Willamette Women Pick Up First Win of Season, to Split Three-Way Meet at Linfield

McMINNVILLE, ORE. -- The Willamette University women’s swimming team picked up its first win of the season, defeating Mills College 130-46 on Friday, Jan. 19 at Linfield College. The Bearcat women were part of a three-way meet that included Mills and host Linfield. During the meet, Linfield defeated the Willamette women’s team, 101-86. On the men’s side, only Linfield and Willamette competed, with the Wildcats swimming to a 125-67 victory.

The Willamette women improve to 1-4 overall and to 1-3 in Northwest Conference action. The Bearcat men’s team dropped to 0-4 overall and to 0-4 in the NWC.

In the women’s competition, Becca Fischer (Sr., Billings, MT/Billings West HS) took home two firsts for Willamette by winning the 50-yard freestyle in 26.64 and the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:12.59. She was also part of the winning 200-yard medley relay team, which won in a time of 2:01.23. Shannon Gima (Jr., Alameda, CA/Lick-Wilmerding HS), Brittany Thiemens (Jr., Bellevue, WA/Bellevue HS), and Lauren Vice (So., Portland, OR/Santa Catalina School) were the other three members of the relay team.

Thiemens took second place in two other events, the 50-yard freestyle (26.70) and the 100-yard freestyle (1:00.59). Fischer, Thiemens, and Whitney Pryce (Fr., Glastonbury, CT/Glastonbury HS) made it a 1-2-3 finish for the Bearcats in the 50-yard freestyle, as Pryce came in third place at 27:46.

Gima also took second place in two events, finishing second in the 400-yard individual medley and the 100-yard butterfly. Her time in the 400 I.M. was 5:17.01. She finished the 100 fly in 1:07.93. The women’s team of Pryce, Caitlin Hannigan (So., Colorado Springs, CO/Cheyenne Mountain HS), Jenna Larrow (Fr., Boise, ID/Timberline HS), and Shanley Roxburgh (Sr., Waipahu, HI/Punahou School) finished second in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:56.65.

Linfield’s Andrea Thomas broke her own school record in the 1,000 freestyle. She recorded a time of 10:54.48 in the 1,000-yard race to beat the old mark of 10:57.58, set last February at the NWC Championships. Against Willamette and Mills, Thomas also won the 400-yard individual medley in 4:52.92 and took first place in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:21.30.

For the Bearcat men, senior Kei Otawa (Moscow, ID/Moscow HS) continued to impress in his final season, as he picked up three first place finishes. Otawa won the 100-yard freestyle in 49.20, the 200-yard freestyle in 1:48.27, the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:01.78.

Cason Schmit (Sr., Oakland, CA/Bishop O’Dowd HS) was the only other Willamette swimmer to come in first, winning the 50-yard freestyle in 22.89. Also for the Bearcats, James Huang (So., Portland, OR/Sunset HS) swam to a second place finish in the 400-yard individual medley in a time of 4:55.59.

The Bearcat men’s and women’s swimming teams will be in action on Saturday, Jan. 20, when they travel to Portland, Ore., to face Lewis & Clark College in NWC action. Meet time is set for 1 p.m. (PST).