Dyer Heads to Swim Finals in Second Spot

News Release Date:
Friday, February 12

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Freshman Kevin Dyer posted the morning's second-best time in the men's 500-yard freestyle as the Northwest Conference Swim Championships began Friday with the first round of preliminary heats at the King Co. Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

Dyer, who was clocked in 4:49.53 (his best time of the season by almost three seconds), will be joined in tonight's championship finals by sophomore teammate Chris Bendix, who placed eighth in the preliminaries in a season-best 5:00.99.

Kevin Dyer

Junior Lauren Flynn gave the Missionary women their highest morning finish in the 50-yard freestyle, where she was sixth in the preliminaries in a season-best time of 25.03. She holds Whitman's school record in the event at 24.59. 

Junior Jamie Nusse and sophomore Mitchell Lee gave Whitman a strong one-two punch in the men's 50-yard freestyle. Nusse swam a career-best 21.90 and heads to the finals tonight in third place. Lee had the morning's fifth-fastest time at 22.07.

Charlotte Graham, a first-year Missionary, made the championship finals in the 200-yard individual medley. Her morning time, 2:17.41, was the eighth-best time in the preliminary heats.

Lauren Flynn

"This morning's (Whitman) swims were nearly all season-best times," Whitman coach Jenn Blomme said. "In our sport, dropping time is ultimately and always the end goal, whether it's a hundredth of a second or 10 seconds.

"Whatever disappointments we experienced were only a result of the extremely high expectations we have established for ourselves and for our team."

Several Missionaries advanced to tonight's consolation finals, which is for swimmers who place ninth through 16th in the preliminaries.

Katie Chapman, another of Whitman's first-year swimmers, finished 10th overall in the 50-yard freestyle, swimming a season-best 25.62. She finished just one-tenth of a second out of the eighth and final spot in the championship finals.

Jamie Nusse

Helen Jenne, also a first-year swimmer, just missed advancing to join Chapman in the consolation finals. Jennie and Cherice Cochrane, a Pacific sophomore, tied for 17th with a time of 26.11.

Jennie then edged Cochrane in a swim-off with a time of 25.74. Jennie will compete in tonight's consolation finals if any of the top 16 swimmers from the preliminaries are unable to swim.

Sophomores Matt Rowett and Matt Liedtke advanced to the 200-yard individual medley consolations. Rowett was 10th this morning in 2:06.11 while Liedtke was 11th in 2:12.55. 

Charlotte Graham

Freshman Paul Chang and senior Nick Hurlburt qualified in the 50-yard freestyle, placing 11th and 12th, respectively, with times of 22.64 and 22.69. Hurlburt's time was a season-best effort by more than one second.

Nate Wells, a junior, turned in a strong performance in the 500-yard freestyle, lowering his season-best time by 23 seconds, finishing 13th in the preliminaries in 5:13.44.

Eliot Stone, also a junior, trimmed his season-best time by six seconds, but it wasn't quite enough to secure a spot in the consolation finals. He was 17th in the preliminaries in 5:19.92.

Natalie Reilly, a junior in her first year of college swimming, made the consolations in the 200-yard individual medley. She was 15th in the preliminaries in 2:21.92.

Other Whitman swimmers who competed this morning were:

500-Yard Freestyle -- Katie Tackman, 19th, 5:48.91; Sidney Kohls, 28th, 6:01.84; Lena Page, 29th,6:05.03; Erin Kiskaddon, 30th, 6:06.18.

200-Yard Individual Medley -- Cari Cortez, 19th, 2:26.42; Rebecca Ryle, 20th, 2:26.76; Monica Boshart, 22nd, 2:27.22.

50-Yard Freestyle -- Sara Behrens, 27th, 27.13; Hensley Fradkin, 33rd, 28.18; Jessie Neill, 35th, 28.39; Alyssa Bader, 37th, 29.03.

50-Yard Freestyle -- Adam Brayton, 19th, 23.14.

Friday morning preliminaries

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