FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Whitman College freshman Kevin Dyer set a new school record while placing second in the 500-yard freestyle at the Northwest Conference Swim Championships Friday night at the King County Aquatic Center.
Meanwhile, junior Lauren Flynn and first-year teammates Charlotte Graham, Katie Chapman and Helen Jenne broke their own Whitman school record in placing third in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Other Whitman highlights included junior Jamie Nusse taking third in the men's 50-yard freestyle in a career-best time.
The Whitman men's team finished day one in third place with 143 points, trailing only Whitworth (226) and Puget Sound (180). Other team scores on the men's side were Linfield 113, Lewis & Clark 90, Pacific Lutheran 77, and Pacific 63.
The Whitman women's team was in fourth place with 101 points, just six points behind third-place Lewis & Clark. Whitworth with 236 points and Puget Sound with 200 filled the top two spots. Next in line, after Whitman, were Pacific 97, Linfield 74, Willamette 73, and Pacific Lutheran 49.
"Today was not our strongest day for our women, just in terms of events entered," Whitman coach Jenn Blomme said. "We have a stronger line-up in tomorrow's events. Our men had a great showing today, but they will come back even stronger on Saturday."
Dyer was clocked in 4:42.42 in Friday night's finals of the 500-yard freestyle, slicing more than seven seconds off the time he swam in the morning preliminaries. His time also shaves more than three seconds off the school record that Nusse set a year ago.
Kalen Darling, a Whitworth junior and transfer from NCAA Division I University of Hawaii, won the men's 500 in 4:34.34.
Whitman sophomore Chris Bendix also swam in the men's 500, placing sixth in 4:54.40. That was two spots higher than he finished at last year's championships.
Graham, Jenne, Chapman and Flynn posted a time of 1:41.21 in the women's 200-yard freestyle relay. That cut more than one second off the school record the same foursome set in a dual meet last November.
Nusse's time in the men's 50-yard freestyle was 21.63. Linfield senior Dominic Rieniets was first in 21.10 with Whitworth's Rory Buck taking second in 21.18.
Whitman sophomore Mitchell Lee also swam in the finals of the 50 free, placing seventh in 21.92.
Both Flynn and Graham placed sixth in other individual events. Flynn's time in the women's 50 free was 25.23 while Graham, swimming the 200-yard individual medley for only the second time as a collegian, was timed in 2:15.94.
Chapman won the consolation finals of the women's 50 free, placing ninth overall in a lifetime-best 25.57.
Other Missionaries in the consolation finals included sophomores Matt Rowett and Matt Liedtke, who placed 10th and 11th, respectively, in the 200-yard individual medley with times of 2:06.67 and 2:09.44.
Freshman Paul Chang swam a season-best 22.48 in placing 10th in the 50 free. Senior Nick Hurlburt was 15th in 22.83.
Juniors Nate Wells and Natalie Reilly also placed 15th in their events. Wells swam a 5:14.98 in the 500 freestyle while Reilly was clocked in 2:21.76 in the 200-yard individual medley.
In the men's 200-yard freestyle relay, the Whitman foursome of Chang, Rowett, Lee and Nusse placed a strong third in 1:26.39, missing the school record by just eight one-hundredths of a second.
They finished just four-tenths of a second behind runner-up Whitworth and 1.01 seconds behind first-place Puget Sound.
Whitman placed third (women) and fourth (men) in the final events of the night, the 400-yard medley relays.
Sophomore Monica Boshart teamed with Graham, Chapman and Flynn for a time of 4:08.89.
After senior Eric Molnar swam the opening leg, it was Lee, Leidtke and Nusse taking turns en route to a time of 3:36.88. The Missionary men finished just 14 one-hundredths of a second out of third place.
The championships continued on Saturday with preliminaries at 10 a.m. and the finals at 6 p.m. A third and final day of racing is set for today.