Men's Swim Team Dunks UPS Albatross
News Release Date:
Friday, January 29
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- The Whitman College men's swim team removed a large albatross from its backside with a 102-101 dual meet victory over the University of Puget Sound Friday night in the Harvey Pool at Baker Ferguson Fitness Center.
It is the first time Whitman has splashed past the Logger men since Puget Sound joined the Northwest Conference in 1997.
"How do we feel about winning?" asked Whitman coach Jenn Blomme. "It's awesome. It was absolutely a total team effort. Every single point and fraction of a second made the difference.
"Our team showed tonight it's not content with the improvements we've made in recent years. We're going to keep challenging those at the top. Tonight's enthusiasm and intensity is exactly what we intend to bring to the conference championships in two weeks."
Meanwhile, in the women's meet, Whitman notched a number of season-best times but was no match for their Puget Sound counterparts, the defending NWC champions. The Loggers won 152-53.
With its razor-thin win, the Whitman men finished its dual meet season with its best-ever record at 6-1 in the NWC and 7-1 overall. The Puget Sound men are 5-1 in the NWC (5-2 overall) and finish their regular season Saturday at Whitworth.
The Whitman women slipped to 5-2 in the NWC and 6-2 overall. The Logger women are 6-0 in the conference standings and also conclude their season Saturday at Whitworth, which has the same 6-0 conference record.
Freshman Kevin Dyer and sophomore Chris Bendix had a big night for the Missionary men, placing first and second, respectively, in both the 1,000-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle.
Dyer won the longer race in 10:14.27, the best time posted in the NWC this season and just seven seconds off the school record Bendix set a year ago. Bendix was the runner-up in Friday's race with a time of 10:27.46.
Later in the meet, Dyer won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:56.48. Bendix was less than nine seconds back in second place.
Jamie Nusse, a junior who missed last Saturday's meet due to illness, added a Whitman victory in the 200-yard freestyle, winning in 1:50.23.
In the night's final individual event, the 200-yard breaststroke, Puget Sound's Maxwell Cohen was first but Missionaries filled the next four spots. Juniors Nick Wood and Brian Wakefield were second and third, respectively, with Bendix placing fourth and junior Chad Trexler taking fifth. The Whitman foursome finished less than two seconds apart.
With the men's dual meet still in doubt headed to the final relay, the 400-yard freestyle, Whitman teams finished first and second to collect 15 points and edge the Loggers in the final team total.
Nusse teamed with freshman Paul Chang and sophomores Matt Rowett and Mitchell Lee for a winning time of 3:14.41. Senior Kevin McCoy anchored Whitman's second-place team, which also included junior Jeff Sterritt and the Hurlburt brothers, senior Nick and freshman Tyler.
Puget Sound's lone entry in the final relay, along with a third Whitman team, were both disqualified.
"There were lots of DQs for both teams, which was a sign of the intensity at the pool tonight," Blomme said. "Both teams were fighting for it."
Highlights for the Whitman women included a victory in the 200-yard individual medley by first-year standout Charlotte Graham, who was swimming the event for first time this season.
"With Charlotte's strong strokes, it was just a matter of time before she put them all together in a great race," Blomme said.
Graham's winning time was 2:17.03, almost two seconds ahead of her nearest competitor, and it moves her into fifth place on Whitman's all-time Top 10 list for that event.
Katie Barton won two individual events, the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyles, to power the big win for the Puget Sound women. She also swam the opening leg for a Logger quartet that won the 400-yard freestyle relay.
The Loggers also got individual wins from Ann Barrington, Mac MacAfee, Kelsey Elizondo, Kenzie Kitson, Hannah Vernon and Tracy Wormwood.
Jackson Kowalski was a three-time winner for the Puget Sound men. He won the 200-yard individual medley and 200-yard backstroke, and helped the Loggers win the 400-yard medley relay.
Other winners for the Logger men were Adam Ganze, Zachary Walker and Aleksander Jeremic.
Whitman junior Lauren Flynn came up just short in two events, placing second in the 200-yard freestyle by less than eight-tenths of a second and in the 100-yard freestyle by seven one-hundredths of a second. Her time at the longer distance was a season-best effort.
First-year Missionaries Helen Jenne (50-yard freestyle) and Katie Chapman (200-yard butterfly) also placed second in their events.
Sophomore Mitchell Lee was the runner-up in both the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle. "Mitchell's time in the 100 was his season-best by almost a half second," Blomme said. "It was a great race, even if he was second."
CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; email@example.com