Whitman can't win pool battle of the Whits


WALLA WALLA - The Whitworth University swim teams finished their undefeated roll through the Northwest Conference dual meet season on Saturday, but their Whitman College hosts posted a few highlights of their own at Whitman's Harvey Pool.

The final team scores were nearly identical. The Pirate men won 171-91 while the Pirate women finished with a 170-91 edge.

Jamie Nusse, one of six Whitman men swimming their last home meet, notched one Missionary victory in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 49.30.

Sophomore Kevin Dyer added a second triumph in the 1,650-yard freestyle, catching and passing Whitworth's Korey Kinney late in the race as a large throng of Whitman students screamed their approval. Dyer finished in 17:10.70, outlasting Kinney at the end by 34 one-hundredths of a second.

The boisterous Whitman faithful, shaking the viewing balcony, loudly serenaded Dyer throughout the long race with a variety of chants ranging from Eat My Wake to Clor-Ri-Na-Tion and Run Forrest Run. They also threw in a few choruses of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and "We Will Rock You."

Sophomore Katie Chapman scored Whitman's two victories on the women's side, winning the 200-yard butterfly in 2:14.79 and 200-yard individual medley in 2:18.32.

Sophomore Paul Chang gave Whitman another highlight in the 100-yard breaststroke, even though he couldn't keep pace with Whitworth super swimmer Rory Buck, who won the race in an eye-popping 56.31. Chang was second in 1:00.18, which was good enough to break Whitman's school record, set by Clint Collier in 2008 at 1:00.47.

Buck, who also won the 200-yard breaststroke, was one of four Whitworth men to win two individual events apiece. One of the others was Aaron Vaccaro, who snapped his own Whitworth school record in winning the 100-yard butterfly in 50.24. He also won the 50-yard freestyle in 21.33.

Other double winners were for the Pirate men were Austin Vierra (200-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle) and Michael Woodward (100-yard backstroke, 200-yard individual medley).

Jennifer Benson (100-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle) and Melissa Barringer (200-yard breaststroke, 100-yard breaststroke) were two-time winners for the Pirate women.

Winning one race each were Kate Duvall, Christine DeHaven, Brenda Foster, Michael Coiner, Ashley LeCoq and Abby Pavelko.

After losing the 1,650-yard freestyle to Dyer, Kinney came back to win the 200-yard backstroke for the Pirate men, who also got a victory from Luke Welle in the 200-yard butterfly.

Whitman swimmers clocked career- and season-best times in a number of races.

Keller Hawkins, a first-year Missionary, was the runner-up by less than one second in the 100-yard backstroke. Her season-best time (1:01.12) leaves her in second place on Whitman's Top 10 list of best times for that event. Sophomore Libby Arnosti placed third in 1:03.44, which moves her from eighth to sixth place at Whitman.

Arnosti also finished second in the 200-yard backstroke in 2:16.79, moving from 10th to fourth on the Whitman Top 10 list for that event.

First-year sophomore Genay Pilarowski finished second in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:10.06, jumping from sixth to fourth all-time at Whitman.

Chang added a second-place showing in the men's 200-yard breaststroke in a career-best 2:15.99.

Junior Matt Liedtke finished second in both butterfly events, finishing about one second off the pace at the 200-yard distance.

Lauren Flynn, one of three senior women, finished second for the Missionaries in the 100-yard freestyle in 55.19.

Whitworth also won all four relay races, although Whitman teams posted season-best times in three of those events.

"Our teams absolutely exceeded expectations today," Whitman coach Jenn Blomme said. "We are so excited about Paul Chang's school record and about all of the season- and career-best times we had today. We're so looking forward to the conference championships."

Other seniors swimming their last home meets for Whitman were Natalie Reilly, Ali Schlueter, Nick Wood, Chad Trexler, Brian Wakefield, Nate Wells and Eliot Stone.

For Whitman, Saturday's meet marked the end of the regular season. Whitworth concludes its regular season next Saturday when its hosts a non-conference meet against College of Idaho.

The NWC Championships are set for Feb. 25-27 at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Ore.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment

Click here to sign in