By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- Ben Hedman (So., Davis, CADavis HS) set a Willamette University record with a time of 1:55.78 in the championship final of the men's 200-yard individual medley at the 2018 Northwest Conference Swimming Championships on Friday, Feb. 9 at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center. Hedman took fifth place in the event.
Prior to the finals, Willamette's record in the men's 200 I.M. was held by Mark Yuvienco (Sr., San Jose, CA/Bellarmine College Prep), who earned a time of 1:56.29 at the 2017 NWC Championships. Hedman registered a time of 1:56.69 in the prelims on Friday. His time from the prelims is third on WU's all-time list.
Cassie Tallman (Sr., Seattle, WARoosevelt HS) of Willamette placed fifth in the championship final of the women's 200-yard individual medley in 2:11.76. Tallman's time ranks seventh all-time for the Bearcats.
Overall, four Bearcats competed in the championship finals on Friday. The NWC Championships will continue on Saturday, Feb. 10 and Sunday, Feb. 11. Preliminary heats will start at 10 a.m. (PST) each day. Finals will be held on Saturday at 6 p.m. and on Sunday at 5 p.m.
Tallman was joined in the championship final of the women's 200 I.M. by Niki Kates (So., Truckee, CA/Forest Charter School). Kates finished seventh with a time of 2:13.07.
Also swimming in an "A" final on Friday was Ben Fritz (Fr., Los Gatos, CA/Leigh HS) in the men's 500-yard freestyle. He completed the race in 4:42.90 for his career best at Willamette.
Six Willamette athletes reached the consolation or "B" finals. Two of those swimmers were Anna Burdine (Jr., Seattle, WA/Mount Rainier HS) and Kate Harvey (Sr., Atlantic Beach, FL/Duncan Fletcher HS) in the women's 500-yard freestyle. Burdine placed second in the consolation final and was 10th overall with a career-best time of 5:18.99. Her previous top time was set in the prelims earlier on Friday at 5:20.35. Harvey was 15th overall with a personal-record time of 5:25.26 in the consolation final. Her time was 0.60 faster than the top time she set earlier on Friday at 5:26.96.
Derek Ludwig (So., Moraga, CACampolindo HS) won the men's consolation final in the 200-yard I.M. and placed 9th overall in 1:56.94. His time in th "B" final ranks fiifth on Willamette's all-time list and would have been 7th in the "A" final on Friday. Ludwig narrowly missed his career-best time of 1:56.87, set at last year's NWC Championships. Yuvienco also swam in the consolation final of the 200 I.M. and took 12th overall in 1:58.95.
In the consolation final of the men's 500-yard freestyle, Colin Hakeman (So., Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS) of WU earned a time of 4:49.57 to place 13th overall. Hakeman just missed his career-best mark of 4:49.51, set earlier in the day during the preliminary heats.
Rachel Harvill (Jr., Alamo, CA/Monte Vista HS) placed 15th for Willamette in the women's 50-yard freestyle. Harvill's time in the consolation final was 25.32 seconds.
Willamette's time of 4:01.57 in the women's 400-yard medley relay was the second fastest all-time for the Bearcats. The Bearcats placed sixth in the race on Friday. Swimming on the relay team for Willamette were Kates, Tallman, Kiley Lin (Jr./So., Palo Alto, CA/Henry M. Gunn HS) and Harvill. The school record of 3:58.13 was set by Lin, Tallman, Malia Santos ('16), and Jamie Johnson two years ago at the 2016 NWC Championships.