Missionary men second, women third at NWC swim championships

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FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — The final night of competition at the Northwest Conference Championships at the King County Aquatics Center saw a frenzy of Whitman school marks fall as the Missionaries tore through the pool, setting records in several races and obtaining numerous NCAA meet B cut times Sunday.

The men posted a second-place finish for the meet, while the women came in third.

In the individual races, Galen Sollom-Brotherton repeated as champion in the 1,650 freestyle, recording a B cut time of 15:47.53, and taking home his third individual crown of the championships, adding to his titles in the 500 free and 400 IM.

Karl Mering not only set a new Whitman mark, but also a conference and championship meet record in the 100 Free with a 45.46, good also for a B cut time, and also his third meet title, as he finished first earlier in the 100 Butterfly (conference and meet record) and the 50 free.

Paul Chang set a new school-best and also achieved a B cut when he finished second in the 200 Breast at 2:06.36.

Nick Wechter followed right behind with a fourth-place (2:09.89), Robby Dorn with a fifth (2:11.52), and Kevin Wallin a ninth (2:14.19), netting the Missionaries 58 points in the one event.

In the 200 Backstroke, Nic Win brought down another school record and booked a B cut time with his second place finish of 1:53.68.

Claire Collins set another school mark and recorded a faster B cut time when she touched the wall second in the 200 Breast at 2:20.59.

Cameo Hlebasko set a new school record (2:07.96) in the 200 Backstroke with her second place finish, shaving more than two seconds off her morning prelim time (2:10.20).

The women picked up substantial points in the 200 Fly when Catie Chapman and Mel Notari went 4-5, with respective times of 2:10.13 and 2:11.90.

In other notable performances, Kevin Dyer finished seventh in the 1,650 Free (17:07.28 ), and Ashley Jay finished eighth in the 1,650 with a time of 18:19.74.

In the relays, the Whitman men set a new meet and school record in the 400 Free with a time of 3:06.10 — Starr, Chang, Sollom-Brotherton and Mering doing the honors.

The women finished fifth in the 400 relay.

The men amassed a total of 627.5 points, far outdistancing third-place Pacific Lutheran at 481. Whitworth took the title with 724.5.

The women finished third, four points behind Puget Sound, 453-457.

“It was an unbelievable weekend,” Whitman coach Jenn Blomme said. “I am overcome by the amazing teamwork, talent, and fortitude of our swimmers! The number of records, NCAA cuts, and meet records we set... astounding!”

The meet signals the finish to an NWC season in which the Whitman men went 7-0 in in the regular season and handed Whitworth its first dual meet loss in over 14 years when the Missionaries bested the Pirates back on Jan. 6 at Harvey Pool.

The women recorded a 5-2 mark as they battled through several injuries and illness to key swimmers.

For complete NWC Championships Meet results, see website http://livestats.willamette.edu/live/nwc/swimming/#

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