Swimmers Earn All-Conference Honors 22 Times at 2018 NWC Championships

Ben Hedman (So., Davis, CA/Davis HS)
Ben Hedman (So., Davis, CA/Davis HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- Nine Willamette University swimmers earned All-Northwest Conference honors a total of 22 times for their performances at the 2018 NWC Swimming Championships under the guidance of Head Coach Leslie Shevlin, at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Washington, from Feb. 9 through Feb. 11.

Athletes received First Team All-NWC recognition by placing in the top three of an individual event or by participating on a winning relay team. Second Team All-NWC recognition went to swimmers who placed fourth through eighth in an individual event or competed on a relay team that finished second or third.

Five Bearcats -- Ben Hedman (So., Davis, CA/Davis HS), Ben Fritz (Fr., Los Gatos, CA/Leigh HS), Cassie Tallman (Sr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS), Kiley Lin (Jr./So., Palo Alto, CA/Henry M. Gunn HS), and Niki Kates (So., Truckee, CA/Forest Charter School) -- each gathered in three awards.

Hedman earned First Team All-NWC after placing second in the men's 200-yard butterfly and taking third place in the men's 400-yard individual medley. He was chosen Second Team All-NWC by finishing fifth in the men's 200-yard individual medley.

Fritz was rewarded with Second Team All-NWC honors three times. He placed fourth in the men's 200-yard freestyle and the men's 1,650-yard free style, and added a seventh place result in the men's 500-yard freestyle.

Tallman, Lin and Kates also received Second Team All-NWC recognition in three events. Tallman was fourth in the women's 200-yard breaststroke, fifth in the women's 200-yard individual medley and eighth in the women's 200-yard breaststroke. Lin placed fourth in the women's 200-yard butterfly, was seventh in the women's 100-yard backstroke and finished seventh in the women's 100-yard butterfly. Kates grabbed sixth place in the women's 200-yard backstroke, took seventh in the women's 200-yard individual medley and placed eighth in the women's 100-yard backstroke.

Recording two Second Team All-NWC results apiece were Colin Hakeman (So., Bellingham, WASehome HS), Ashlyn Witherwax (Sr., Honolulu, HIPunahou School) and Derek Ludwig (So., Moraga, CA/Campolindo HS).

Kiley Lin (Jr./So., Palo Alto, CA/Henry M. Gunn HS)

Hakeman earned fourth place in the men's 400-yard individual medley and was seventh in the men's 1,650-yard freestyle. Witherwax placed fifth in the women's 200-yard breaststroke and took seventh in the women's 100-yard breaststroke. Ludwig registered a seventh place finish in the men's 100-yard butterfly and was eighth in the men's 200-yard butterfly after qualifying for the final by winning a swim-off following a tie for eighth in the prelims.

Mark Yuvienco received Second Team All-NWC honors in one event as he took fourth place in the men's 200-yard butterfly.

The Bearcats set school records in four events at this year's NWC Championships. Witherwax broke the record in the women's 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:06.65. Lin set the record in the women's 100-yard butterfly at 58.81 seconds. Fritz established the record in men's 1,650-yard freestyle at 16:30.34, breaking the old record by approximately 10 seconds. Hedman set the record in the men's 200-yard individual medley at 1:55.78. Three of the records were set during the "A" finals, while Lin's record in the 100-yard butterfly was set during the prelims.

Willamette also earned 16 swims in the "B" finals. Anna Burdine (Jr., Seattle, WA/Mount Rainier HS) and Kate Harvey (Sr., Atlantic Beach, FL/Duncan Fletcher HS) each swam in three "B" finals, while Yuvienco and Daniel Fang (Fr., Rancho Santa Margarita/Catholic HS) each reached two "B" finals. WU swimmers who advance to one "B" final were Hakeman, Ludwig, Rachel Harvill (Jr., Alamo, CA/Monte Vista HS), Britt Mitchell (Fr., Logan UTLogan HS), Jensine Rasmussen (So., Tacoma, WAStadium HS), and Mykah Fujiwara (Jr., Kaneohe, HI/Punahou School).

Willamette Men's Swimming
First Team All-NWC

Ben Hedman (So., Davis, CA/Davis HS)
200-yard butterfly, 2nd place, 1:54.13
400-yard individual medley, 3rd place, 4:10.06

Willamette Men's Swimming
Second Team All-NWC

Ben Hedman (So., Davis, CA/Davis HS)
200-yard individual medley, 5th place, 1:55.78 (school record)

Ben Fritz (Fr., Los Gatos, CA/Leigh HS)
1,650-yard freestyle, 4th place, 16:30.97 (school record)
200-yard freestyle, 4th place, 1:43.42
500-yard freestyle, 7th place, 4:42.90

Colin Hakeman (So., Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS)
400-yard individual medley, 4th place, 4:13.76
1,650-yard freestyle, 7th place, 16:55.07

Derek Ludwig (So., Moraga, CA/Campolindo HS)
100-yard butterfly, 7th place, 59.62
200-yard butterfly, 8th place, 2:01.21

Mark Yuvienco (Sr., San Jose, CA/Bellarmine College Prep)
200-yard butterfly, 4th place, 1:55.20

Willamette Women's Swimming
Second Team All-NWC

Cassie Tallman (Sr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS)
200-yard breaststroke, 4th place, 2:25.01
200-yard individual medley, 5th place, 2:11.76
100-yard breaststroke, 8th place, 1:07.66

Kiley Lin (Jr./So., Palo Alto, CA/Henry M. Gunn HS)
200-yard butterfly, 4th place, 2:12.88
100-yard butterfly, 7th place, 59.06 (set school record of 58.81 in prelims)
100-yard backstroke, 7th place, 59.62

Niki Kates (So., Truckee, CA/Forest Charter School)
200-yard backstroke, 6th place, 2:09.15
200-yard individual medley, 7th place, 2:13.07
100-yard backstroke, 8th place, 1:00.27

Ashlyn Witherwax (Sr., Honolulu, HI/Punahou School)
200-yard breaststroke, 5th place, 2;26.42
100-yard breaststroke, 7th place, 1:06.65 (school record)