“There are three types of people in this world. Those that make things happen. Those that watch things happen. And those that sit there wondering what the hell just happened.” That’s what I told the team on Friday morning at the start of this meet. Our goal was to go out and make things happen, and boy have we done that. After night two we have broken six team records, gotten 6 men qualified for Nationals and we have an almost insurmountable lead on the rest of the Conference! The Whitworth Men (632) lead UPS (397) by 235 points and our Women (544) lead UPS (447) by 97 points!

Here is a quick recap of the highlights from tonight.

Our Men’s 200 Medley relay started the evening off on a high note as we set a new school record by finishing in a 1.33.31! Nathan led us off in the Backstroke with a 25.18, I followed with a 25.63 for the Breaststroke, Aaron gave us a 21.93 in the Fly and Michael anchored us with a 20. 57. Definitely a great way to get everyone’s adrenalin pumping and the crowd on their feet!

Abby Pavelko then came out and gave the Whitworth section more to cheer about! Swimming in the 400 IM, Abby looked like she was on track to break the meet record of 3.34.31 set by Serena Fadel back in 2003 all the way through the race. She ended up just missing it in the however, going a 3.34.64 but was really happy with the time having entered the meet with a best of 3.38.93!

Abby Pavelko

Watching the men march out for the 400 IM you know coach Steve’s heart was smiling. Having been a middle distance/distance swimmer back in his swimming days at Whitworth he loves watching his swimmers dominate events like the 500 Freestyle (where we had 5 Whitworth woman in the top 8 last night) and the 400 IM in which we had 5 guys in the top 8 tonight! Kalen Darling, Austin Vierra, Korey Kinney, Andrew Sumnicht and Michael Locatell all put together solid IM performances to give a serious boost to our score line! Kalen ended up winning it convincingly with a 4.01.54. His time of 4.01.24 from the morning prelims will probably be fast enough to qualifying him individually for Nationals in March.

Kalen Darling

Breaking his second individual Whitworth team record in as many nights, freshman Aaron Vaccro swam to victory in the men’s 100 Fly. After being the first Whitworth swimmer to go under 21.00 from a flat start in the 50 Freestyle last night, he became the first Whitworth swimmer to go under the 50.00 mark in the 100 Fly tonight finishing in a 49.84. The excitement on his face after looking up at the score board was absolutely priceless and despite being on a relay that we believe will qualify for nationals that swim should qualifying him individually too!

Aaron Vaccaro

We then had four of girls make it into the top 8 of the Woman’s 200 Free! Christine, Makayla, Renae, and Devon all raced fast enough this morning to solidify there spot in the big 8 tonight. In her senior year, Christine won the event for the first time by going a 1.56.38. She was followed by Makayla (1.57.52), and Renae (1.57.80). Devon finished 6th in 1.59.17.

Mr. Dependable, Michael Woodward won the Men’s 200 Free for the fourth year in a row tonight. He was never really under any pressure from any one else in the field as he put up a 1.41.21. Freshman, Oliver Durand followed Mike into the wall with his 1.43.19 which wasn’t going to be enough to get him into nationals on his own, but we knew that if he could swim a similar split in the 800 Free relay later in the program we would have a good shot of getting him to nationals on a relay. Another freshman, Matt Brody also swam in the top 8 final and put up a best time of 1.46.20 for 6th place.

After my 55.90 100 Breaststroke swim this morning I was sure I was capable of faster going into finals tonight. Unfortunately my body had other ideas. I wasn’t able to get out faster than I had in the morning and wasn’t able to get back faster either! I managed to win it though it a 56.75. As disappointed as I was in that swim I understand that I didn’t taper for this meet and so I have to be happy with the results. Freshman, Mitchell Beck picked up 5th place for our team with his 1.00.68.

The evening ended with a bang as both or men’s and woman’s 800 Freestyle Relays won by over 10 seconds. Our girls put together a 7.45.64, which is not going to be good enough to get them into nationals, but is still a solid performance to be proud of! Our men on the other hand really swam a great relay that should get us to nationals. Austin led us off with a solid 1.42.12; what was pretty impressive about his swim though was that he went out in a 50.38 and came back in a 51.74! That is pretty ridiculous! Oliver put up a 1.43.46 which was exactly what he needed to do, I followed with a 1.42.56 (which nearly killed me) and Michael anchored us with a 1.42.04. Our final time was a 6.50.18 which we believe puts us high enough on the national rankings list to get that relay into nationals! It was also a Whitworth school record and Northwest Conference All Time record! A great way to finish the night!

Conference and School Record Holders!

*All photo’s courtesy of Bob Welle