Sunday, January 27, 2013

Whitman Men Make History

The team cheer get things started off the right way

Yesterday afternoon, the Missionary Men made History, becoming the first team to defeat the Whitworth University Men in a Northwest Conference dual meet in over ten years.  The victory also gave our Men their first undefeated NWC dual meet season in the history of the program.  For a writeup of the meet and to see the meet results, click here.

It was fitting that our seniors played a pivotal role in the day's closest races.  Seniors, Paul Chang and Galen Sollom-Brotherton paired up to win five individual events.  They also teamed up to win the 400 free relay with Freshman, Sam Starr, and Sophomore, Karl Mering.  Seniors, Andrew Roehrig, Kevin Dyer, and Tyler Hurlburt each had season best times throughout the day.  However, it was  Roehrig who had the best day of them all.  Though incredibly deep fields in each event kept him from racking up many points for Whitman, he took advantage of the opportunities to race and had a lifetime best 1:51.00 in the 200 free, a season-best 2:09.35 in the 200 backstroke, and had an incredibly inspired lifetime best 49.73 100 freestyle split in the final relay of the meet.  Kevin Dyer, fighting an ankle injury for the second season in a row, had a big battle on his hands in the 500 freestyle and was edged out in the end, placing 6th with a season-best 5:01.63, just .05 out of fifth place.  As deep as the field was in the 500 free, the 100 breaststroke was perhaps the fastest field of the day.  Paul Chang won easily in 58.84, just .64 off his school record in the event.  Two Whitman freshmen, Nick Wechter and Robby Dorn, came in fourth and fifth at 1:01.91, and 1:01.98 respectively.  The sixth place finisher came in with a time of 1:02.30.  For some perspective at just how fast the 100 breaststroke heat yesterday was, at the 2012 NWC Championships, 8th place was a 1:02.72. 

The win was a true team effort.  With a final score separated by only 4 points, the difference in the meet was not necessarily determined by event winners, but by those who placed fourth or fifth.  More than anything else, the win solidifies Whitman's place within the NWC as the team the team to beat--and proves to the rest of the Conference, and the rest of the country, that the Missionary Men are a force to be reckoned with.

Above: a video of the announcement of the final Men's score. Thanks to Eric Hisaw for the video--and for making us so strong in the weight room!

For some photos of the Seniors and of the meet, click here to visit the Whitman Athletics Facebook page and see the album.