TACOMA, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Swimming & Diving team was unlucky at the Logger Invite over the weekend, forced to only take part in the prelims on the final day of competition despite putting up big numbers over the first two days due to late flights coming back from Tacoma, WA.
Whittier sat in 3rd Place following the first day of events with 100 Points and came back with another 206 points on the second day dropping a spot to No. 4 before falling to No. 6 to wrap up the invite.
The Purple & Gold put together close to 10 record breaking performances/personal bests over the three days.
On the first day the Poets picked up 40 points in a big way thanks to the 200 Medley Relay team of Alexia Mauldin (Modesto, Calif.), Alexa Melara (Rialto, Calif.), Esther Choe (Mercer Island, WA), and Brooke Geske (San Pedro, Calif.) who put up a 1:48.69, to take the top spot, while breaking a Whittier College school record. Madeleine McMurray (Phnom Penh, Cambodia), Erika Ngo (Alhambra, Calif.), Kayanna Heffner (Bend, OR), and Brianna Nowicki (Londonderry, NH) supported finishing 11th with a time of 1:58.56, giving WC another 12 points.
Then in the 800 Free Relay, Whittier picked up another 38 points as Geske, Nowicki, Heffner, and Choe went 8:10.68 for 30 points, which was good enough for 4th. Mauldin, McMurray, Victoria Unger (Granite Bay, Calif.), and Melara teamed up together to finish 9th adding another eight points to the total.
It was a record breaking day for the Poets on day two of the invite. Freshman Geske had a big day jumpstarting the scoring winning the 100 Free with a personal best 52.40, which was a tenth of a second off the school record held by Karly Carazo back in 2016 (52.39).
She then returned in the 200 Back finishing 2nd overall with a mark of 2:06.82, which shattered the previous school record of 2:10.02, held by Kiersten Shew from 2015. Mauldin picked up more points in the same event finishing 9th with a time of 2:14.52.
Melara got her day started in the 200 Breast and what a spark she had for the Purple & Gold finishing 2nd overall with a time of 2:21.78, which was a lifetime best, a Whittier College school record and an NCAA "B" Cut. The previous record was held by Ginnette Kindig from 2002 (2:26.57), which was the longest remaining record holder in the swimming events for the Poets.
Heffner, despite finishing 9th with a 2:32.64 in the same event, put up a season best giving the Poets nine points. In the 100 Fly, Choe grabbed another 16 points for WC finishing 3rd with a 59.44.
In the 200 Free Relay, the team of Geske, Choe, Nowicki, and Melara took on a strong field but pushed through to finish 4th totaling 30 points with a time of 1:40.64. Heffner, Ngo, Mauldin, and Unger added to the total finishing 11th with a 1:47.28.
In the 200 IM, Melara and Choe went 9-10 with times of 2:13.49 and 2:15.63 adding a combined 16 points to the Poets total. McMurray took part in the distance going 13th in the 500 Free posting a season best 5:34.69. Then to cap off the day, the 400 Medley Relay team of Mauldin, Melara, Choe, and Geske grabbed another 40 points with a time of 4:00.68, putting them at No. 2 in the Whittier College record books, while Mauldin raced to a personal best in the first leg.
The final day Whittier was only able to take part in the preliminary heats due to their flight being scheduled late in the evening forcing them to miss the finals. But if they did compete in the final heats, they would have posted some big points.
McMurray got the Poets started on the final day putting up another season best this time in the 400 IM with a 4:59.23 and Melara added to that with a 4:47.03, which would have placed her 3rd overall. In the 50 Free, five Poets took part led by Geske posting a 25.18, followed by Nowicki (26.10), Choe (26.24), Unger (28.09), and Ngo (28.17).
In the 100 Breast, Melara posted a quick 1:07.27, which again would have placed her 3rd overall in the finals, while Heffner put up a season best 1:11.73. In the 100 Back, Geske swam a quick 57.90, which broke the Whittier College school record held by Kiersten Shew (58.31) from 2015. Then in the 200 Free, Heffner added a 2:08.32 and was joined by Nowicki (2:08.41). In the 200 Fly, McMurray added a personal best 2:28.09 with Unger going 2:35.36.
Whittier returns home to the Lillian Slade Aquatic Center this Saturday, December 9 as they host Biola University in a dual match beginning at 11:00am.