By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Linfield College outscored Willamette University in men's and women's swimming on Saturday, Jan. 27 in a Northwest Conference meet at the WU Natatorium. It was Senior Day for the Bearcats, who honored Willamette's nine seniors prior to the first event.
Seniors on the Willamette women's team are Margo Coxon (Sr., Lake Forest Park, WA/Shorecrest HS), Kate Harvey (Sr., Atlantic Beach, FL/Duncan Fletcher HS), Jamie Johnson (Sr., Seattle, WA/Nathan Hale HS), Rachel Kiser-Taylor (Sr., Tucson, AZ/Tucson Magnet HS), Nandi Moore (Sr., Santa Clarita, CAGolden Valley HS), Diana Sellner (Sr.Fr., Honolulu, HIKalani HS), Cassie Tallman (Sr., Seattle, WARoosevelt HS) and Ashlyn Witherwax (Sr., Honolulu, HI/Punahou School). The only senior on the men's team is Mark Yuvienco (Sr., San Jose, CA/Bellarmine College Prep).
Linfield won the men's competition, 117.5-85.5, and the Wildcats took first place in the women's competition, 111-92. The Wildcats improved to 5-2 overall and to 5-2 in the NWC in both men's and women's dual meets. Willamette completed its dual meet season with both teams at 1-7 overall and 1-6 in the NWC.
Individual event winners for the Bearcats were Tallman from the women's team, and Colin Hakeman (So., Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS) and Mykah Fujiwara (Jr., Kaneohe, HI/Punahou School) from the men's team.
Tallman took first place in the women's 200-yard breaststroke in 2:34.59. Witherwax of Willamette was second in 2:41.23.
Hakeman won the men's 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:08.77. Ben Fritz (Fr., Los Gatos, CA/Leigh HS), who had a strong meet for the Bearcats, placed second in the 500 at 5:16.01. Fritz added a third place finish in the 1,000. Fuijiwara gained first place in the men's 200-yard breaststroke in 2:21.33, as he edged out Daisuke Fitial of Linfield by 0.08. Fitial was second in 2:21.41.
The Bearcats placed second in 13 of 18 individual events including two events won by Willamette. Tallman and Hakeman, in addition to winning one event apiece, each earned second place in an event. Tallman was second in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:19.61, narrowly misssing first place, which went to Tahni Kakazu of Linfield with a time of 2:18.53. Hakeman took second place in the 1,000-yard freestyle in 10:29.69
Daniel Fang (Fr., Rancho Santa Margarita/Catholic HS) finished second in two events for the Bearcat men's team. He placed second in the 200-yard freestyle at 1:51.08 after battling against Trevor Gourley, who won the event for the Wildcats in 1:49.31. Fang also was second in the 100-yard freestyle in the closest 1-2 finish of the day. Joseph Simpson of Linfield placed first in 50.85 seconds, followed by Fang in 50.89 seconds.
In the men's 200-yard individual medley, Derek Ludwig (So., Moraga, CA/Campolindo HS) placed second for Willamette in 2:05.25, just 0.22 out of first place. Zachary Sherlock of Linfield won the 200 I.M. in 2:05.03.
Anna Burdine (Jr., Seattle, WA/Mount Rainier HS) of WU placed second in the women's 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 11:51.15. She was third in the women's 500-yard freestyle in 5:57.43. On Friday evening, Burdine won the 1,650-yard freestyle against Southwestern Oregon Community College in 19:56.86 and was second in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:48.43.
Against Linfield, the Bearcats won the men's 400-yard freestyle relay after completing the race in 3:24.59. Swimming on the winning relay team were Fritz, Ben Hedman (So., Davis, CA/Davis HS), Jacob Hulti (So., Astoria, OR/Astoria HS), and Ludwig. Linfield's top relay team, which competed exhibition in the event, registered the second fastest time at 3:27.24.
With the dual meet season completed, the Bearcats will focus on preparing for the 2018 Northwest Conference Swimming Championships which will be held at the Weyerhaeuser King Country Aqauitc Center in Federal Way, Washington. The NWC Championships are set for three days from Friday, Feb. 9 through Sunday, Feb. 11.