Swimmers See Perfect Season Run Dry
News Release Date:
Saturday, January 23
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Two swim programs undefeated in Northwest
Conference competition hit the water Saturday afternoon in the Harvey
Pool at Whitman College.
Despite the home pool advantage, the Whitman women's and men's teams -- 6-0 in dual meets to start the season (5-0 against NWC opponents) for the first time in school history -- saw their perfect seasons come to a close against Whitworth University.
The Whitworth men's team, the defending NWC champion, posted a 139-66 victory. The Pirate women prevailed by the same score. Both Whitworth squads are now 6-0 in the NWC and 6-1 overall.
"Our goal was to use the caliber of athletes at the meet today, whether our own teammates or our competitors, to elevate everyone's swims," Whitman coach Jenn Blomme said.
"Mission accomplished. We had a slew of season best times today, which is quite unusual at this point in the season.
"Our team has been working incredibly hard throughout the last few weeks and as we slowly reduce our training volumes, we're going to see some really awesome swims."
With the Pirate men and women flexing talent and depth in nearly every event, sophomore Monica Boshart provided the Missionaries with their best finish, winning the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:12.92.
The Missionary women also wrapped up the meet with a victory in the 200-yard freestyle. Junior Lauren Flynn and first-year teammates Charlotte Graham, Helen Jenne and Katie Chapman posted a winning time of 1:44.06.
In the men's dual, Whitman just missed a victory in the 100-yard butterfly, where Whitworth's Daniel Bergman was first in 54.52, outlasting Missionary sophomore Matt Liedtke by one-quarter of a second. Liedtke's time, 54.77, was a life-time best that moves him from ninth to eighth on Whitman's all-time Top 10 list for that event.
Whitman sophomore Mitchell Lee came up one-half second short in the 50-yard freestyle, losing to Whitworth's Rory Buck and his 21.78 winning time. Lee was also the runner-up in the 100-yard freestyle, a race won by Michael Woodward in 47.24.
Missionary freshman Kevin Dyer finished second to Kalen Darling in both the 1,650-yard and 500-yard freestyle events. Sophomore Chris Bendix was a close third at the 500-yard distance, finishing 2.5 seconds behind Dyer.
Darling had an impressive day for the Pirates, adding a third victory in the 400-yard individual medley.
Both Buck and Woodward won two events for the Pirate men, as did Natalie Turner and Ashley Lecoq for the Whitworth women.
Graham swam a season-best 1:59.26 in placing second to Turner in the women's 200-yard freestyle, and Chapman just missed her season-best effort in finishing second behind Lecoq in the 100-yard butterfly.
Graham also took second in the 100-yard backstroke behind Whitworth's Jennifer Benson.
Other runner-ups for the Missionaries were sophomore Matt Rowett in the 200-yard freestyle and freshman Paul Chang, who finished 1.2 seconds behind Whitworth's Nathan Ranno in the 100-yard backstroke.
Blomme also praised a number of other swimmers:
* Sophomore Lena Page, who dropped her time by more than 20 seconds in the 1,650-yard freestyle. "That was an incredible race for Lena," Blomme said. "She's new to the mile and had a close race the whole way with one of the Whitworth swimmers."
* Sophomore Sylvie Luiten dropped her time by almost four seconds in the 100-yard butterfly.
* Freshman Adam Brayton lowered his time in the 100-yard freestyle by 1.5 seconds and added a strong anchor leg to the men's 200-yard freestyle relay team.
* First-year swimmer Erin Kiskaddon sliced more than four seconds off her best time in the 500-yard freestyle.
* Sophomore Alyssa Bader posted a season-best time in the 100-yard breaststroke. "With the injuries Alyssa has been battling, that's a real credit to her fortitude," Blomme said.
Whitman and Whitworth conclude their regular seasons next weekend with home meets against Puget Sound.
Whitman hosts Puget Sound at 6 p.m. Friday. The Loggers then travel to Spokane to face Whitworth at 1 p.m. Saturday.
The NWC championships are slated for Feb. 12-14 at the King Co. Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org