By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- The Willamette University swimming teams built big leads against Pacific University on Friday, Jan. 18 at the WU Natatorium. The margins were large enough that the Bearcats swam exhibition in the final two women's events and the final two men's events. Willamette won the women's competition, 105-80, and the Bearcats were victorious in the men's competition, 110-42.
Both of Willamette's teams improved to 2-4 overall and 2-4 in the Northwest Conference. Pacific's teams fell to 0-6 overall and 0-6 in the NWC. The Boxers were represented by just five athletes on their men's team, so the Bearcats competed unopposed in several events.
"Tonight the teams swam great," Willamette Head Coach Brent Summers said. "It was the last time we will swim the 200s in the strokes before the conference meet, so we went in with the goal of practicing strategies for that meet."
Colin Hakeman (Jr., Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS) won three events for the Bearcat men's team. Ben Fritz (So., Los Gatos, CA/Leigh HS) took first place in two events for Willamette, while Derek Ludwig (Jr., Moraga, CA/Campolindo HS) and Daniel Fang (So., Rancho Santa Margarita, CA/Catholic HS) each placed first in one event. In addition, Mykah Fujiwara (Sr., Kaneohe, HI/Punahou School) registered the fastest time in the men's 200-yard breaststroke while swimming exhibition.
Hakeman earned first place in two events where Willamette swam unopposed. He won the 1,650-yard freestyle in 18:03.62 and took first in the 400-yard individual medley in 4:33.33. He also placed first in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:10.48. Teammate Brendan Otani (So., Kahului, HI/Kamehameha School) was second at 2:23.20 and Ethan Hunter from Pacific placed third in 2:26.44.
Fritz prevailed in the 200-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle. He won the 200 freestyle in 1:52.05, with Hung Huynh of Pacific finishing second at 1:54.78 and Alexander Hougan (Jr., Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) of WU placing third at 1:55.98. In the 500 free, Fritz attained a winning time of 5:05.35. He held off Huynh, who followed in second at 5:07.81.
WU's victory from Ludwig was in the 200-yard butterfly. He completed the 200 yards in 2:09.34 and was the only swimmer for either team in the event.
Fang won the 100-yard freestyle in 51.26 seconds to lead a 1-2-3 finish for the Bearcats against two swimmers from Pacific. Greg Wells (Fr., Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) was second in 52.70, just 0.01 in front of Fujiwara, who placed third in 52.71.
Willamette was victorious in the men's 200-yard medley relay in 1:45.63, while Pacific took second place in 1:52.04. Swimming on the relay team for the Bearcats were Ludwig, Fujiwara, Fang and Jacob Hulti (Jr., Astoria, OR/Astoria HS). Although WU swam exhibition in the men's 200-yard freestyle relay, the Bearcats earned the fastest time, as Ludwig, Hulti, Fang and Fritz completed the race in 1:33.29.
Anna Burdine (Sr., Seattle, WA/Mount Rainier HS) and Rachel Harvill (Sr., Alamo, CA/Monte Vista HS) each won two events for the Willamette women's team. Kiley Lin (Sr./Jr., Palo Alto, CAHenry M. Gunn HS) and Min Wei (Fr., Fushun, China/Cascade HS) both took first place in one event for the Bearcats.
Burdine won both of the distance races. She achieved a close finish in the 1,650-yard freestyle, as she kept Julia Crumb of Pacific in second place. Burdine's winning time was 19:47.78, while Crumb finished strong to register a time of 19:50.44. Burdine took first place in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:59.46 to start a 1-2-3 finish. Anna Jones (Fr., Silverdale, WA/North Kitsap HS) placed second at 6:06.01 and Britt Mitchell (So., Logan UT/Logan HS) was close behind in third place at 6:07.12.
Harvill produced her first win of the evening in the 200-yard freestyle, as she completed the race in 2:08.51. Later, she won the 100-yard freestyle in 58.12 seconds. Kimberly Garcia of Pacific was second in 1:00.89.
In the 200-yard backstroke, Lin placed first by recording a time of 2:18.35. WU also took second and third in the event, as Niki Kates (Jr., Truckee, CA/Forest Charter School) was timed at 2:22.53 and Corinne Pierson (Fr., Port Townsend, WA/Port Townsend HS) claimed a time of 2:27.19. In the 200-yard butterfly, Wei repelled a strong challenge from Crumb. Wei won the event in 2:30.64. Crumb finished for the Boxers in 2:33.53.
Also, Willamette's women grabbed first place in the 200-yard medley relay in 1:59.21. WU's relay team included Corinne Pierson (Fr., Port Townsend, WA/Port Townsend HS), Wei, Lin and Claire Johnson (So., Deerfield, IL/Deerfield HS). Pacific placed second at 2:02.98. Willamette's top entry in the 200-yard freestyle relay competed exhibition, but earned the top time of the race in 1:49.00. Swimming for the Bearcats in the 200 free relay were Harvill, Lin, Burdine and Pierson.
The Bearcats will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 19, when they will take on University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. Meet time in scheduled for 1 p.m. (PST).
Big Moment of the Day for Willamette
Rachel Harvill won two individual events for the Bearcats on
Friday evening. She took first place in the women's 200-yard
freestyle in 2:08.51. Harvill also finished first in the women's
100-yard frestyle with a time of 58.12 seconds. She also swam
the first leg on Willamette 200-yard freestyle relay team, which
competed exhibition, but recorded the top time at 1:49.00.