After three long days, the 2012 Husky Invitational drew to close on Sunday evening. There were three NCAA "B" cuts, two broken school records, and one NCAA "A" cut.
On Saturday morning, Karl Mering punched his ticket to Houston, Texas, and the NCAA DIII National Championships with a tremendous 100 butterfly time of 49.11. The swim was significantly under the NCAA "A" time standard of 49.34 and well under his 2011 school record time of 49.70. Karl didn't quite match his morning swim in the evening's final heat, swimming a 49.60. Karl also found success in the 200 butterfly on Sunday. After a conservative morning swim of 1:52.13, Karl came back in finals with renewed determination, swimming a 1:50.39, missing the NCAA "A" time standard by .06.
However, Karl wasn't the only one swimming fast last weekend. This season, the Whitman breaststrokers have been unstoppable. Led by seniors Paul Chang and Genay Pilarowski, Saturday's breastroke heats went off beautifully. Freshmen Elise Tinseth and Jo Brunner both laid down season best times of 1:10.79 and 1:11.28, respectively. Junior, Claire Collins followed them with a 1:07.13--her best time this season. Finally, Genay Pilarowski swam a 1:06.67, .59 off the NCAA "B" cut and just .06 off her school record in the event. For the men, Paul Chang led the charge with a spectacular season best effort of 58.67. Freshmen, Nick Wechter and Robby Dorn were just fractions off of their season best swims. They went 1:03.98 and 1:03.68 respectively. Freshman, Kevin Wallin also put down a season best 1:04.79.
The 200 breaststroke was no different. Freshmen Jo Brunner and Elise Tinseth both had season best times of 2:34.69 and 2:31.02. Those both would have been outstanding times had they not been followed by Genay Pilarowski's 2:25.34, and Claire Collins' school record lowering, and NCAA "B" cut swim of 2:23.93. For the men, Freshmen Robby Dorn and Kevin Wallin both had season best efforts of 2:21.93 and 2:21.89. Nick Wechter also had a season best time of 2:16.74. But it was Paul Chang who once again paced the men breaststrokers with his 2:10.87.
In the finals of the 200 breaststroke, Genay Pilarowski put together a phenomenal 2:24.04, achieving an NCAA "B" time standard. Claire Collins followed that with a 2:23.65, lowering her school record by another .28. Paul Chang then bested his morning swim with a 2:10.61.
The breaststroke events were just one snapshot of the meet as a whole. There were countless other season best times--and several lifetime best times--at this year's Husky Invite. Without resting for the meet and with only a few months of training, the meet was a huge success. The NWC Championships in February is set to be an incredible swim meet. There is no doubt that many, many records will fall.
Over the next two weeks, we will re-focus our training and get back to work in the pool and weight room. After a two week break from classes, the team will regroup in Southern California for an 8 day training camp in early January before returning to Walla Walla for the start of second semester. Whitman also faces it's three hardest NWC dual meets of the season in January.