Missionaries swim to wins at Pacific

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FOREST GROVE, Ore. — Whitman College’s men’s swim team took one route to a Northwest Conference dual-meet victory over Pacific University here Saturday night.

The Missionary women took another.

While the men’s team collected seven individual first-place finishes in its dominating 138-65 victory over the Boxers, the women’s team notched just a pair of individual wins and relied on depth to down Pacific by a narrow 104-101 tally.

The two wins, coupled with victories at Lewis & Clark College in Portland on Friday, kept Whitman’s swim teams undefeated after four conference duals.

“We knew the women’s meet was going to be a tough one going in,” Whitman coach Jennifer Blomme said. “Pacific has been making great strides over the last couple of years, and we watched them overtake University of Puget Sound a week ago and swim very well against Whitworth on Friday night.

“But we put the best lineup that we could against them, and we are really proud of how we swam. Nothing but 100 percent effort from every single person could have gotten us this win.”

Cameo Hlebasko and Claire Collins were the Whits’ lone individual winners on the women’s side. Hlebasko claimed the 200-yard backstroke in a time of 2 minutes, 12.43 seconds and placed second in the 50 freestyle while Collins finished first in the 200 breaststroke in 2:29.70, added a second-place finish in the 1,000 freestyle and a fourth in the 100 freestyle.

Whitman also won both women’s relay races.

After that, it was all up to the team’s depth.

As for the men’s performance, Blomme said:

“Pacific also provided some great competition and brought out some great swims from our men. Pointwise, we had them on depth, but we wouldn’t have swum as well as we did if it weren’t for the talent of the small Pacific team.”

Nic Win and Galen Sollom-Brotherton each won a pair of individual races Saturday. And Karl Mering, Kevin Dyer and Paul Chang each won once, plus both Missionary relay teams swam to victory.

Win won the 200 individual medley in a time of 2:00.80 and the 200 backstroke in 2:12.43. Sollom-Brotherton picked up his victories in the 200 freestyle in 1:44.14 and the 500 freestyle in 4:54.09.

Mering’s individual victory came in the 200 butterfly in a time of 1:55.01. Dyer swam to first place in the 1,000 freestyle in 10:45.63, and he added a fourth in the 100 freestyle. And Chang claimed the blue ribbon in the 50 freestyle in 22.43.

The foursome of Sam Starr, Kevin O’Leary, Chang and Mering won the 400 medley relay in 3:35.80. And Starr, Mering, Sollom-Brotherton and Shunei Asao teamed up for a 3:16.17 clocking to finish first in the 400 freestyle relay.

In addition to his two relay swims, Starr finished a strong second in the 200 individual medley. O’Leary took second in the 100 freestyle. And Asao managed third in the 100 free.

Will Erickson contributed with a third-place finish in the 200 backstroke and a fourth in the 200 freestyle. Jacob Gavin was fourth in the 500 freestyle and fifth in the 200 free. And Tyler Hurlburt added a pair of fifth-place finishes, the 200 butterfly and 500 freestyle.

Robby Dorn placed fourth in the 200 IM, Yohan Mahoney was fourth in the 200 butterfly and Loic McGiverin-Odeide swam to a fifth-place finish in the 50 freestyle.

“Overall,” Blomme said, “today was an awesome combination of great individual swimming and great teamwork.”

The Whits will be back home in Harvey Pool on Saturday to host the Northwest Invitational.

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