Mering Adds Third Whitman School Record to Swim Resume

News Release Date:
Sunday, December 4

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Freshman phenom Karl Mering etched his name into the Whitman College record book for the third time in as many days on Sunday as the 63rd annual Husky Invitational Swim Meet finished its three-day run in Federal Way, Wash.

Mering struck again in the morning preliminaries of the 200-yard butterfly, setting the pace for all 78 competitors with a time of 1:52.18. That carved nearly two full seconds off the Whitman school record set in 1993 by Gary Ames, and it gave Mering his third straight provisional qualifying time for the NCAA Division III national championships.

Mering returned to the pool for the evening finals but was unable to match his morning time. He was clocked in 1:52.35, placing fifth overall.


Ivan Nechunaez, a senior at NCAA Division II Grand Canyon University, took first in the finals of the 200 butterfly, swimming nearly five seconds faster than his time in the morning preliminaries.

Swimmers from more than two dozen universities, colleges and club teams competed at the invitational, which was held at the King Co. Aquatic Center.

Mering, one of about 15 Whitman swimmers at the invitational, set new school records in the 100-yard butterfly and 50-yard freestyle on Friday and Saturday, placing fourth and eighth in those events.

"Everyone is really fatigued at the end of this meet, and it showed at the end of a few of the races," Whitman coach Jenn Blomme said.

"But everyone is exactly where they should be at this time of year. We're excited about bringing momentum from this meet back to campus to help elevate our training over the next few weeks."

Other Sunday highlights for Whitman included junior Katie Chapman placing fourth in the evening finals of the women's 200-yard butterfly in 2:08.43, which meets the provisional qualifying standard for the national championships. She advanced to the finals after posting the morning's seventh-best time (2:09.26).


"Katie's 200 fly was amazing," Blomme said. "It was awesome she made the finals against some really fast swimmers."

Helen Jenne, a junior, also snapped a Whitman school record in this morning's preliminaries of the 100-yard freestyle. Her time was was 53.62, which eclipsed the mark (53.82) set by Lauren Flynn in 2009.

Jenne was 30th in the prelims and then placed 31st in the finals in 53.83.

Junior Genay Pilarowski and sophomore Claire Collins both advanced to the finals of the 200-yard breaststroke.


Pilarowski was 21st in the prelims in 2:28.06 and then finished 19th in the finals in 2:26.73. which is the second-best time ever posted at Whitman for that event. "Genay seemed to drop two seconds every time she raced," Blomme said.

Collins finished 27th in the 200 breast, swimming 2:30.05 in the finals after going 2:30.28 in the prelims.

Other Whitman women who swam in the Sunday prelims included sophomore Melanie Notari, who was 54th in the 200-yard butterfly in 2:22.66, and sophomore Keller Hawkins, who was 64th in the 200-yard backstroke in 2:17.57.


Juniors Sara Behrens and Charlotte Graham swam prelim heats in the 100-yard freestyle, placing 151st and 169th, respectively in a huge throng of 206 competitors.

On the men's side, senior Matt Liedtke in the 200-yard butterfly and junior Paul Chang in the 200-yard breaststroke came close to qualifying for the finals in those events.

Liedtke was 38th in the prelims of his race in 2:02.29 while Chang was 39th in his event in 2:16.84.

Freshman Kevin O'Leary was 44th in the prelims of the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:01.95.

Freshman Nic Win was in the prelims of two events. He was 51st in the 200 back in 2:03.63 and 54th in the 200 breast in 2:25.65.

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