FEDERAL WAY – Whitworth won its 11th consecutive men's team title, and the Whitworth women returned to the top of the victory stand as the Northwest Conference Swimming Championships came to an end after a three-day run at The Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.
Despite winning only one out of 18 events, the Whitworth men continued a tradition of team titles that was started in 2003. Whitworth scored 724.5, followed by Whitman with 627.5, Pacific Lutheran 481, Puget Sound 454, Pacific 317, Linfield 210, Lewis & Clark 186, and Willamette 183.
Whitman's men ended up winning 10 of the 18 events, Puget Sound had three wins, Pacific and Pacific Lutheran two each, and Whitworth one. The individual awards reflected Whitman's strong showing as Karl Mering received the Outstanding Male Swimmer award for his three victories, and Jennifer Blomme earned the vote of her colleagues as the Men's Coach of the Year.
The women's team title was never really in doubt from the opening day as the Pirates piled up a total of 11 event victories. In winning its third team title in the last four years, Whitworth dethroned defending champion Puget Sound.
Team scores showed Whitworth with 651 points followed by Puget Sound with 457, Whitman 453, Pacific Lutheran 431.5, Pacific 384.5, Lewis & Clark 335, Linfield 307 and Willamette 165.
Whitworth's Katherine Duvall, who won three events, was named the Outstanding Female Swimmer, and Pacific Lutheran's Matt Sellman was selected by his peers as Women's Coach of the Year.
Galen Sollom-Brotherton from Whitman, the outstanding swimmer during the 2012 championship meet, won his third event in as many nights when he opened the men's Sunday evening session with a victory in the 1650 freestyle. Sollom-Brotherton's time of 15:47.53 made the NCAA meet provisional cut. Whitworth's Brandon Smith and PLU's Justin Murrell, second and third in the event, also made the provisional cut.
Puget Sound's second event victory in the championship meet came from Teale Kitson, who had a NCAA provisional time of 1:52.33 to win the men's 200 backstroke.
Karl Mering set a new Northwest Conference meet record in the 100 freestyle, winning his third event of the 2013 championships with a NCAA provisional qualifying time of 45.46. The former NWC meet record was 45.76 set by Whitworth's Michael Woodward in 2009.
Michael Hargitt from Pacific won his second event of these championships, taking the 200 breaststroke in 2:05.72, a NCAA provisional qualifying time. Whitman's Paul Chang placed second, also with a NCAA provisional qualifier.
Derek Frenzel, the 200 freestyle winner on Saturday, won his third straight 200 butterfly championship tonight and also broke his own meet record with a time of 1:49.95. That mark was also an automatic qualifying time for the NCAA Division III national meet. Wesley Tatum from Whitworth and Aleksander Jeremikj from Puget Sound recorded NCAA provisional times in finishing second and third, respectively.
Whitman capped its outstanding meet with a victory in the men's 400 freestyle relay, the team of Sam Starr, Chang, Sollom-Brotherton and Mering combining to win in 3:06.10.
With her victory in the 1650 freestyle, Whitworth's Bridget Louis won her second event of this championship meet. Louis was in a battle with defending champion Amanda Clark from Pacific for much of the race but gradually pulled away and won with a time of 17:33.13 compared to Clark's 17:40.65.
Whitworth's Katherine Duvall won the women's 200 backstroke for the third consecutive year with a NCAA provisional qualifying time of 2:04.35. Duvall added the 200 backstroke title after winning the 500 freestyle on Friday and the 100 backstroke on Saturday.
Rachel Cazden was Lewis & Clark's only event winner, taking the women's 100 freestyle with a time of 52.75, beating Katie Porter from Pacific by .06.
Puget Sound won three women's events throughout the course of the meet, and two came from one of the conference's best-ever in the breaststroke. Tracy Wormwood, who won her fourth consecutive 100 breaststroke title on Saturday night, came back tonight to take her fourth straight 200 breaststroke championship with a winning time of 2:19.42.
In the very next event, the 200 butterfly, Puget Sound's Melissa Norrish won her second straight title in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:09.40.
Whitworth's women capped off their meet with the program's 11th event victory, taking the 400 freestyle relay in a time of 3:34.01. Team members were Kori Carpenter, Nicole Lecoq, Hannah Norris and Alisa Stang.
Courtesy Nick Dawson, PLU