Whitman's Mering swims to third school record in three days

For the third time in three days, Karl Mering puts his name in the record books at 1:52.18 in the 200 butterfly.


FEDERAL WAY, 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 at the King County Aquatic Center.

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.

Swimmers from more than two dozen universities, colleges and club teams competed at the invitational.

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.

Other Sunday highlights for Whitman included 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).

Helen Jenne 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 (58.82) set by Lauren Flynn in 2009.

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

Genay Pilarowski and 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 Melanie Notari, who was 54th in the 200-yard butterfly in 2:22.66, and Keller Hawkins, who was 64th in the 200-yard backstroke in 2:17.57.

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

On the men's side, Matt Liedtke in the 200-yard butterfly and 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.

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

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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