman Chris Bendix just missed giving Whitman a fifth qualifier for the 400 IM championship finals. Bendix exacted a measure of revenge by dominating the consoliation finals, beating his nearest challenger by nearly seven seconds and finishing ninth overall in 4:23.92. He would have placed sixth with that time had he been swimming in the championship finals.

A second Whitman freshman, Brian Wakefield, also swam in the 400 IM consolation finals, placing 15th.

Sollom-Brotherton supplied another Missionary highlight in the 100-yard backstroke, placing third in a career-best 54.09. Like Jamie Nusse in the 200-yard free, Sollom-Brotherton fell just short of a new school record.

Linnea Scott
Courtney Fitzpatrick

In placing fourth in the women's 200-yard freestyle in a career-best 1:57.86, Flynn also moved into second place on Whitman's all-time best-times list for that event. "Lauren dropped quite a bit of time from the morning preliminaries," Blomme said. "It was a great swim for her."

Junior Kendi Thomas and first-year teammate Linnea Scott placed fifth and sixth for Whitman in the women's 400 IM finals. Senior Chelsea Klinger swam in the consolation finals, placing 10th overall.

Monica Boshart, another first-year Missionary, finished seventh in the 100-yard breaststroke finals in 1:10.62. That moves her from 10th to fourth on Whitman's best-times list. "Monica has dropped a great deal of time this weekend," Blomme says. "She's been awesome."

Senior Courtney Fitzpatrick won the consolation finals of the 100-yard butterfly, placing ninth overall in 1:04.12. Junior Jessie Neill and sophomore Jeraldine Enriquez also swam in the consolation heat, placing 14th and 15th, respectively.

Alyssa Bader, a first-year swimmer, placed 12th for Whitman in the consolation finals of 100-yard breaststroke.

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Mitchell Lee
Chris Bendix

Whitman dominated the consolation finals of the men's 100-yard breaststroke. Freshman Mitchell Lee won the heat, placing ninth overall in 1:01.85, which moves him into third-place all-time at Whitman. Finishing in spots 11 through 14 were junior Nick Hurlburt, sophomores Chad Trexler and Nick Wood, and junior George Stanton. Hurlburt and Wood are now tied for fourth all-time at Whitman while Trexler and Stanton are also in the top 10.

In the consolation finals of the men's 100-yard butterfly, freshman Matt Liedtke placed 10th overall in 55.12, which moves him into ninth place at Whitman for that event. Freshman Matt Rowett finished 13th and sophomore Eliot Stone was 14th in the 200-yard freestyle consolation heat. Senior Colin Gibson was 14th in the 100-yard backstroke.

Whitman placed fourth in the other men's relay (200-yard medley) held Saturday night. The foursome of Molnar, Stanton, Liedtke and Lee posted a time of 1:40.38.

The Whitman women placed fifth in their 800-yard freestyle. Klinger, Scott, Thomas and Flynn finished in 8:18.12. 

In the women's 200-yard medley relay, it was Klinger, Boshart, Fitzpatrick and Pringle placing sixth in 1:58.50.

"Everything is going great so far," Blomme said. "We're so proud of the way our athletes our swimming, and we can't wait to see what happens tomorrow."

Day Two: Complete Results

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