FEDERAL WAY — Day two of the Husky Invitational in Federal Way has brought more incredible swims from the Whitman swim team, NCAA Nationals cuts and two more broken school records.
Last year, Karl Mering was the only swimmer to break the 50-second mark in the 100 yard butterfly. His first-place time of 59.11 was both a new school record and a nationals qualifying time. This year, Mering was one of four men to finish under 50 seconds. In tonight’s evening finals, Mering pulled out a new school record and Nationals Provisional Qualifying Time of 48.29 — good for second place out of 148 competitors.
“Karl has been playing with his kicks and strokes off the start, and he hit it just right tonight,” said Head Coach Jenn Blomme. “Suffice to say he rocked it.”
Six swimmers qualified for the finals in today’s individual events. Behind Mering, Sean Terada took 31st place with a time of 53.03; Nic Win and Dane Kawamoto came in 69th and 71st.
After swimming the breaststroke leg of the 200 medley relay in a blistering 29.7, Claire Collins went into the finals seeded 13th place; she finished with a 12th place 1:06.28.
“She just thrives in championship meets and today is no exception,” said Blomme. “She had some great competition in her heat and went even faster tonight than this morning. I predict her 200 is going to be an even better race tomorrow.”
First-year Cole Weinstein was the sole qualifier for the 400 yard IM finals, swimming to 21st place with a 4:17.17 in tonight’s finals.
Coming into the finals seeded in 15th and 23rd place, Sam Starr and Nic Win took on the 100 yard backstroke with force in tonight’s finals. Both beat out their competition to finish ahead of their seeds in 11th and 17th places, respectively. Starr finished with a 52.68, while Win went a 53.15.
“I told Sam to really just let go in the backstroke. It made for incredible speed going out, and he is such a competitor that he still managed a solid finish,” said Blomme.
Whitman’s men’s 800 free relay also took top ten honors tonight, with a 10th place finish of 7:09.75. Karl Mering led off the relay of Will Erickson, Sean Terada and Cole Weinstein with an amazing time of 1:40.11, breaking the school record in the 200 yard freestyle event, previously held by Galen Sollom-Brotherton.
“Some teams are tapered for this meet,” said Blomme. “We are not rested, and just seeing people go out as hard as they are and racing so hard is exactly what we’re looking for at this meet.”