After a long three days in Federal Way, the team is back in Walla Walla taking a well earned day off. Sunday morning brought more fast swims from the Whitman Men and Women. Freshman swimmers Shanley Miller, Kincaid Hoffman, and Sean Terada both placed themselves into Whitman's top-10 with their performances in the 200 breaststroke, 200 backstroke, and 200 butterfly, respectively. Tai Hallstein also moved up in Whitman's top-10 after nearly breaking her second school record of the meet with her 100 freestyle swim of 53.44, just .10 off the Whitman record. Karl Mering achieved his second NCAA "B" time standard of the meet with his 200 butterfly time of 1:49.15. Claire Collins also bettered her 200 breaststroke time and missed the "B" time standard by just over a second in her 200 breaststroke, going a 2:25.54. Junior, Nic Win, also posted a season-best effort in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:57.35. For full results, including relays and splits, be sure to visit the the live results page.
There are two factors that make a three day meet at this time of year difficult. First and foremost, all of our student-athletes are entering into the final week of regularly scheduled classes of the semester. That means that papers, tests, quizzes and projects that professors want done before finals week quickly pile up. Leaving on Thursday afternoon last week, missing Friday classes, and then spending ten to twelve hours per day at the pool all weekend makes it a challenge for our swimmers stay ahead of the curve. Academic challenges aren't foreign to Whitman student-athletes but being away from campus this time of year is certainly a unique and difficult. Fortunately, both Whitman's academic policies and the swim team's culture combine to create an academically-focused group of swimmers who fully recognize that college is about education first.
The other challenge with traveling to such a big, fast meet at this time of year is that it poses something of a training catch-22. Had we fully rested and tapered our team over the past two weeks to ensure that the fastest possible mid-season times were achieved by everyone, we would arrive back on the pool deck tomorrow with a low level of conditioning--effectively requiring that we use the next two weeks to rebuild the foundation of yardage and aerobic capacity that we had before the Thanksgiving break. On the other hand, we could have trained straight through the weekend's meet, not resting at all, hoping that the high level of competition would be enough to bring out some fast swims, but all the while maintaining the level of training capacity and intensity that we had two weeks ago. Instead of either of those, we split the difference and had hard practices last week on Monday and Tuesday, and then rested on Wednesday and Thursday. It's not a perfect system. Some of our swimmers found themselves feeling fresh and ready to rock all weekend. Others didn't quite get there. But, in the scope of the season as a whole, last weekend's meet--although it is very important--is not the most important meet of the year. For those on the team who reached season-best times or NCAA "B" cuts, the meet is a huge motivator for training through the rest of the winter. For those who didn't achieve any best times, they get to keep training hard knowing that in February when the time comes to rest for NWC Championships, everything will fall into place.
So, for the next two weeks we'll be back to work! In both the pool and weight room, we'll continue to pile on yardage and intensity, all the while balancing the academic challenges that naturally arise at this time of year. I can't wait!
Saturday, December 7, 2013
It was another exciting day in Federal Way at the Husky Invitational! Karl Mering took the spotlight today with two incredible swims. First, he swam the first leg of the 800 free relay with a Whitman record setting 200 freestyle time of 1:40.11. Then, in finals he lowered his Whitman and NWC record in the 100 butterfly with a second place effort of 48.29. Mering placed 8th at the 2013 NCAA DIII National Championships. The 2013 champion, MIT's Wyatt Ubellacker, graduated and Karl showed tonight that he is as ready as anyone in the Nation to take control of the event at this year's championships.
Other highlights of the night were the Men's and Women's 200 medley relays. Whitman's Women placed higher than any other NWC team, 6th overall, with a time of 1:48.63, just .6 off the Whitman school record. Seniors Claire Collins, Mel Notari, and Keller Hawkins combined with Fr, Tai Hallstein, for the relay. Collins had the landmark swim of the race with her breaststroke split of 29.79, her fastest ever 50 breaststroke and her first time under 30 second barrier.
