WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Six Whitman College seniors will swim in their final home meet this Friday when the Missionaries host the University of Puget Sound at the Paul Harvey Pool in the Baker Ferguson Fitness Center.
The Northwest Conference dual meet, which wraps up the regular season for Whitman, begins at 5:30 p.m. (30 minutes earlier than originally scheduled). Whitman's seniors -- Clint Collier, Nancy Alexander, Erin Pettersen, Elizabeth Roberson, Ellen McCleery and Rhea Edelman -- will be honored in a brief ceremony starting at 5:15 p.m.
Collier, in his third season as a team captain, has been the anchor for a men's squad that has improved vastly during his four seasons. He ranks second all-time at Whitman in the 100-yard breaststroke, fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke, and sixth in the 200-yard individual medley.
Collier, whose career dual meet record includes numerous individual and relay event victories, won the 100-yard breaststroke at the Northwest Invitational in December for the second time in three seasons. He has placed in three events in each of his three trips to the Northwest Conference championships, finishing as high as sixth in the 400-yard individual medley, seventh in the 100-yard backstroke, and eighth in both breaststroke events as well as the 200-yard individual medley.
Alexander, a captain on the women's team, is a two-time defending Northwest Conference champion in the 200-yard backstroke. She won that event at the Northwest Invitational in each of her first three seasons, missing a fourth consecutive triumph in December by a fraction of a second.
Alexander also has placed as high as fourth in the 100-yard backstroke at the conference championships. She has held the Whitman school record in both backstroke events since midway through her first season, and she shares Whitman school records in two relays. She ranks fourth all-time at Whitman in the 500-yard freestyle, fifth in the 200-yard freestyle and ninth in the 200-yard individual medley.
Pettersen, the Whitman record holder in both butterfly events, is in her second season as a team captain. She won the 200-yard butterfly at the past two Northwest Invitationals, and she has placed third in that event in each of her first three trips to the Northwest Conference Championships. In other events at the conference meet, she has placed as high as third in the 100-yard butterfly and seventh in the 50-yard freestyle.
Pettersen also shares the Whitman school record in three relays. In addition to her school records in the butterfly events, she ranks fifth all-time at Whitman in the 50-yard freestyle.
Roberson, who missed the fall semester of her junior year while studying in Mexico, has had a superlative dual meet season as a senior, chalking up 10 victories in the five freestyle events ranging from 100 to 1,650 yards. Her best finish in past Northwest Conference championship meets was ninth in the 100-yard freestyle. She ranks seventh all-time at Whitman in the 500-yard freestyle and ninth in the 1,650-yard freestyle.
Edelman, in her fourth full season with the women’s team, placed in each of her three trips to the NWC Championships. Her best finish came a year ago when she was 14th in the women’s 200-yard breaststroke. She also has placed as high as 16th in the 1,650-yard freestyle in championship meet competition.
McCleery, who returned to swimming this season after a year off, capped her first two seasons at Whitman with solid performances at the conference championships, placing as high as seventh in 200-yard breaststroke and ninth in the 100-yard breaststroke. She ranks eighth and ninth all-time at Whitman in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke events, respectively.
The Whitman women's team takes a 5-2 dual meet record into Friday's meet. The Missionary men are 4-3. Puget Sound is 5-0 on the women's side and 3-2 in the men's standings.
After Friday's meet, Whitman's swim teams begin final preparations for the 2008 NWC Championships, slated for Feb. 8-10 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.