TACOMA - With three women and three men winning individual events, the Whitman College swim teams turned on the competitive juices to finish second as the Northwest Invitational concluded its two-day run here Sunday night.
Lauren Flynn, Charlotte Graham and Katie Chapman captured individual races earlier in the evening and then teamed with Helen Jenne to win the final event of the night, the 400-yard freestyle relay.
That was just enough for the Whitman women to hold off their Pacific Lutheran counterparts for second place in the team scoring.
The Whitman men's team, which got first-place performances from Jamie Nusse, Chris Bendix and Kevin Dyer, came within nine points of overtaking Puget Sound for the top spot on the men's side.
Puget Sound finished first in the men's scoring with 472 total points for the two-day meet. Whitman was second with 463 points while Pacific Lutheran, the host school, was third with 365 points.
Rounding out the men's scoring were Pacific 307, Linfield 187, and College of Idaho 88.
Puget Sound was a more clear-cut winner on the women's side with 528 points. By winning the night's final relay, Whitman took second with 405 points, finishing two points clear of Pacific Lutheran, which was second in the final relay.
Pacific was fourth in the women's scoring with 264 points while Linfield (205) and College of Idaho (96) were fifth and sixth.
With second place on the line in the women's meet, Whitman's quartet (Jenne, Graham, Chapman, Flynn) won the final relay in decisive fashion. Their winning time in the 400-yard freestyle event was 3:43.64 was more than four seconds better than the runner-up, Pacific Lutheran.
In one of Sunday's final individual races, Flynn took first-place honors in 25.69. Jenne was third in 26.11 and Chapman fifth in 26.35. Ellen Banks and Keller Hawkins added more points in the consolation finals, placing eighth and ninth, respectively.
Graham notched her victory in the 200-yard freestyle in 2:01.87. Flynn was third in 2:03.82 while Jenne was sixth in 2:07.72. Claire Collins swam in the event's consolation final, winning that heat in 2:06.22.
Chapman's individual triumph came in the 100-yard butterfly, which she won in 1:01.90. Mel Notari was fifth in 1:04.42.
The Whitman women also got third-place efforts from Collins in the 200-yard breaststroke and Hawkins in the 100-yard backstroke. Her time in the backstroke moves Hawkins into third place on Whitman's best-times list for that event.
Genay Pilarowski won the consolation final in the 200-yard breaststroke, placing seventh overall. Libby Arnosti and Sara Behrens placed 10th and 11th, respectively, in the 100-yard backstroke.
Natalie Reilly placed 10th for Whitman in the 400-yard individual medley, and Erin Kiskaddon added an 11th-place showing in the 1,650-yard freestyle.
Headed into the men's final relay, Whitman still had a shot at overtaking Puget Sound for first place in the final team scoring. But the Loggers won the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:17.39, beating the Missionary entry (Mitchell Lee, Shunei Asao, Matt Rowett, Jamie Nusse) by about two seconds.
Nusse, who won the 100-yard freestyle on Saturday, won Sunday's 50-yard freestyle in 22.48, edging a Puget Sound swimmer by one one-hundredth of a second. Lee was fourth in 22:78 while Asao finished eighth.
Dyer notched his victory in the 200-yard breaststroke with a winning time of 1:49.67. Teammate Elliott Crane, after qualifying for the consolation finals in the 12th and final spot, won the consolation heat in 1:52.09. Had Crane posted that time in the championship final, he would have placed fourth.
The Whitman men piled up the points in the 1,650-yard freestyle with Bendix taking first (17:38.83) and Dyer second (17:42.06). Nate Wells, Eliot Stone and Tyler Hurlburt finished in spots 11 through 13.
Bendix added a second-place effort in the 200-yard breaststroke, another strong event for the Missionaries. Bendix was second in 2:22.12 while Nick Wood was fourth in 2:25.64 and Chad Trexler sixth in 2:29.25. In the consolation heat, Brian Wakefield finished eighth and Jacob Gavin was 11th.
Wood and Trexler placed eighth and ninth, respectively, in the 400-yard individual medley with Wakefield taking 10th.
In the men's 100-yard butterfly, Matt Liedtke was fourth for Whitman and Rowett ninth.
In the 100-yard backstroke, Asao finished fifth, one spot in front of Paul Chang. Swimming in the consolation heat, Andrew Roehrig placed eighth overall.