Whitman swim teams defeat Linfield

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WALLA WALLA — Whitman College’s men’s and women’s swim teams opened their Northwest Conference dual-meet season on positive notes by outscoring Linfield College Friday at Harvey Pool.

The men’s team prevailed 140-62 and the women came out on top 127-78.

“It was awesome to see our first-year swimmers perform in their first college dual meet,” Whitman coach Jennifer Blomme said. “The depth of the team was evident in winning all of the relays and taking first and second in so many events — even first through third in some of them.”

Blomme singled out several races as highlights for her teams.

Junior Galen Sollom-Brotherton and sophomore Karl Mering raced each other for top honors in the 200 freestyle. Sollom-Brotherton was clocked in 1 minutes, 44.38 seconds to claim first place and Mering was caught in 1:45 flat to finish second.

“Both were great early season times,” Blomme said.

Freshman Elise Tinseth and sophomore Nic Win had strong performances in the 400 individual medley. Tinseth turned in a women’s winning time of 4:54.48 and Win won the men’s 400 IM in 4:21.09.

“Those were amazing times,” the coach said.

Senior captain Genay Pilarowski won the women’s 100 butterfly with a personal best time of 1:02.67, and she swam to first as well in the 100 breaststroke in 1:09.12. And senior Paul Chang was equally impressive in winning the men’s 100 breaststroke in 1:01.12 and the 100 freestyle in 48.74.

“Kudos also to our backstroke winners, both of whom have been sick and struggling physically this week,” Blomme said. “Sam Starr on the men’s side and Cameo Hlebasko on the women’s side.”

Hlebasko captured the women’s 100 backstroke in 1:00.40 and Starr claimed first for the men at the same distance in 54.23.

“Despite not being in full health, they both showed some real fortitude tonight, winning with great races against teammates,” Blomme said.

“Finally,” Blomme added, “something you wouldn’t pick up on in the times is that many of our swimmers were racing new and challenging events tonight.”

The coach will be looking for more of the same Saturday when the Whits entertain Willamette University in another dual meet at Harvey Pool.

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