Fritz and Hedman Win Events for Bearcats in NWC Dual with Lutes

Ben Fritz (Jr., Los Gatos, CA/Leigh HS)
Ben Fritz (Jr., Los Gatos, CA/Leigh HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- Ben Fritz (So., Los Gatos, CA/Leigh HS) of Willamette University won the men's 1,000-yard freestyle and teammate Ben Hedman (Sr., Davis, CA/Davis HS) placed first in the men's 200-yard butterfly, as the Bearcats took on Pacific Lutheran University in a Northwest Conference men's and women's swimming meet on Friday, Nov. 1 at the WU Natatorium. PLU prevailed in the men's competition, 116-86. The Lutes won the women's competition, 159-42. It was Willamette's first meet of the season and it was PLU's first dual meet.

Pacific Lutheran is 1-0 overall and 1-0 in the NWC in both men's swimming and women's swimming. Both of Willamette's teams fell to 0-1 on the season and to 0-1 in the NWC.

For the WU women's team, Min Wei (So., Fushun, China/Cascade HS) was second in the 200-yard butterfly, while Jensine Rasmussen took second place in the 200-yard backstroke.

Fritz was victorious in the men's 1,000 freestyle with a time of 10:31.50. He narrowly missed his personal record time of 10:29.40, which he set against Pacific Lutheran on Nov. 10, 2017. In Friday's race, Jared Toschi of PLU was second in 10:33.70.

In the men's 200 butterfly, Hedman's win was registered in 2:03.30. Will Compton of WU placed second in 2:06.28, and Daniel Fang (Jr., Rancho Santa Margarita, CA/Catholic HS) completed a 1-2-3 sweep for the Bearcats by finishing third in 2:06.96.

Fritz added a second place result in the men's 500-yard freestyle, as he completed the race in 5:07.11. He edged out Jeff Lozensky of PLU, who took second just 0.41 later at 5:07.52.

Several other members of the Willamette men's team placed second in individual events.

Fang was second in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:53.60. Compton placed third in the race in 1;53.83. Jacob Hulti (Sr., Astoria, OR/Astoria HS) attained second in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 52.73, and Greg Wells (So., Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) was third in 52.88. Will Reeves (Fy., Kirkland, WA/Home Schooled) grabbed second in the 200-yard backstroke at 2:09.45. Robbie Daugherty (So., Reno, NV/Damonte Ranch HS) placed second in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:28.86.

Wei's second place time for the Bearcat women's team in the 200-yard butterfly was 2:37.88. Rasmussen achieved a time of 2:20.67 while taking second in the women's 200-yard butterfly.

Niki Kates (Sr., Truckee, CA/Forest Charter School) placed third in the women's 200-yard individual medley in 2:25.01, and teammate Cameron Taggesell (So., Sonoma, CA/Sanoma Valley HS) was fourth in 2:26.81. Kates was just 1.31 out of second place, which went to Whitney Mundle of PLU in 2:23.71. Bailey Hamilton won the 200 I.M. for the Lutes in 2:21.11.

Taggesell also finished fourth in the women's 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:39.03. She was just 0.34 out of third place and 0.45 out of second place.

Willamette's next competition will be a dual meet at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, on Friday, Nov. 15. The meet is set to begin at 6 p.m. (PST).