In the first four NWC dual meets of the season, our Men’s team has lost a total of three races: the 200 freestyle against Willamette, and the 50 and 100 freestyle against Pacific.
Over the last five years, our Men’s team has transformed into one of the best in the country. In 2001, Jenn’s first year as Whitman’s head coach, the Men’s team had 7 members. It wasn’t until 2007 that the team finally got a roster into the double digits. 2007 was also the first year that the men’s team broke into the top four at the NWC Championships. Since then, the men’s team has never placed worse than 4th at the NWC Championships, including a best ever 2nd place effort in 2012. 2012 was also the first time that any Whitman men qualified for NCAA DIII Nationals, placing 27th as a team.
Tomorrow morning Whitworth University rolls into town for the Northwest Invitational, along with Pacific University and College of Idaho. Whitworth has won the NWC Championships every year since 2003. Whitman has never won a meet against Whitworth. But for the first time in Whitman's history, there is not only a slim chance of the Whitman men toppling Whitworth, but a very real possibility. Whitman owns the top times in the Conference 14 our of 18 events: the 50, 200, 500, 1000, and 1650 freestyle events—as well as the 100 backstroke, 100 and 200 breaststroke, 100 and 200 butterfly, 200 IM, 200 and 400 freestyle relays, and the 400 medley relay.
And for our women, coming off of a big win at Pacific at maintain a 4-0 Conference Dual Meet record, momentum is in their favor. Our women are fired up and are ready to face-off with two of the top three teams in the Conference. Freshman, Cameo Hlebasko holds the top times in the NWC in both the 100 and 200 backstroke events, Senior, Genay Pilarowski holds the fastest 100 breast, Junior, and Claire Collins holds the fastest 200 breast, and our women are also fastest in the NWC in both the 400 freestyle and 400 medley relay. There are certain to be some incredible women's races in our pool on Saturday afternoon.
Regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s meet, it is going to be one of the closest and hardest fought meets of the season for our men and women. And, win or not, there will definitely be a Whitman vs. Whitworth dance-off on the bulkhead at the conclusion of the meet.