Bearcat Swim Teams Fall to Whitman in Walla Walla

WALLA WALLA, WASH. -- Willamette University senior Kei Otawa (Moscow, ID/Moscow HS) won three events, but Whitman College claimed first place in the remaining races, as the Missionaries defeated the Bearcats, 111-70, in a Northwest Conference swim meet on Saturday, Nov. 18. Whitman also won the women’s meet, taking a 132-63 triumph. Becca Fischer (Sr., Billings, MT/Billings West HS) took first place in two events for the Bearcats, as she won the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard freestyle.

Whitman’s men improved their record to 3-1 overall, 2-1 in the NWC. The Whitman women’s team upped its mark to 2-2 overall, including 1-2 in the NWC. Both of Willamette’s teams fell to 0-2 overall, 0-2 in the NWC.

Otawa outdistanced his competition in the 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard freestyle and the 200-yard breaststroke. He won the 50-yard freestyle in 22.17 seconds, as he achieved a margin of victory of 0.48 seconds over David Lee of Whitman, who timed out at 22.65. In the 100-yard freestyle, Otawa was timed at 49.35 seconds to win an even tighter race against Lee. The Whitman swimmer touched out at 49.48 seconds, just 0.13 seconds behind Otawa.

In the 200-yard breaststroke, Otawa won by the better part of a full second, after clocking in at 2:21.73. Eric Molnar of Whitman finished in second place 0.90 seconds later with a time of 2:22.63.

Fischer’s victory in the 200 I.M. was recorded in 2:18.95 for a margin of 1.64 seconds in front of Nancy Alexander of Whitman. Alexander clocked out for the Missionaries in 2:20.59. The women’s 100-yard freestyle ended with a 1-2 finish for the Bearcats, as Fischer took first place in 57.63 seconds and Whitney Pryce (Fr., Glastonbury, CT/Glastonbury HS) achieved second place at 59.70 seconds. The top swimmer for the Missionaries in the 100-yard freestyle was Courtney Fitzpatrick, who ended up in third place with a time of 1:00.91.

Pryce also earned a second place finish in the 50-yard freestyle, as she was timed at 27.24 seconds. Erin Petterson of WC won the race in 26.92 seconds. Fischer added to her solid day by taking second place in the 200-yard breaststroke. Nora Feeney won the event for Whitman in a time of 2:34.05. Just over one second later, Fischer touched out at 2:35.09.

Two other second place finishes for the Bearcat women’s team were registered by Bridget Sutherland (Jr., Everett, WA/Everett HS) in the 200-yard freestyle (2:11.08) and in the 200-yard butterfly (2:26.36). Willamette also received a second place performance from Lauren Vice (So., Portland, OR/Santa Catalina School) in the 500-yard freestyle, as she recorded a time of 5:52.10.

In the men’s competition, Kevin Tangeman (Fr., Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS) of Willamette placed second in the 200-yard freestyle, after completing the race in 2:01.04. Ysbrand Nusse won the event for Whitman with a time of 1:56.83. Tangeman prevented a 1-2 finish for the Missionaries, as he finished in front of Whitman’s Jeffrey Anderson, who recorded a time of 2:01.25.

Another strong finish for the WU men’s team occurred when Cason Schmit (Sr., Oakland, CA/Bishop O’Dowd HS) taking third place in the 50-yard freestyle (23.32) to give Willamette a 1-3 finish in the event. Schmit also took third place in the 100-yard freestyle for another first-and-third place result. Gregory Henselman (Jr., Corvallis, OR/Corvallis HS) of WU earned third place finishes in the 200-yard butterfly (2:26.06), the 500-yard freestyle (5:43.80) and the 1,000-yard freestyle (12:12.59). Pete Kahn (So., Billings, MT/Billings Senior HS) was third in the 200-yard backstroke in 2:20.10.

Willamette’s swimming teams will compete again on Dec. 1-2, when they travel to Tacoma, Wash., for the Northwest Invitational at Pacific Lutheran University. The action is scheduled to get underway on Friday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. (PST), with a morning session to follow on Saturday at 10 a.m. (PST). The Northwest Invitational will conclude at the end of a second evening session, set to start at 6 p.m. (PST).