The Men's 200 medley consisted of Nic Win, Nick Wechter, Karl Mering, and Sam Starr. The men combined forces to place 11th with a season best 1:37.13. Cole Weinstein was the first individual event finalist of the evening in the 400 IM. His finals effort of 4:17.17 was good enough for 21st overall and his prelims swim of 4:16.92 places him solidly into Whitman's top-10 all time in the event. Fellow freshman, Sean Terada, found himself in 32nd place in the Men's 100 fly finals after several higher seeds scratched from finals. Sean swam a 53.03 and moved up to 31st. His prelims time of 52.97 also earned him a place in Whitman's top-10.
Claire Collins followed with a fantastic breaststroke. She lowered her prelims time of 1:06.49 to 1:06.28 and earned herself 12th place overall. Nic Win and Sam Starr each lowered their prelims swims in the 100 backstroke finals going 53.15 and 52.68, respectively. Sam finished 11th, Nic 17th.
Other great swims today were Shanley Miller's season-best 4:46.39, which placed her into Whitman's top-10 list, and Mel Notari's 100 butterfly time of 58.98 which is her season-best time and her first sub 1:00 100 fly of the season.
There were many, many more best times at today's meet. For the full results, be sure to click through the live results page.
We'll be back at the pool again tomorrow morning and then we'll be passing up finals and instead will head back to freezing cold Walla Walla (today's high was 12 with a windchill of as low as -6) for the final two weeks of the semester. And, as tradition and popular demand dictates, we'll be watching the Holiday favorite, Love Actually, on the bus ride back home.
|Time to update the records in the split notebook!|
By the time we arrived at the 50 freestyle, energy was high and times really dropped! 5 Whitman Women were under :26 in the event, including Tai Hallstein's record setting 24.23. The men followed suit with season bests for several of our Men.
The Women closed out the morning session with two great relays, placing 16th and 44th. Whitman's "A" relay was Seniors Keller Hawkins, Claire Collins, and Melanie Notari, and Tai Hallstein. The "B" relay team was Freshman, Josie Furbershaw, Sophomores, Jo Brunner and Elise Tinseth, and Senior, Ellen Banks. Whitman Men's "B" relay also swam in the morning session and placed 25th overall. Sophomores, Will Erickson and Robby Dorn teamed up with Junior, Dane Kawamoto, and fellow Sophomore, Loic McGivering for the relay.
In Finals, things got off to a very fast start with the men's 200 freestyle relay. The Whitman record time of 1:25.07 looked feeble as the "A" relay team combined for a 1:25.79. Sophomore, Loic McGivering led off, followed by Freshman, Sean Terada; Sam Starr was third and Karl Mering anchored the relay with a staggering 20.26 split. Junior, Nic Win, had the first individual event final of the night in the 200 IM after several higher seeds scratched out of the finals. Swimming in 32nd position, lane 8 in the "D" final, Nic went for it right out of the gate and led the race from the beginning and never let up. He posted a 1:57.34, smashing his prelims swim of 1:59.72. Tai Hallstein had the next individual event final. She, too, swam in lane 8 but in the "B" final. Her 10th place overall time of 24.17 lowered her school record in the event and inched her closer to the NCAA Provisional qualifying time of 23.89. Sam Starr followed Tai's 50 with an outstanding race of his own, dropping .03 from prelims with a season-best 21.40 which was good enough for 14th overall. The Men's 400 medley relay proved to be the highest placing event of the day at 5th overall--no small feat in a field full of some of the best club swimmers in the country. Their final time of 4:28.66 is currently the fastest in the NWC by over 2 seconds.
When one considers that we swam a double workout on Monday, swam and lifted weights on Tuesday, and then rested up on Wednesday and Thursday, the meet is off to a fantastic start! We fully expect more great swims to come tomorrow and Sunday! Keep checking the Facebook and Twitter for more info. The meet is also published to Meet Mobile and the live results page is up and running. Go Whitman!