More School Records Fall; Men Take 3rd,
Women Finish 4th at NWC Swim Meet

News Release Date:
Sunday, February 15

WALLA WALLA, Wash. - With sophomore Chad Trexler, freshman Chris Bendix and the relay squad obliterating three more school records, the Whitman College men's swim team put an emphatic finishing touch on its best season in two decades in Sunday night's final session of the Northwest Conference Championships in Federal Way, Wash.

Chad Trexler glances to the scoreboard to see what his joyous
teammates already know -- that he just broke a school record.

Whitman racked up 561 points in the men's team scoring, placing third for first time since 1987, when the NWC meet had just six teams.

In the women's championships, a young women's team finished with 320.5 points, good enough for a fourth place in the eight school field. Sophomore Lauren Flynn led the way Sunday night, breaking her second school record of the three-day meet with a third-place showing in the 100-yard freestyle.

Senior Noel Sollom-Brotherton posted Whitman's best showing in the Sunday finals, placing second in the 200-yard backstroke, although he didn't swim quite as fast as he did in the morning preliminaries, when he knocked three seconds off his existing school record.

Whitworth University won the men's title with 736 points. The University of Puget Sound was second with 675.5 points. Pacific Lutheran, nearly 200 points behind Whitman, was fourth with 364.5, followed by Linfield 356, Pacific 197, Lewis & Clark 169, and Willamette 136.

In the women's scoring, Puget Sound edged Whitworth 777 to 765 to take top honors. Lewis & Clark was third with 456 points and Whitman fourth with 320.5. Rounding out the field were Pacific Lutheran 244, Linfield 241, Pacific 229.5, and Willamette 162.

"For Whitman, tonight was a great finish to a tremendous weekend," Whitman coach Jenn Blomme. "We've had so many great swims that it's hard to remember them all. Both of our teams performed just about as well as they could. We've had an incredible meet."

Noel Sollom-Brotherton
Lauren Flynn

Flynn, who broke Whitman's school record in the 50-yard freestyle in Friday morning's preliminaries, waited until Sunday's finals to set a new school mark in the 100-yard freestyle. She placed third in 53.82, finishing less than six-tenths of a second out of the runner-up spot. Flynn trimmed about one-tenth of a second off the school record set in 1992 by Michelle Zinanti.

After exploding a school record in the 800-yard freestyle relay to close Saturday night's session, the Whitman men registered a repeat performance as Sunday night's session closed with the 400-yard freestyle relay. Sollom-Brotherton teamed with senior Ysbrand Nusse, sophomore Jamie Nusse and freshman Mitchell Lee to place a strong third in 3:09.59, slicing almost five seconds off a school record set in 1996.

The Nusse brothers and Sollom-Brotherton, along with junior Eric Molnar, set Saturday night's new record in the 800 free relay.

Trexler and Bendix, two of the younger members of the men's team, annihilated school records while placing third in their Sunday night events.

Mitchell Lee
Matt Liedtke

Trexler, swimming more than four seconds faster than he did in the morning prelims, clocked a 2:09.45 in the 200-yard breaststroke. That trimmed more than three seconds off the school standard set by Jason Ridle in 1996. "Chad really came out of nowhere this weekend with some incredible swims," Blomme said. "Tonight was probably the race of his life. It was exhilarating to watch."

Bendix made his mark in the 1,650-yard freestyle, becoming only the second Whitman swimmer to crack the 17-minute barrier with a time of 16:43.55. He missed second place by little more than one second while dropping the school record, set in 1996 by Garrett Hageman, by almost 15 seconds.

Molnar, who missed fall semester training while on foreign study, posted a third-place showing in the Sunday finals of 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:00.54. Freshman Matt Liedtke was sixth in the championship heat in 2:06.18, which moves him into eight place all-time in the Whitman history books. Molnar already ranks second all-time at Whitman in the event.

The Nusse brothers both registered fifth-place finishes in separate events. Ysbrand's time in the 200-yard backstroke was 1:59.02, while Jamie was clocked at 47.54 in the 100-yard freestyle.

Linnea Scott
Chelsea Klinger

Two Whitman women made the top eight in the 1,650-yard freestyle. First-year swimmer Linnea Scott was sixth in 18:43.42, which moves her to ninth place on Whitman's all-time list for that event. Junior Chelsea Klinger was eighth in 19:08.48. 

Monica Boshart, another of Whitman's first-year swimmers, placed eighth in the championship finals (top eight) of the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:36.80. That moves her into sixth place on Whitman's all-time list.

After placing 10th in the morning prelims of the women's 200-yard butterfly, senior Courtney Fitzpatrick won Sunday night's consolation finals, placing ninth overall in 2:22.50. Junior Jessie Neill and sophomore Jeraldine Enriquez placed 14th and 16th, respectively, in the consolation finals.

Junior Kendi Thomas placed 14th in the consolation finals of the 200-yard backstroke, while first-year teammate Alyssa Bader was 15th in the 200-yard breaststroke. Katie Tackman, another first-year swimmer, was 13th in the 1,650-yard freestyle, finishing three spots in front of junior Sidney Kohls.

The men's team advanced three swimmers from the morning prelims to the consolation finals (nine through 16) in two different events.

Courtney Fitzpatrick
Matt Rowett

Freshman Matt Rowett, hampered by injuries the past month, won the consolation final of the 200-yard butterfly, placing ninth overall in 2:09.00. Had he been swimming in the championship finals, his time would have placed him seventh overall. Sophomore Nate Wells was 12th in the consolation heat in 2:14.16 -- a time that would have placed him eighth in the championship finals -- and senior Max Hennings was 16th. 

Sophomore Nick Wood won the consolation finals of the 200-yard breaststroke, placing ninth overall in 2:14.31, a time that moves him into third place all-time at Whitman for that event. Sophomore Brian Wakefield was 12th and junior Nick Hurlburt 14th.

Freshman Mitchell Lee won a third consolation final for the Missionaries, placing ninth overall in the 100-yard freestyle in 48.38. That time would have placed him seventh in the championship final, and it also moves him into fourth place all-time at Whitman for that race.

Senior Colin Gibson and junior George Stanton both placed in the consolation finals of the 200-yard backstroke. Gibson was 11th and Stanton 13th. 

While Bendix was placing third in the men's 1,650-yard freestyle, three of his teammates also scored points by cracking the top 16. Wells was 11th in 18:07.75, freshman Ian Williams was 12th in 18:22.09, and sophomore Eliot Stone was 14th in 18:38.38.

The Whitman women placed fifth in their 400-yard freestyle, missing fourth by less than four-tenths of a second. Klinger, Thomas, Fitzpatrick and Flynn were timed in 3:45.52.

Day Three: Complete Results

- 30 -

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