Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Hour of Power

Mara Abbott, Kevin McCoy, and Chad Trexler all await their relay exchange while team members cheer them on...

On Tuesday, November 6th, Whitman Swimming joined over 45 other NCAA Division III swim teams to raise awareness for sarcoma, and honor the memory of former Carleton swimmer, Ted Mullin, who died of synovial cell sarcoma in 2006.

Sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that attacks the musculoskeletal system. Over 55% of the new cases of sarcoma each year are being reported in the 15-19 year old population. Much research is needed to combat sarcoma, as current treatments have a relatively low success rate.

History of the Hour of Power
In 2006, the Carleton Swim Team captains decided to host a swim-a-thon to try to raise money for research in sarcoma and honor their teammate Ted. The event has taken off, with swim teams all over the country joining the efforts. The event itself is a full team effort all-out sprint relay. There are two rules: 1) every swimmer must swim all-out (a 50 at a time), and 2) all the relays must remain even with one another, or at least on the same 50 lap (swimmers may change strokes or even swap relay team members to accomplish this). And all the teams did the same workout on Tuesday afternoon - creating a tremendous sense of community!

In addition to a terrific sprint workout, it was a lot of fun for Whitman to be involved. We invited members of campus to come watch, giving them yellow ribbons (the color to honor sarcoma). We had a nice turnout and hope to continue to participate in this great event in the future!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Competition Season off to a Great Start

This weekend marked a great start for our first dual meets of the season. Women are currently undefeated, having won both the Linfield and Pacific meets. Men lost a close one to Linfield on Friday night, but split the weekend by easily taking the Pacific meet. Although it was the only loss of the season, the men's meet against Linfield was probably also the most exciting contest of the weekend, and the one we're most proud of. Linfield's men have been a rising force in the conference over the last several years, and last year nearly toppled powerhouse Whitworth College. To come within 10 points of beating Linfield was a real sign of our men's team's potential this year. Kudos especially to Jamie Nusse, the first year swimmer who beat Linfield's Kevin Caple in the 200 Free. Caple, a standout in the conference, was one of the Men's high point winners at last year's Northwest Conference Championships. Another highlight for our men was the decisive 1-2-3-4 victory in the 200 Breaststroke. All four of Whitman's swimmers, Clint Collier, Nick Wood, Eric Molnar, and Chad Trexler, finished ahead of Linfield's top breaststroker in the event. This brought the score within 1 point prior to the final relay. It was an awesome moment!

Last weekend the Northwest Conference opened competition at the NWC Sprint Pentathlon and Relays, hosted at Whitman's beautiful Harvey Pool. At the Sprint Pentathlon, each swimmers competes in a 50 of all 4 strokes and a 100 IM. A cumulative time is achieved to create a ranking. At the Relay Meet a series of relays are swum, some traditional, but mostly non-traditional relays (like the 3 x 100 IM or the 3 x 300 FR). The traditional relays are swum in combined form, with two women and two men competing in the 200 Medley, 200 Free, and 400 Free Relays. It was a lot of fun to start of the season this way.

More complete results for all of our meets can be found at our website:

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Alumni Meet Shenanigans

At the annual Alumni Meet, returning alumni took on the current Whitman swimmers. To compensate for the training and youth of the 07-08 team, the alumni resorted to a variety of creative strategies, including swimming with fins and swimming relay style!

A few legitimate races did take place, among them, the long contested Men's 50 Freestyle. Tucker Jackson, '01, who still holds the school record in both the 50 and 100 Freestyles, has yet not lost this event at an alumni meet yet. With the growth of this year's men's team, Tucker had his work cut out for him, but managed to prevail yet again!

Another addition to the day was the second year of a new tradition born last year. This is a special introduction of the first year swimmers that culminates in a short "performance" before the meet. Pictured above is their skit, in which two competing "gangs" of swimmers have a dance off. And below is a photo of the awe-struck swimmers and alums. Amazingly, no one fell in the pool!

Thanks to all the alums who came back to help us start off the season: Kathy Farrell '95 , Jamie Kennedy '96, Cindy Jo Allen '99, Tucker Jackson '01, Rob Bechtloff '01, Audrey Gardiner '02, Danielle McClenahan '03, Katherine Leitzell '02, Kristyn Vytlacil '05, Keith Jarrett '05, Erin Phillips '07, Erica Sorensen '07, Robert Street '07, and Ned Morris (honorary alumni).