Missionary swimmers power past Willamette

The Missionaries are on top for the second straight day.


WALLA WALLA - The outcome was never in doubt as the Whitman College swim teams splashed by a short-handed Willamette University in dual meets Saturday afternoon in Harvey Pool.

The Whitman men, now 4-0 in Northwest Conference competition, won by a 119-50 margin.

The Missionary women, improving to 3-1 in conference duals, waltzed to a 107-47 victory.

With just a handful of swimmers on hand, Willamette saw its dual meet record fall to 0-4 for both the men and women.

First-year Missionary Keller Hawkins won two individual races for the Whitman women while senior Jamie Nusse won a pair for the Whitman men.

Hawkins won both the 50-yard freestyle (26.41), nipping first-year teammate Ellen Banks by about six-tenths of a second, and the 200-yard backstroke (2:22.18), where senior Natalie Reilly was the runner-up.

Nusse's wins came in the 50-yard freestyle (22.49), where freshman Colin Orr was second, and the 100-yard freestyle (49.77), where he clipped sophomore Paul Chang by less than four-tenths of a second.Chang was a decisive winner in the 200-yard individual medley (2:06.61).

Later in the meet, with the team scoring no longer in question, Chang swam the 200-breaststroke as an exhibition, posting a top non-scoring time of 2:17.83. That moves him into seventh place on Whitman's best-times list for that event.

The Willamette women scored two contested, non-exhibition wins. Erin Parkinson won the 1,650-yard freestyle in 19:38.55 and Lauren Ballinger captured the 200-yard freestyle in 2:02.66.

Whitman sophomore Helen Jenne edged Ballinger for top honors in the 100-yard freestyle. Jenne was first in 56.51, finishing five one-hundredths of a second in front of Ballinger.

Sophomore Katie Chapman posted a strong time in winning the 200-yard individual medley in 2:18.08. That moves her into seventh place on the Whitman best-times list for that race.

Other winners for the Whitman women included first-year swimmer Melanie Notari in the 200-yard butterfly (2:26.00) and sophomore Charlotte Graham in the 500-yard freestyle (5:29.88).

Claire Collins, another first-year Missionary, swam the 200-yard breaststroke as an exhibition, posting a best time of 2:37.95.

The most competitive race of the afternoon came in the men's 200-yard butterfly, where junior Matt Rowett was first in 2:07.29, out-touching junior teammate Matt Liedtke by one one-hundredth of a second.

Sophomore Andrew Roehrig won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:58.26 and had the best time (2:17.48) while swimming the 200-yard backstroke as an exhibition.

Sophomore Kevin Dyer and junior Chris Bendix finished one-two, respectively, in the 1,650-yard freestyle with times of 17:20.23 and 17:41.37.

Dyer also posted the best time (5:05.46) as an exhibition swimmer in the 500-yard freestyle.

In the opening set of 400-yard medley relays, senior Lauren Flynn teamed with Graham, Hawkins and Notari to take first in 4:21.89, and it was seniors Chad Trexler and Eliot Stone joining Rowett and Roehrig to finish the men's race in 4:01.56.

Best times in the final 400-yard freestyle relays came as Whitman exhibitions. Graham, Banks, Chapman and Flynn clocked a time of 3:52.73 for the women while freshman Elliott Crane teamed with Rowett, Dyer and Nusse to post a 3:28.58 on the men's side.

Both Whitman teams hit the road next weekend for NWC dual meets at Pacific Lutheran at 6 p.m. Friday and at Puget Sound at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Willamette's next meet is Saturday, Jan. 28, at Pacific. The Bearcats then host Lewis & Clark the next day.


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